Winter is a time for longing and remembrance; in particular, remembering and missing gorgeous juicy summer tomatoes and fresh basil. Those brutal dark days, filled with brussels sprouts and beef stew get old pretty quickly for me, and I start dreaming of the bright flavors of my favorite summertime combination, tomatoes and basil.
I can get by, however, when I make slow roasted Roma tomatoes. Usually they’re the only kind of tomato found at the store in the winter, Romas, the firm, smallish, oblong fruit, does very well when treated this way. I buy as many as five pounds at a time, quarter them lengthwise, toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme, and then I arrange them on baking sheet and roast them at 200°F for the better part of the day, 6-7 hours. When cool, I store them in a big jar in the refrigerator to add to salads, flatbread pizzas, and wraps. An otherwise pale and mealy Roma tomato takes on a rich, flavor-packed taste when cooked this way. Now you know my secret tomato trick!
This flatbread pizza can definitely be made with slow roasted Romas instead of sun dried ones, or even the cherry tomatoes it calls for. Not everyone has them just sitting in their icebox, I get it. Although now that you have the recipe, I strongly encourage it!
I also use pesto leftover from the summer that I store in little tubs in the freezer. I’m old enough, and know myself well enough, to know that, come January, I will crave pesto. Tossing the cooked chicken in it keeps the chicken moist when the flatbread bakes.
Chicken Margherita Flatbread
1 Flatout Artisanal Pizza crust
4-6 ounces shredded rotisserie chicken
4 tablespoons pesto, divided
6 sun dried tomatoes, sliced in ribbons
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup shredded pizza cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a bowl, combine the chicken, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of the pesto and mix until chicken is coated. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place Flatout flatbread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for two minutes. Remove from the oven and top the flatbread with the remaining pesto, then the chicken mixture, the sun dried tomatoes, and finally the cherry tomatoes. Top with the pizza cheese, return to the oven and bake for 4-6 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut into slices.