Lately in the farm kitchen pizza and flatbread have become a foil for any stray veggie. Sure sometimes we make “normal pizza” like Arugula White Pizza, but there are so many other possibilities! (For the record the Arugula White pizza is delicious and you should really try it sometime this summer). Beet Pizza with Greens and Brussels Sprouts Flatbread are my favorites, now joined by this winter flatbread with slabs of roasted carrot and parsnip. I drizzled the whole thing in a sweet balsamic syrup, a perfect compliment to the tangy goat cheese.
From start to finish there are several steps to this recipe, but none of them are difficult. I’ll include a few hacks at the end for a quick version – like just use your favorite pre-made pizza dough! I was lucky to have Balsamic Roasted Onions in the freezer, you can make a quick batch while you prep the veggies or just sauté them on the stovetop. The pizza dough will rise for about an hour, so start with that, then move onto prepping the carrots and parsnips. Peel and scrub the roots, then cut them into 2 inch sections, and thinly slice.
I enjoyed these parsnips a lot more than I usually do (not just because of the balsamic syrup). I used a tablespoon more of olive oil then I generally would which helped immensely. Sometimes roasted parsnips dry out a bit. Cook the vegetables until completely soft, but not browned. They’ll brown on the flatbread.
Once the dough has risen, the vegetables cooked, the cheeses crumbled and shredded, and the onions are ready – assemble the flatbread! There are 2 ways to go about this.
Thin Flatbreads – Divide the dough into 2 balls and roll as thin as you can on a floured surface. Gently transfer to a parchment lined pan and divided the ingredients between the two flatbreads.
Thick “Pizza” – Roll the ball of dough into a thicker (1/2 inch thick or so) sheet pizza shape and transfer to a parchment lined baking pan and pile high with ingredients. Add a little cooking time if you go this route – I went the Thin Flatbread route.
All that’s left to do is simmer the balsamic syrup. Balsamic syrup is ridiculously easy to make – if you want leftovers just double the vinegar to one cup. Drizzle over anything sweet or savory! If the thought of boiling vinegar is too much for you, I highly recommend F. Oliver’s 18 Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar – just drizzle it straight over your pizza.
Roasted Carrot & Parsnip Flatbread
2 medium carrots
2 medium – small parsnips
1/4 cup cartelized onions or Balsamic Roasted Onions
1 cup grated pecorino romano
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
For the crust:
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur Flour’s White Whole Wheat Flour)
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Balsamic Roasted Onions:
2 large onions sliced into 1/4 inch or slightly thicker slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
salt + pepper
Make the flatbread crust. Sprinkle yeast and sugar into warm water. Set aside for 15 minutes. Place flour and salt in a stand-up mixer and whisk together. When yeast is bubbly and expanded add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the yeast mixture. Combine flour and wet ingredients in mixer. Mix on low speed (2 on a kitchen aid mixer) for 4-5 minutes. Dough should be in a ball chasing itself around the mixer. If dough is too dry add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time. If it’s too wet add flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Place dough ball in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap for one hour to rise. Let rise in a warm place in your kitchen.
Make Balsamic Onions. Preheat oven to 350°F. Separate onion rings and layer in a cast iron skillet or baking pan. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top, sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds fresh black pepper. Toss to combine. Bake or about 30 minutes or until onions start to turn golden. Shake pan every ten minutes. Drizzle with remaining balsamic vinegar when you remove from oven.
Roast carrots and parsnips. Preheat oven to 425°F. Scrub and peel the carrots and parsnips. Cut into 2 inch sections, and then slice vertically into 1/4 inch thick slabs. Toss veggies with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until vegetables are soft, but not too brown. They’ll finish cooking on the pizza.
While the veggies are roasting crumble the goat cheese and shred the pecorino.
Roll the crust out on a floured surface and transfer to 2 parchment lined baking sheets.
Assemble the pizzas. Preheat oven to 450°F Drizzle each flatbread with some olive oil then sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the pecorino cheese (adding cheese to the bottom and top will help the whole thing stick together). Spread a layer of parsnips and carrots over each flatbread, then divide the onions between them. Top with crumbled goat cheese and the remaining pecorino. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
While the pizza bakes, make the balsamic syrup. Bring the balsamic vinegar to a simmer over medium high heat and cook until the vinegar is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside until the pizza is done, if it’s too thick to drizzle when the pizza is cooked just reheat a little.
Remove the pizza from the oven and drizzle all over with the balsamic syrup.
Shortcuts. Don’t let the multiple steps in this recipe scare you, while they’re worth it you can hack it to make it easier. Buy a good quality store bought pizza crust and aged balsamic (or just look for already made balsamic syrup or glaze!). Throw raw onions on your pizza and pre-crumbled and grated cheese. Now all you have to do is roast the carrots and parsnips.
Make ahead. If you’re super organized, make the Balsamic Roasted Onions and Balsamic Syrup in advance. You can even pre-roast the veggies to make this weeknight friendly. Throw your flatbread dough ingredients in the mixer when you get home from work, let it rise and then just roll it out, assemble, and bake.
Not super organized, but want to make it from scratch? Make it on a weekend in and follow the steps in order. Grab a friend or eager young kitchen assistant to help!