Piadine Caprese

La scoperta di un piatto nuovo è più preziosa per il genere umano che la scoperta di una nuova stella.
(The discovery of a new dish is more precious to human being than the discovery of a new star.)

Last week I had Piadine Caprese at Tomatina restaurant in Dublin. It was one of the most satisfying restaurant meals I had in a long time. Last time I was there, I had found it on the menu but didn’t  get excited about it  thinking it had too much of salad stuff in it.  Cool Crisp romaine lettuce, soft mozzarella cheese and basil pesto wrapped in a fresh-from-the-oven flat bread was so good it eased away my boredom and lifted my spirits.   As is normally the case with me, whenever I come across a good vegetarian dish like this, I try make it at home. I get all enthusiastic about  shopping for the required ingredients, picking a day to make it  and of course actually making it in my kitchen. Piadine was no exception.

Piadine Caprese

I decided to use the same roti dough that I use to make thin, gujarati style rotis called rotlis. It turned out to be just the way I wanted it. Soft, but with a hint of crispiness to it. For pesto, I used basil and cilantro combination.

Basil Pesto

Piadine Sandwich

Both flat breads and basil pesto can be bought from a grocery store.
Makes 4 Piadine.

12 slices of fresh soft mozzarella cheese
12 leaves of romaine lettuce
1/2 cup sun dried tomato OR cut 3 tomatoes in half and shallow fry in a tea spoon of oil until soft.
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup Italian vinaigrette or your favorite salad dressing
Half tea spoon crushed black pepper

For flat bread/roti dough:
3 cups of wheat flour + another 1/2 cup to roll the flat breads.
4 table spoon olive oil or any vegetable oil
half  tea spoon salt
1+1/4 cup water

Mix wheat flour, salt and oil. Add water 1/4 cup at a time and make a smooth dough. Knead further for 3-4 minutes. Cover the dough with a lid and put it away to ferment for at least 7-8 hours.

For Basil pesto:
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 small bunch cilantro leaves
3 table spoon pine nuts, roasted
1 clove of garlic (optional)
1/2 tea spoon crushed black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tea spoon salt

In a blender jar blend everything except olive oil until smooth. Add olive oil and blend for 15 more seconds. Empty basil pesto into a bowl.

To make flat bread:

  1. Make 4 equal sized balls from the roti dough.
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Take a ball of the dough and roll it out to about 1/10 inch thick roti of about 6-8 inch diameter. Repeat for the rest of the dough.
  4. Bake each roti in the oven until lightly browned on both sides (approx. 3-5  minutes)

To make piadine:

  1. Lay a flat bread on a plate. Smear it generously with pesto sauce (about 2 table spoons)
  2. Arrange 2 lettuce leaves one side of the bread.
  3. Put 2 slices of mozzarella cheese on lettuce leaves.
  4. Spread a table spoon of sun-dried tomato on cheese. OR use 2 fried tomato halves.
  5. Drizzle salad dressing over lettuce and cheese. I also sprinkled some feta cheese but that’s only because I had some left over.
  6. Sprinkle crush black pepper on top.
  7. To eat, fold the empty side of the bread over the other half and eat like a sandwich.