Sunday, February 11, 2007

Argentine Black Bean Flatbread with Chimichurri Drizzle

This recipe won the appetizer category of the Cooking Light recipe contest this year, and was very highly reviewed by people on the CLBB. When I read the recipe, I didn't think it sounded particularly spectacular, but after hearing so many good things about it I decided to try it.

It was so good!!!! We really liked it a lot. I had some issues with the crust dough - it was super-crumbly and dry, so I thought I'd ruined it. But it turned out to be okay. I also didn't roll it out thin enough so the whole thing ended up like more of a pizza than a flatbread. This was not a bad thing at all; in fact, we liked it that way. It helped it to be a substantial meal instead of appetizer-y. I would probably use a store-bought pizza dough or flatbread in the future, instead of making my own dough, because it was way too time consuming. The black bean spread was delicious, the chimichurri sauce was fantastic, and I loved the addition of Parmesan and roasted peppers. We will definitely make this again.

Argentine Black Bean Flatbread with Chimichurri Drizzle
Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2007

1 red bell pepper
1 tablespoon cornmeal
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°), divided
3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups Black Bean Spread (recipe follows)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced garlic

Preheat broiler.

Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and cut into 16 strips. Set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 450°.

Sprinkle cornmeal over a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Set aside.

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add remaining 1/2 cup water, flour, and salt to yeast mixture, stirring until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Roll dough into a 14 x 11-inch rectangle; place dough on prepared baking sheet. Spread 1 1/2 cups Black Bean Spread over dough. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 13 minutes or until crust browns and cheese is bubbly. Let cool 10 minutes.

Combine parsley and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle parsley mixture over cheese. Cut bread into 16 squares; garnish each square with 1 bell pepper strip.

Black Bean Spread
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 (15-ounce) can 50%-less-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained (such as Muir Glen)

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.

Yield: 16 appetizer servings

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