Countries around the Mediterranean sea follow a diet rich in daily consumption of vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts & seeds, fruits and ofcourse Olive oil. Meals are build around a plant-based diet. Olive oil is a healthy fat which is helps with cholesterol levels. Same with nuts and seeds. Their use of fresh herbs and local seasoning helps boost the flavor of a simple dish and their ingredients are very colorful and add visual appeal. We first eat with our eyes !
In this dish, I combine 2 types of olives – black and green. Olives are rich in Vitamin E and studies say they are good for the heart. Combine the olives with sun dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil. The oil has absorbed all the tangy taste of the tomato and is a rich vibrant color. Next, season with fresh parsley and some red pepper flakes. That’s all for the toppings. Season with salt cautiously since olives pack a punch with their saltiness.
I have used a variety of breads here to demonstrate how this topping can be very versatile. The flatbread I used is not my first choice since they do not offer whole grains, but mimics the texture of pizza and I reserve it for the kids. Since it has simple ingredients, adults can also savor a bite or two. I reserved the sprouted flatbread for the adults, which is very chewy and grainy and offers wholesome carbohydrates. I also prepared this with french baguette, making crostinis for an appetizer. The options are endless ! Top off with cheese slices cut into strips or just some shredded cheese. We love cheese in our home and its a good daily and protein addition for vegetarians. Lastly, sprinkle some red chilly powder on top if you like spicy appetizers. Mmm Mmm Mmm …. need I say more !
- Flatbreads – 8 inch 2
- Sprouted flatbreads 2
- Pitted black olives broken into pieces
- Pitted Green olives broken into pieces
- Sun-dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil – 2 tbsps with the oil
- Fresh Parsley chopped finely – 2 tbsps
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Cheese slices cut into strips or shredded cheese
- 1. Pre heat an oven to 450 degrees.
- 2. Place flatbreads on a flat baking pan. If needed apply a thin layer of olive oil on the bottom to prevent sticking
- 3. Mix both olives, tomato, parsley and red pepper flakes and keep aside
- 4. Spread 2-3 tbsps of the topping on an 8 inch flatbread
- 5. Top with slices of cheese strips or a sprinkling of shredded cheese
- 6. Finally sprinkle some red chilly powder for added kick (totally optional !)
- 7. Reduce oven to 425 degrees and bake the flatbreads for 10 minutes or as per the package instructions. Timing varies by individual oven and flatbreads used.
- 8. The flatbreads will be crisped up on the bottom and still soft on top
Enjoy it for a light lunch or appetizer.
Better still, adding a hearty salad on hot summer nights or a hot soup on cold winter nights will make this a complete meal.