A True Farm-to-Table Plant-Based Culinary Experience
Flatbread. Arizona Winter Roots. Green Pesto. Edible Flowers.
Five Steps to Cook Mindfully and Intuitively with Local Arizona Farmers’ Produce1. Visit a farmers’ market or even a farm. Throughout Arizona and the Valley of the Sun, we are so fortunate with so many incredible local Arizona farms and farmers’ markets. This season, visit a few farmers’ markets and farm stores and get to know your farmers and what they are growing. A week before you decide to prepare the Arizona Winter Flatbread, visit a farmers’ market to explore what's growing to be ready to cook your flatbread.
Arizona Winter Farm-to-Table
¾ cup hot (112-115° F) water
1 Tbsp dry yeast
½ Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
2 cups organic sprouted spelt flour
½ tsp sea salt
Make the Dough:
· Add dry yeast, honey and olive oil into the ¾ cup of hot water. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve all ingredients. Set aside to activate for about 20 minutes. The liquid will foam when activated.
· Place spelt flour and sea salt in a large bowl.
· Make a well with your hand in the flour and add the water with yeast, honey and olive oil.
· Mix to combine ingredients with a wooden spoon a few minutes, then gently knead with your hands another few minutes. Only knead for about 4-5 minutes total. Otherwise the flatbread will be tough. If the dough is sticky, add more flour. If it’s dry, add more water.
· Form dough into a ball.
Dough Rises and Form the Flatbread:
· Coat a large bowl with olive oil.
· Place dough in bowl, cover with a towel, and rest for about 15 minutes. Any additional water in the dough will soak into the flour.
· Split the dough in half. Place 2 balls of dough into a bowl coated with olive oil and cover for about 2 hours (to rise).
· Once the dough has risen, place half of the dough onto a floured surface (I use parchment paper).
· With your hands, form dough into desired size and shape.
· Cover dough with another layer of parchment paper.
· With a rolling pin, roll dough about ¼-inch thick, then make a small ridge around the edges to hold in sauce and ingredients.
Prep the Pizza Stone:
Once the dough is prepared and rolled out for the flatbread, it’s time to put it into the oven.
· Place pizza stone in oven.
· Preheat oven to 500° F.
· Warm pizza stone in the oven for about 15 minutes.
· Carefully remove pizza stone from the oven.
· Carefully move the flatbread onto the preheated pizza stone.
· Lightly top the flatbread with 1 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil. The oil will make the bread a little crisp and the topping ingredients will not soak into the bread.
· Bake flatbread for 3 minutes.
· Remove flatbread from the oven.
· Spread Hemp Seed Cream onto the flatbread.
· Top the flatbread with the roasted beets, carrots, radishes and turnips.
· Bake for another 3-5 minutes, as needed.
Garnish and Enjoy!
· Mindfully garnish the flatbread with the Winter Green Pesto, mint and edible flowers.
· Enjoy your beautiful flatbread with your family and friends.
Arizona Winter Roasted Roots
Roasting is simple, and the cooking
process caramelizes the veggies, keeping them crisp on the outside and moist on
the inside. The flavor is always delicious, and roasting can be used in any
season with any vegetables our farmers grow. Choose a few of your favorite Arizona
winter roots (carrots, radishes, turnips, beets) to roast for your Arizona Winter
Flatbread. Also enjoy roasted roots as a delicious side dish with quinoa or
3-4 rainbow carrots, such as baby tropical black carrots
1 large purple daikon radish
5-6 French breakfast radishes
2-3 beets, such as baby cylindra or red
2-3 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
· Preheat oven to 525° F.
· Slice all veggies into equal-sized pieces.
· One by one, place veggies into a small bowl.
· Drizzle with olive oil.
· Sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt.
· Toss to coat all veggies.
· Place veggies flat side down on parchment paper-lined flat sheet pan.
· Cook for 15 minutes.
· Cook another 12-15 minutes.
· Use roots as flatbread toppings.
Pesto is a quick, flavorful sauce to create with our local farmers’ fresh herbs and greens. This Winter Green Pesto, inspired by the floral shungiku (chrysanthemum greens), is perfect for adding a fresh taste to the flatbread. For the pesto, be creative and have fun experimenting with different leafy greens (all kinds of kale and shungiku), nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts) and herbs (sage, tarragon, mint).
2 cups shungiku (chrysanthemum greens)
1 cup hon tsai tai (or other greens, such as kale)
1 Tbsp moringa leaves
3 purple sage leaves
¼ cup Arizona pecans
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
3 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
Pinch sea salt
· Gather mise en place (get all ingredients organized).
· Place chrysanthemum greens, hon tsai tai, moringa leaves, sage, pecans, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt into food processor.
· Pulse 8-10 times, until desired level of chunkiness.
· Stream in olive oil and pulse a few more times.
· Enjoy as garnish for your flatbread.Hemp Seed Cream
Nut creams are a great alternative to cheesy sauces for plant-based eaters and work well on flatbreads. Hemp seeds add an earthy, grassy flavor to the cream, complementing the earthiness of root veggies. Hemp seeds do not need to be presoaked, so this cream is quick and simple.
1 cup raw hemp seeds
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Pinch sea salt
¼ cup water, adjust for desired creaminess
· Pour all ingredients into a blender.
· Blend to desired smoothness.
Melanie Albert, founder and CEO of Experience Nutrition Group LLC, in Phoenix, is the author of the award-winning cookbook A New View of Healthy Eating and plant-based recipe blog at ExperienceNutrition.com, and offers plant-based farm-to-table culinary experiences, corporate wellness programs, team-building events, and retreats. Albert has step-by-step cooking photos of these recipes on her blog for those who are interested. Recipes and photos courtesy of Albert. For more information, visit ExperienceNutrition.com.