Everyone needs a Plan B.
Something easy and delicious, for those times when a new recipe goes way wrong, and you still have to make dinner.
If I were living alone, my Plan B would be a PBJ and a Barq’s, but Jeff likes real meals. With vitamins!
So, my summertime Plan B is flatbread pizza. I keep some store-bought naan (a moist, puffy, Indian flatbread) in the pantry, so that if a new veggie burger recipe turns out to be a burnt fritter abomination, I can use all the profanity I want and still have dinner ready in 15 minutes or less. I just break out the flatbreads, top them with whatever’s handy, and toast them in the oven.
Tonight’s Plan B was Flatbread Pizza with Goat Cheese, Sautéed Greens and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes.
If you have a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes, you’ve got to try blistering them. Just drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet, crank up the heat to high, and add the tomatoes. Whole. They’ll sizzle and pop, and then you’ll start to see the skin blacken in places. After about five minutes, your tomatoes will be blistered on the outside, intensely sweet and barely contained in their skins, ready to deflate like balloons.
I added a little goat cheese and some sautéed kale, but please feel free to use what you have – Roma tomatoes, basil and mozzarella; zucchini, red onion and goat cheese; leftover grilled vegetables and Parmesan; artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and feta; mushrooms, roasted red pepper and pesto; pear, arugula and brie … not to mention all the combinations you can make on meat-eating days.
It’s a Plan B good enough to make you forget Plan A.
And if that doesn’t work, there’s always a PBJ and a Barq’s.
Toasted Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Sauteed Greens and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes
Adapted from Marie Simmons’ “Fresh & Fast Vegetarian”
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pints (4 cups) cherry or grape tomatoes, stems removed
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots, separated into rings
- Crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 bunch (about 12 ounces) greens, such as Swiss chard, kale or curly-leafed spinach
- 4 store-bought or homemade naan or other 1/2-inch-thick flatbread (like prebaked pizza crusts)
- 1/2 cup crumbled cold fresh goat cheese (about 2 ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- To Prep the Tomatoes: Heat a large skillet on high. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil, and tilt the pan to coat. Add the tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until blistered and softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- To Prep the Shallots: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and shallots and cook, stirring, until the shallots turn dark golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in a pinch of crushed red pepper, if desired. Set aside.
- To Prep the Greens: Meanwhile, pull the leaves of the Swiss chard or kale from the stems. Coarsely chop the leaves, and discard the stems. Rinse the greens in cold water and drain.
- Add the wet leaves to a large skillet and cook, covered, over medium heat until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Uncover the skillet, and toss the greens until they are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid.
- Pour the shallots and oil over the greens, and toss over medium-high heat, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- To Assemble: Place the naan directly on the oven rack for about 5 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven to a platter. Top each naan with goat cheese, tomatoes and greens. Spoon any excess shallot oil in the skillet over the greens. Return the naan for a few minutes to warm, if you’d like. Serve immediately.