What’s the difference between a pizza and a flatbread? This is a question I think about a lot. They both have the same key elements: crust, sauce, and toppings. Based on my limited research, which was basically just scrolling through a discussion on Serious Eats, the jury is still out. When I think of flatbreads, I think of a thin crust topped with light, fresh ingredients. It’s exactly what I want in summer when it’s too hot to eat anything heavy (sorry, pizza).
If you scroll ahead to the recipe, you’ll notice we made the flatbread from scratch. This is optional – I love taking shortcuts as much as the next busy cook. If you have the time, I highly recommend making your own flatbread. I wrote the recipe for my guests to make at the Awakening Wellness Retreat in Thailand earlier this spring and they absolutely loved it. We topped our flatbreads with creamy cashew sauce, blistered tomatoes, and fresh arugula salad. It’s such a great blank canvas for your favorite flatbread/pizza toppings. I like to make a few and keep them in the freezer for whenever the craving strikes.
I will admit, I might have been a little bit heavy handed with the toppings in this recipe. In the spirit of summer, I took full advantage of the ripe, delicious fruits and veggies at my local grocery store. Tender, grilled chunks of mango pair so perfectly with creamy avocado, tomato, cucumber, cashew cheese and fresh herbs. The best part about this flatbread is how quickly it cooks. All it takes is a few minutes in a pan on each side. There’s no need to heat your whole house by turning on the oven! Smear with cashew cheese, add your toppings, and done.
Grilling the mango gives it a beautiful char and caramelizes the natural sugar, giving it such a lovely flavor. But, if you’re not in the mood to fire up the grill, skip it. I have no doubt this flatbread will taste just as good without the extra step.
Tender, grilled chunks of mango pair so perfectly with creamy avocado, tomato, cucumber, cashew cheese and fresh herbs. The best part about this flatbread - you don't have to turn on your oven in the summer heat!
- 2 large flatbreads, store bought or homemade (recipe follows)
- 2 Tbsp. red onion, diced
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 8 hours
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- ¼ cup + 3 Tbsp. water
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1 ½ cups mini heirloom tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cucumber, small diced
- ¼ cup fresh mint or basil (or both)
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced into ½-inch wedges
- 1 avocado, sliced
For the flatbread
- 1 cup spelt flour
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. instant yeast
- ½ tsp. coconut sugar
- 2 Tbsp. warm water
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. plain, unsweetened non-dairy yogurt (I used coconut)
- 2 tsp. coconut oil, divided
If you’re using store bought flatbread, skip to step 8.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, yeast, and coconut sugar in a medium sized bowl. Pour the warm water over the mixture and stir.
- Stir in the yogurt until the dough comes together, then turn onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Knead lightly for about three minutes.
- Roll the dough into a ball and return it to the mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes (the dough will not rise during this time).
- After 10 minutes, slice the dough in half and roll the pieces into two smaller balls. Return the dough to the mixing bowl and brush with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest until the balls double in size, about an hour.
- Once the dough has risen, transfer each ball to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute. Then roll the pieces out into a thin oval, about 10 inches long.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil. Add one flatbread and cook until it bubbles and spots start to brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the flatbread over and cook until lightly browned on the opposite side.
- Transfer the cooked flatbread to a cutting board. Melt another teaspoon of coconut oil in the skillet and cook the remaining flatbread. When done, remove pan from heat and set flatbreads aside.
- Dice the red onion and put it in a small bowl of cold water while you prep the other ingredients. Soaking the raw onion removes some of the sharp flavor.
- To make the cashew cheese, put the soaked cashews, lemon juice, water, and sea salt in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula as needed. Scoop the cashew cheese into a small bowl; adjust lemon juice and salt to taste.
- Combine the quartered tomatoes, diced cucumber, and fresh herbs in another small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss gently.
- Preheat your grill to medium-low. Grill the mango slices for 3 minutes on each side. If your mango chunks are particularly soft, only grill on one side. Set aside.
- Drain the water from the red onion and pat dry with a paper towel. Add the red onion to the bowl with the tomatoes, cucumber, and herbs.
- To assemble the flatbreads, spread a heaping spoonful of cashew cheese onto each flatbread. Layer on the grilled mango and avocado slices. Top with the tomato and cucumber mixture; add more fresh herbs if desired. Serve immediately.
Prep time includes 1 hour of passive time to let the flatbread dough rise.