This elegant flatbread is the perfect appetizer to serve at your summer social gatherings and it can also double as a light supper. The savory flatbread is cooked in a cast iron skillet and then topped with homemade ricotta, toasted walnuts, caramelized red onions, and finished off with a rich balsamic reduction.

Fig, Tofu Ricotta, and Caramelized Onion Flatbread [Vegan]

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Ingredients

For the Flatbread:

  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons rosemary, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Ricotta:

  • 1 14-ounce package firm tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the Caramelized Red Onion

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

For the Toppings:

  • Vegan ricotta (see above)
  •  Caramelized red onion (see above)
  •  1 pint black mission figs
  • Arugula
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • Balsamic glaze (see above)
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Preparation

To Make the Flatbread:

  1. Start by making the flatbread. In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast, sugar, and water. Set this aside for 10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy and activated.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the flour, garlic, rosemary, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. When the yeast is activated, add it to the dry ingredients with the olive oil. Use an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook to mix the dough for about 5 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms. If you don't have a mixer, knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes. Then, form the dough into a ball.
  4. Grease a bowl with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and coat the dough with it.
  5. Set the dough in the bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic. Leave it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  6. After 1 hour, when the dough is doubled in size, cut the dough into 3 even pieces. Let the separated pieces of dough rest, covered with a damp towel, on a clean countertop for 30 minutes.
  7. Roll the dough into flat (1/8-inch thick) circles.
  8. Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon).
  9. Transfer the rolled out dough into the pan and cook it for 1-2 minutes on low-medium heat. Once the bottom is cooked and lightly golden, flip and cook the other side of the flatbread.

To Make the Ricotta:

  1. Make the vegan ricotta while the dough is rising. Drain the tofu and place it in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and herbs.
  2. Use a masher or a fork to crumble the tofu and combine the ingredients.
  3. Cover this and refrigerate it until you're ready to use it.

To Make the Onions:

  1. To caramelize the red onions, cut the onion into thin slices.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, sugar, and salt; stir the mixture to coat everything.
  4. Stir the onions every 5-10 minutes until they are dark and caramelized. This will take a total of 30-40 minutes.

To Make the Glaze:

  1. Make the balsamic glaze by heating 1 cup balsamic vinegar in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Reduce the vinegar halfway down until it is thick enough to coat a spoon (about 10 minutes).
  3. Stir in the maple syrup and set the glaze aside until you're ready to use it.

To Assemble:

  1. Once the flatbread is cooked and your toppings are prepared, top it with vegan ricotta, caramelized red onion, figs, arugula, toasted walnuts, and a drizzle of the balsamic glaze.
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