Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Potato-Leek Flat Bread
Often, when I cook, I fantasize that I am actually cooking not only for my husband and myself, but for a whole dinner party. I'm not too lofty with my fantasies - I usually only imagine two or three other people joining us at the table. And usually my fantasies don't involve specific people. But this meal, I have to say, I imagined I was cooking for my sister Anna-Lynne, who is a vegetarian, and my sister-in-law Sarah, who lives in France.
I know, the ways of my mind are not that mysterious. This meal is vegetarian. This meal has several traditionally French ingredients. Mystery solved. But it was so incredibly easy and quick to make, and remarkably delicious. It officially went from fantasy-dinner-party fare to yes-I-want-to-make-this-for-my-sisters fare. So come on over, sisters. I have a delicious, easy, Frenchy vegetarian meal waiting for you.
I probably wouldn't serve this at just any dinner party, since it seems almost *too* easy. But it would make a great first course if you reduce the size a bit - it could be like an extra-fancy salad or appetizer. If you have it as is, it is plenty of food for a whole meal. The flavors are delicate without being boring, and definitely subject to tweaking. It would be delicious with the addition of pine nuts, or even substituting the Gruyere with chevre. Brainstorm away, folks. This one is easy enough to make again and again, a little bit different every time.
Potato-Leek Flat Bread
adapted from Real Simple Magazine
4 teaspoons EVOO
1 leek, halved and thinly sliced length-wise (white & light green parts only)
1 medium red potato, thinly sliced
leaves of 1 sprig fresh thyme
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 whole wheat pitas (I like Sahara brand)
4 tablespoons grated Gruyere
1 cup (tightly packed) baby arugula
1. Heat 3 teaspoons EVOO over medium-high heat in a medium skillet. Add leeks, potatoes, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until leeks are browned and potatoes are starting to soften and brown. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.
2. While the potato mixture is cooking, preheat oven or toaster oven to 400. Place pitas on a baking sheet and divide the potato mixture evenly among them. Top each pita with 1 tablespoon grated Gruyere, sprinkled evenly. Bake for about 8 minutes, until potatoes are fully cooked, cheese is melted and pitas are starting to get golden brown.
3. Top each flat bread with a handful of baby arugula. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and drizzle remaining EVOO over the arugula. Serve.
I sliced mine in half, topped it evenly with arugula, and (I'm not ashamed to say) ate it with my hands. Yum yum yum. Enjoy!