Recipe by Cody Owens
I used to work at this funky little restaurant called Cosmo’s in Birmingham, Alabama. It was run by a wild cast of characters, and for patrons, it was basically an extension of their own living rooms, only with pink walls, neon signage, and food that punched way above its weight.
I was lucky enough to work with some real pros in the kitchen, and to this day, it’s where I really fell in love with making food. They taught me how to make everything from hollandaise to bread, all while working in an environment that was less like a restaurant and more like a weirdly charming carnival ride run by your cool aunt and uncle.
The owner (let’s call her Mona) was easy to fall in love with. She had been there for over 30 years and knew how to have a good time. That is to say, sometimes us kitchen folk would be tasked with making her something delicious to eat after hours when the party really got started.
This flatbread is a variation of one that I would make for her and is something that I still like to serve when I have people over. It’s light, refreshing, and most importantly, it’s very easy to pull together. There are lots of ways to riff on this, and that’s one of the reasons I love it so much.
1 pizza dough ball (store-bought is perfect)
1 container ricotta cheese
Prosciutto (as much as you like)
Arugula (or another green of your choice)
Big handful of pistachios
Lemon vinaigrette (or any kind of dressing you like)
You can buy pizza dough balls from just about any local pizza place. You can also get them from most major grocery stores at the deli counter.
A large dough ball can be cut in half and yield 2 of these, but feel free to just make one large flatbread. Any way you want to do it will work. Flour a cutting board and roll out the dough as much as possible. I like to make them into more of an oval shape.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. (If you have a pizza stone at home, obviously use that instead of a baking sheet.)
Before putting dough onto the baking sheet with parchment paper, use a fork to poke holes across the entire dough ball. The more holes the better. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. (This can fluctuate a lot depending on the oven. Just remove when it’s a nice and deep golden brown and has cooked through.)
While that's happening, toss arugula and prosciutto in lemon vinaigrette dressing.
Smear the flatbread with lots of ricotta cheese, add the arugula and prosciutto mix, and top with pistachios, honey, and grated parmesan.
Raise a glass to all the weirdos, misfits, and hooligans who’ve made a living working in kitchens. The world would be a big bummer without local restaurants, so shine on, you crazy diamonds.