Most flatbread recipes out there are made with pizza dough. This Grilled Flatbread with Artichokes & Ricotta is no different. Go easy on yourself and start off with some already-prepared dough.
Really though, what is the difference between flatbread and pizza? In my mind, a flatbread is usually presented as a rough rectangle of very thin and crispy crust. In contrast, a pizza typically starts with a round base of slightly thicker, more chewy dough. Also flatbread doesn’t always have a sauce on it, in fact it often doesn’t, but when you hear pizza you default to sauce unless it’s white pizza. So confusing, right? The most important thing is …they’re both delicious.
Let’s get started on the dough…
Once the dough has rested at room temperature for a while, it will be ready to be worked. Don’t worry about shaping it perfectly. Rustic is good. When using around a half pound of dough, you should be able to roll it out to a rough rectangular shape measuring about 8-inches by 14-inches. At that point, you’ll be on your way to making a thin and crispy flatbread.
For more helpful tips, take a look at my post on The Best Grilled Pizza Dough.
Transferring to the grill…
When you are satisfied with the results of your rolled-out dough, brush the entire surface lightly with olive oil. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. It’s always a bit tricky at this point. Fold the dough in half by starting at one long end and bring it over to meet up with the other end. Give that newly exposed surface a light coating of olive oil. Carefully flip it over and repeat on the other side. You’re now ready for transport to the grill.
It’s a nice addition to your finished dish to add some grilled lemon slices although not required. If you are so inclined, prep some thinly sliced lemon by brushing both sides with olive oil.
Let’s get that dough grilled…
Add some extra flavor to your ricotta…
We probably all agree that ricotta cheese is delicious all on its own. But for this one, we’re taking it up a notch with the addition of honey and basil. And, of course, some salt and pepper. I can’t take credit for this ricotta upgrade …the original recipe for this combo comes from Half Baked Harvest.
But before we get to that, let’s get the lemon vinaigrette prepared. It comes together quickly and is drizzled onto each serving of flatbread sparingly. Or, if you choose, not at all.
Let’s start building your Grilled Flatbread with Artichokes & Ricotta…
When the grilled flatbread is removed from the heat, cover the surface with a generous layer of the ricotta mixture. If you prefer, you can make yours on the lighter side by simply using less ricotta. As always, make it your way. Then, scatter the marinated artichokes over the layer of ricotta.
One more time on the grill…
The flatbread is now placed back on the grill to heat the toppings. Be sure to place it on the cooler side with the top down until the ricotta loosens and the artichokes are heated to your liking. On the other hand, you can place the flatbread in your preheated oven (375°F) to quickly heat the toppings without over-grilling the bottom.
The grand finale…
Top off your flatbread goodness with fresh baby arugula, freshly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, grilled lemon slices & crushed red pepper flakes. Another possibility would be to add some very thinly sliced prosciutto at this point.
Just before serving, drizzle lightly with the lemon vinaigrette and chopped chives. Sit back and enjoy!
grilled flatbread with artichokes & ricotta
Loosely adapted from Half Baked Harvest
- 8 ounces prepared pizza dough, at room temperature
- all-purpose flour, for dusting
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 1 small lemon, cut into very thin slices (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (plus more for serving)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 8 ounces marinated artichokes, drained
- 2 cups fresh baby arugula
- 1/2 cup freshly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice & zest of one lemon
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- salt, to taste
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using the heel of your hand, gently press and stretch the dough out toward the edges. Stretch the dough to 1/4-inch or less thickness, into a rectangular shape measuring about 14" by 8". Using a rolling pin to smooth it out helps with the process. If the dough is stubborn and wants to "shrink back" as you work, just give it a five-minute rest before continuing.
Preheat gas grill to medium-high heat. If grilling lemon slices, coat both sides of each slice with olive oil.
When you are satisfied with the shape of the rolled out dough, brush the entire surface lightly with olive oil. Season lightly with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Gently lift one long end and fold dough in half. Brush surface lightly on both sides with olive oil. Dough is now ready for transport to the grill.
If grilling lemon slices, place them on the edges of the grill surface to char as the flatbread grills.
Unfold the dough and cautiously place it on the preheated grill grates. You may need to quickly stretch the edges to re-establish the desired shape. Close grill cover. After a minute or so, lift the edge of the dough with tongs to check on the progress. Once dough starts to "bubble" and grill marks are noticeable, flip the dough using metal tongs or a metal pizza peel. Cover grill and after one minute, lift the dough to check underneath. Once the char marks are apparent, the crust is ready to be transferred to a tray.
Turn off several burners of the grill to create a "cooler" area. Or preheat oven to 375°F.
Meanwhile, stir together the ricotta, basil, honey and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Top the grilled flatbread with the ricotta mixture. Scatter on the artichokes.
Return the dressed flatbread to the grill, placing it on the "cooler" side to avoid overcharring. Close the cover and grill for about 3 minutes until the ricotta mixture loosens slightly and the flatbread is well heated. OR place the dressed flatbread in the preheated oven on a tray until the ricotta mixture loosens slightly and the flatbread is well heated.
Top with fresh arugula and shaved parmesan. If desired, sprinkle lightly with crushed red pepper flakes. Just before serving, drizzle lightly with the lemon vinaigrette and chopped chives.
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Salt to taste. Serve with flatbread.
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