During the summer months, when things are fun and exciting and completely exhausting, I find it hard to figure out weeknight meals that don't just consist of veggie burgers on the grill or giant salads. Don't get me wrong, I love eating those things, but at this stage in the game with Sebastian, it's so important to be offering him diversity in his food choices so that we don't get stuck with a picky eater later on.
I try not to turn the stove on during the hottest days. We don't have AC, and in our creaky old house, the heat rises up to the second floor where the bedrooms are located. We don't have screens on the windows, and you know how I feel about spiders, so I don't open the windows, essentially creating a sauna on the second floor. We are currently in the process of getting screens, but until then, any extra heat accumulation in the house is just rude. As a result, I end up making mostly cold foods or turning on the grill for meals. And avocado toast. We eat a lot of that.
We usually order pizza once a week and have leftovers for a few days. As a collective until our family lives for pizza. If we were all stuck on a desert island and had to choose one item of food, we would all choose pizza, and I know Sebastian can't quite speak for himself yet, but as his mother, I think it's safe to say that he would choose it as well.
But lately I've been getting taste fatigue from our local pizza place, so I thought it would be fun to make it from home. I wasn't really in the mood to make dough from scratch, so I bought these pre-cooked naans from the store. I made a batch of pesto that will probably last us a few weeks. We'll use it in pasta and eggs and other delicious things. Aside from the pesto, this flatbread took roughly 5 minutes to make. They were incredibly quick and easy. I loved the addition of crispy arugula and fresh tomatoes. And bonus, I got to use up most of my basil plant that had started to flower. To finish it all off, the avocado was like the icing on the cake. I'll definitely be making these again.
GRILLED FLATBREAD WITH MOZZARELLA, BASIL PESTO, ARUGULA, TOMATOES, AND AVOCADO
makes 2 flatbreads
prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 5 minutes
2 cups packed fresh basil, stems removed
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, or pepitas
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
2 store-bought naan bread or flatbread
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 cups arugula
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
6 pitted olives, halved
drizzle of olive oil
1/4 avocado, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
To make the pesto, place the basil, garlic, nuts, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Pulse the mixture until it turns into a thick paste. Add the olive oil a 1/4 cup at a time and pulse. You may need to scrape down the sides of the container with a spatula to make sure all of the bits are incorporated. Once the pesto is fully blended, add the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Store in a jar with a tight fighting lid, in the fridge, for up to a week until you are ready to use.
Preheat the grill to 350ºF.
Spread the pesto on the flatbread. Add the mozzarella cheese.
Place the flatbread on the grill and cook until the cheese has melted, taking care not to burn the bottom of the flatbread.
Remove from the grill.
In a bowl, combine the arugula, tomatoes, and olives. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
Top the flatbreads with the arugula mixture, and then the chopped avocado. Slice and enjoy!