Blackberry and Goat Cheese Flatbread
Lately, we’ve been adopting some new habits, like making a variety of tapas instead of large meals! One of the favorites has been a blackberry goat cheese flatbread.
Tapas and cocktails might be one of the greatest pairing at mealtimes, particularly those that utilize fresh herbs like mint and basil. Half of the ingredients called for in this blackberry goat cheese flatbread could easily find their way into a crafty cocktail. So, why not include some? The year-round favorite, Moscow Mule, complements this flatbread almost to a tee. Citrusy lime, muddled mint, and sharp ginger beer contrast so beautifully with tart, sweet blackberries and freshly-torn basil.
Blackberries have a harmonious relationship with goat cheese. The saltiness of the goat cheese mellows out the tart blackberries and brings out their inherent sweetness. Each bite of this flatbread delivers a complexity of textures; the creaminess of warmed goat cheese, biting into plump, juicy berries, all being held together by a slightly crunchy flatbread crust.
Mint brings forth brightness in a meal and awakens the palate, allowing your tastebuds to experience a heightened sense of flavor. It highlights the subtle sweetness of each bite and leaves a refreshing finish after enjoyment. Mint, in its organic form, is aromatically refreshing and cleansing.
Basil, even in it’s sweeter varieties, bring a sharper spice-like essence to a dish. Fresh leaves are fragrantly light and almost botanical. Yet, when consumed, the leaves produce a faint pungent flavor.
Making your dough
There are several options for choosing dough for your flatbread. The easiest one is to purchase ready-made pizza dough from your local grocers, and the most homemade option is to use sourdough starter discard to make your own. Somewhere in the middle lies a DIY pizza dough made using active dry yeast.
I’m going to walk you through the store-bought-dough rendition of this recipe; if you’re up for making your own pizza dough, we can tackle that on another day. You can reference a basic pizza dough recipe here.
Preparing your dough
Before taking your dough out to rise, the first thing you’ll want to check is the temperature. Depending on how warm it is inside your house, you’ll want to allot for anywhere from 30-minutes to three-plus hours.
Here’s my go-to trick during cooler months:
• Lightly spray a mixing bowl with a non-stick spray like coconut or olive oil
• Place the pizza dough in the bowl and cover with a damp flour sack or kitchen towel
• Find a window that’s likely to receive direct or ample sunlight
• Rest until the dough doubles in size
Choosing a size and shape
I didn’t think about what shape I would form my dough into until I once tried to bake a round pizza dough with only a cookie sheet on hand. If you have a pizza stone, go ahead and knead this into a round dough. However, if you’re using a cookie or baking sheet, be sure to knead your dough into slightly smaller dimensions than your sheet.
Rolling out the dough
Start with about one tablespoon of flour for rolling and kneading, and a teaspoon to flour your hands. You can gradually increase this if the dough begins to stick to your surface, but the goal is to not overly flour the dough. If you don’t have a pastry scraper, try my kitchen hack: use a metal or barbecue flipper to scrape the dough off your surface without sticking to the dough!
You’ll know that your pizza dough is ready for baking when it begins to hold its shape. If it continues to pull back and tighten up, it needs more kneading or is still too chilly. Carefully transfer to a pizza stone or baking sheet lined in parchment paper.
Sometimes, I’ll spray the parchment paper with a little olive oil spray to ensure a crispy (but not burnt) crust bottom. If you prefer the crust a little less crisp, you can skip this step. Check the entire surface of your dough to ensure there aren’t any holes before placing it in the oven.
Par baking the pizza dough
I have made this mistake before: arranging sauces and toppings before allowing my dough to par-bake. You must bake the dough halfway before topping it with all of your tasty ingredients! Anywhere from five to ten minutes will suffice, depending on how chewy or crispy you prefer your flatbread or pizza.
Arranging your toppings
Before topping your flatbread, make sure that your ingredients are prepped and ready to go. You want to keep the flatbread crust fresh and warm and quickly pop it back into the oven.
• Rinse and cut blackberries in half
• Keep goat cheese in the refrigerator until you’re ready to crumble it on the flatbread
• Finely chop half of your mint and set aside the other half for garnish
Garnishing your flatbread
When garnishing a dish with basil, it’s important to tear the leaves rather than cut them with a knife. Some people believe that cut basil tastes less potent that ripped basil, so we’re not taking any chances!
Tear the basil leaves into three or four pieces. Once torn, basil releases its fragrant and flavorful oils into the ingredients in which they’re enveloped. For this reason, most of the garnishing will be done once the flatbread is cooked.
This flatbread is best served immediately from the oven, so you’ll want to add the garnishes right away. Fresh-cracked pepper beneath the sweet drizzle of honey creates complexity, while the basil and mint leaves add an herbaceous flavor and aroma.
Serve it anytime
This blackberry goat cheese flatbread can serve as more than just an appetizer, but also:
• As a meal: add some cured prosciutto or crumbled Italian sausage and top with fresh arugula to turn this into a slice of sweet and savory heaven!
• As brunch: serve this alongside an egg dish at your next brunch event. It can easily take the place of pancakes or french toast while adding a touch of finesse
• As a dessert: a drizzle of honey over the berries and goat cheese makes this flatbread just sweet enough to pass as a dessert. Heck, why not add a scoop of salted vanilla gelato and serve with an aperitif?
Bookmark this one for your next happy hour menu!
This flatbread is sweet, savory, and sophisticated, but quick and easy to make! Plump blackberries and creamy goat cheese are paired with fresh mint and basil for a light meal, appetizer, or fancy snack!
2–3 tbsp flour for kneading
14 oz Pizza Dough
1 1/2 – 2 cups Blackberries
1 cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
1/3 cup Mint leaves
1/3 cup Basil leaves
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
Drizzle of Honey (about 2 tbsp)
1 cup Arugula
Drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 450º
- Bring your refrigerated pizza dough to room temperature. Spray a medium mixing bowl with non-stick spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let sit until it’s doubled in size
- Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surfaced, continuing to fold and knead until it holds its form. Arrange on a pizza stone or parchment-lined baking sheet
- Bake for 5-7 minutes
- Remove and set the oven to high broil
- Drizzle olive oil across the par-baked dough
- Arrange half of your mint leaves, finely chopped, over the olive oil
- Evenly distribute rinsed and halved blackberries and top with crumbled goat cheese
- Place on the top rack of the oven and broil on high for another 5-7 minutes, or until the crust begins to brown and the goat cheese becomes golden, but not browned
- Immediately crack fresh pepper over the entire flatbread, to your liking, and drizzle with honey. Top with freshly torn basil leaves and the remaining mint leaves
- Create square slices using a pizza cutter and enjoy!
If using a premade pizza crust or flatbread, skip to step 6. For the optional add-ons, add prosciutto after baking and top with arugula. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar over the arugula.