Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Roasted Garlic Flatbread & Red Pepper, Walnut and Tahini Dip

As a hostess, I really try to make all my guests comfortable.  If I know something about someone, like a dietary restriction or something, I'll quietly make an accommodation for them whenever possible.  When I threw Dave a birthday party in December, I knew two of our guests didn't like scallions so I made half the potato skins with and half without so they could enjoy all the appetizers.  So when I offered to throw Cindy's baby shower, I saw the opportunity to make a vegan dish or two for her sister, Chris.  Having never paid attention to this before, I looked forward to finding a vegan recipe.  I actually stumbled upon two recipes that I wanted to make and then realized that they were also vegan.  Win!  The flatbread is delicious, with a strong garlic flavor and a nice texture between crunchy and chewy while the dip has great depth of flavor, both nutty and sweet with a slight kick of heat the gently comes on.  Paired together, this was a great dish that everyone enjoyed and Chris really appreciated.

I found the flatbread via the Secret Recipe Club when Kristi of Veggie Converter posted it on our reveal day.  I immediately pinned it and couldn't wait to try it out, thinking it might make a good option for the shower buffet.  Then I found a pin from Gluten Free Confessions for a huge variety of dips that included Real Simple magazine's recipe for the red pepper, walnut and tahini dip.  I was considering making hummus, but I was intrigued by the walnuts paired with the peppers so I decided to give this a whirl.  Both recipes were very easy to make.  I started the flatbread dough in the stand mixer but ended up hand-kneading to get the consistency I wanted. And the dip was super simple in the food processor.  Together or separate, both of these recipes are worth trying for your next get together.

Roasted Garlic Flatbread


1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl, combine yeast, water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 Tablespoon olive oil and let stand until bubbling, about 5 minutes.

Using the dough hook attachment on the stand mixer, turn on low and gradually add flour until dough has formed.

Transfer to a floured surface and knead dough until no longer sticky, about 5-10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a large bowl, coating completely.  Place dough ball in the bowl and gently turn to coat in oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 35-45 minutes.

Punch the dough to flatten and cut into four pieces.  Cover with plastic wrap again and let rest for 10 minutes.

Gently stretch each flatbread to about 13 x 7 inches in an ovalish shape (mine was somewhere between an oval and a rectangle).  Place on a greased baking sheet or pizza stone. 

Sprinkle each flatbread with garlic, basil, salt and pepper then drizzle over remaining olive oil.

Bake at 450 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until golden on the edges.

Move to racks to cool slightly before serving, either whole or slicing/tearing into pieces.

Makes 4 flatbreads.

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Red Pepper, Walnut and Tahini Dip


2 red bell peppers
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
2 Tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

Heat broiler to high and place peppers on a rimmed baking sheet.  Broil, turning every 2-3 minutes, until charred, about 10-15 minutes.

Let cool, then remove stems, skins and seeds.

In a food processor, combine peppers, walnuts, tahini, vinegar, sugar, cumin, and cayene and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper and stir.

Serve with flatbread or pita chips.

Makes about 1 cup of dip.

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Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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