You may have visited a restaurant with flatbread on the menu or seen a photo of this popular dish on the cover of a food magazine. They’re all the rage these days! Easy with endless flavor combinations, flatbreads come together quickly and make a light weeknight dinner or appetizer before a main course. Understandably so, many folks confuse pizza and flatbread. Pizza typically has a thicker crust with more sauce, cheese and toppings, while flatbreads traditionally have a thin, crispy crust and fewer toppings. Less is more, in this case.
I’m always looking for quick weeknight dinners and today I’m sharing one of my favorites featuring local Georgia shrimp, which are in season through the end of January.
My Shrimp Pesto Flatbread brings together garden fresh flavor and succulent shrimp with salty parmesan cheese and blistered cherry tomatoes. Jalapenos give it a kick and add a pop of color to the dish. Afterall, we eat with our eyes first.
The recipe begins with store-bought pizza crust, pressed out thinly into a greased 17.2 x 11.5 x 1 inch baking sheet. It bakes for 8 minutes until golden brown and crispy around the edges. While the dough bakes, in my food processor, I whip up a quick recipe of pesto. If you aren’t familiar with pesto, it’s a vibrant Italian sauce made traditionally with fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, grated hard cheese, such as pecorino or parmigiano reggiano, and toasted pine nuts. Being the Georgia girl that I am, I like to substitute pecans for the pine nuts. You can eat pesto on just about anything. Enhance a sandwich with it, toss it with hot pasta, or use it in place of marinara on your next homemade pizza. Now, I started an herb garden last year, and it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Recipes like this one really allow me to show off my green thumb skills. The aroma alone is mouthwatering!
Once the pesto is finished, the plump shrimp are well seasoned, then sauteed in a pan with olive oil and minced garlic. Cherry tomatoes are added and cooked for a few minutes just until they begin to burst. The dough, once slightly cooled, is spread with the garlicky pesto goodness and the shrimp mixture is evenly dispersed over the dough. Shavings of parmesan cheese go right over the top, and dinner is served in literally no time at all. This meal that pairs well with a glass of rosé and a good friend.
Some Kinda Good never rang more true!
Some Kinda Good Garden Fresh Shrimp Pesto Flatbread
1 store-bought pizza crust, in the tube
1 recipe Pecan Pesto, to follow
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 fresh jalapeno sliced into rounds
parmesan cheese, grated
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread pizza crust evenly onto a greased baking sheet, to fit. Bake for 8 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, make pesto. Spread pesto over pizza crust to evenly coat. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to burst about 2-3 minutes. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet with the garlic and tomatoes. Cook until they turn pink, about 3 minutes.
Place the shrimp and tomato mixture over the pizza evenly, then top with grated fresh parmesan cheese. If desired, return the baking sheet to the oven to melt the cheese. Slice and serve!
For the pesto:
1 bunch (about 2 cups) basil
1 cup parsley
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until well combined. Serve on top of pizzas, with fresh bread or as a spread on your favorite sandwich.
Food Network Star finalist Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a food enthusiast and writer. Her blog, Some Kinda Good, features local, in-season recipes with Southern coastal influences. A Georgia Southern University alumna, she also attended Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Savannah. Like Some Kinda Good on Facebook, follow @SKGFoodBlog on Twitter and Instagram or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.