Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads

Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads

Pizza seems to be a favorite food for most people, including myself. I used to eat any sort of pizza I wasn’t allergic to with no regard to how excessively processed it was. All I knew was that it tasted delicious. Fast forward a few years, and I still love pizza–as long as it’s homemade or from an authentic Neapolitan restaurant. Today’s recipe for Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads isn’t the traditional pizza you normally think of, but it’s just as enticing and comes without the ultra-processed ingredients.

Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads

Naan

Instead of the thick greasy crust found with takeout pizza, Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads use homemade naan for the crust. Naan is an Indian flatbread made from flour, salt, yeast, Greek yogurt, ghee (or butter), and water. They’re light, puffy, and soft and work beautifully as a base for this recipe. If you’d prefer something more authentically Mediterranean try making pita bread instead! Pitas use olive oil instead of ghee and more water and no yogurt. Both work well, but I tend to prefer naan for this recipe.

Note: The naan can be made the day before to make assembling the flatbreads easier.

Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads made with naan

How to Top Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads

Cheese

The toppings for Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads are pretty flexible. I like to try different types of cheese or greens whenever I make them. For the cheese, I used fresh mozzarella, feta, and Romano. Parmesan or Asiago also work well in place of Romano…or use them all! However, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of using high quality cheeses. Fresh mozzarella is so wonderful and has a much different texture than low-moisture mozz. Although low-moisture will work, it won’t have the same authentic feel. Also, please take the time to grate your own Romano and crumble your own feta! Pre-shredded/crumbled cheeses have so many extra ingredients as anti-caking agents. This “sawdust” makes it hard for the cheese to melt and detracts from flavor and texture. It may take a few more minutes, but it is so worth it!

Fresh cheeses used in Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads

Mediterranean Inspired Veggies

For the rest of the toppings, I caramelize a diced red onion by sautéing it in olive oil until it browns. Then I add spinach or arugula to the pan until it wilts. If you like kale better (or any other green), give that a try instead. The rest of my toppings include brined artichoke hearts, pepperoncini peppers, and Kalamata olives. The peppers are super spicy and could be replaced with fresh bell peppers. Black or green olives could also replace or supplement the Kalamata.

Freshly wilted greens

The options for topping Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads are endless. I like to top the flatbreads with fresh basil leaves right before baking and drizzle them with balsamic vinegar before serving. You could even top them with Tzatziki sauce if you’d like to make it more Greek. Experiment with new cheeses and if meat is something you include in your diet, toss on some shredded Greek chicken before baking. The beauty of flatbreads and pizzas is the possibility to make them personal. Enjoy!

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Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads
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Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads

Three-Cheese Mediterranean Flatbreads are made of homemade naan topped with fresh mozzarella, feta, and Romano cheeses, Kalamata olives, artichokes, spinach, and caramelized onion.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Resting Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 flatbreads
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Equipment

  • Rolling Pin
  • Pizza steel
  • Stand mixer with bread hook
  • Cheese grater

Ingredients 

Naan

  • 1 ⅔ cups bread flour
  • cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1 ⅛ tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Valley ghee melted (plus extra for brushing)
  • ¼ cup water

Toppings

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 6 cups spinach or arugula
  • 12 oz fresh mozzarella cheese sliced
  • 3 oz feta cheese freshly crumbled
  • oz Romano or Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 20 Kalamata olives halved
  • 14 oz canned artichokes quartered
  • 10 pepperoncini peppers sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • Balsamic vinegar optional

Instructions

Naan

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add both flours, salt, and yeast. Whisk to combine.
  • Then add the Greek yogurt and melted ghee. Turn the mixer on low speed.
  • As the dough forms in to a shaggy mass, gradually add the water. You may need slightly more or less, so go slowly and assess the consistency of the dough. It should form into a soft dough ball that is slightly tacky.
  • Continue kneading on low speed for about 10 minutes. If you don't have a stand mixer, this could be done by hand on a lightly floured surface.
  • Lightly coat the bowl with olive oil so the dough doesn't stick and cover it with plastic wrap for about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Halfway through rising, place a pizza steel in the oven and preheat to 475°. Let the steel heat in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • When the dough has risen, divide it into 4-6 balls. Place them on a lightly floured surface and cover with a clean dish towel for 10 minutes.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll out each dough ball until it is ¼ inch thick. If desired, brush the tops of each one with melted ghee.
  • Transfer as many flatbreads to the pizza steel as will fit without touching each other. Bake for 6-7 minutes. They should be browned on the bottom and puffy when done.
  • Remove the naan from oven and repeat with the remaining pieces. Set aside while you prepare the toppings.

Toppings and Assembly

  • Preheat a pizza steel in the oven at 350°F.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the diced onion on medium heat.
  • Sauté until the onion begins to brown. Then add the spinach and continue cooking until it wilts. Stir occasionally to prevent anything from burning.
  • When the onion and spinach are cooked, removed from heat.
  • On each flatbread, evenly distribute the fresh mozzarella slices.
  • Then add the onion/spinach mixture, artichokes, olives, and pepperoncini.
  • Top each flatbread with feta and Romano cheeses and finally, basil leaves.
  • Place as many flatbreads as you can on the pizza steel and bake until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown (about 20-25 minutes). Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining flatbreads.
  • If desired, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the flatbreads before serving.

Notes

  • Naan recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking.
  • Butter can be used in place of ghee in the naan.
  • The naan can be made a day in advance to make assembling the flatbreads easier.
  • If you don’t have a pizza steel, a regular baking sheet or pizza stone will work too.
 
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