If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind that I am truly, madly, and deeply in love with cheese, it was proven to be false yesterday. Because yesterday was cheese day. I know. I had the same reaction. THERE’S A CHEESE DAY??? A WHOLE ENTIRE DAY DEDICATED TO CHEESE??? I said that in my best Aziz Ansari voice in my head. Let it be known that I woke up over an hour earlier than normal to come help set up for the cheese tasting, which basically goes against my religion. I am, after all, the self-proclaimed leader of the war against mornings. Anyway, we made homemade ricotta and homemade mozzarella that was later used for lasagna and ravioli. Then we moved on to the cheese tasting. We worked our way through cow, goat, and sheep milk, then onto corresponding yogurt, soft cheese, firm cheese, and hard cheese. I will say, a few of those cheeses tasted like what I imagine the floor of the subway would taste like (a.k.a. concentrated body odor). But others were simply divine. All that was missing was some fresh figs and a glass of wine.
Mozzarella cheese, whether homemade or store-bought, is the star of the show in this Marinated Margherita Flatbread. It is marinated in olive oil infused with garlic, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. Then, like any good margherita pizza, that mozzarella is married with juicy tomatoes and fresh basil.
Crispy baked flatbread topped with garlic and herb-marinated mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and fresh basil
4 hours 15 mins
4 hours 30 mins
Serves 6 to 8
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, patted dry and thinly sliced
- 1 (12 ounce) ball pizza dough
- 2 plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
1. Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, until an instant-read thermometer registers 300°F. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
2. Spoon a thin layer of the oil over the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Arrange the mozzarella in a single layer in the dish and spoon the remaining oil over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 500°F, or as high as your oven will go. Place the pizza dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out to ¼-inch thickness. Transfer the dough to a large heaving baking sheet. Lift the mozzarella from the marinade and arrange over the dough. Place the slices of tomato over the top. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese begins to melt. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the basil over the top. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the leftover marinade over the flatbread and serve.