fig and prosciutto flatbread

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It’s Monday and I’ve got a treat for you.

It’s one of my favorites.

It combines creamy mascarpone cheese, sweet fig jam, salty prosciutto, and peppery arugula that satisfies any possible craving you could have all in one bite.

Usually I would make this as a crostini on sliced and toasted baguette. Unfortunately, it can become very tedious when you have to spread and layer ingredients onto a bajillion little pieces of bread.  So when I was planning Christmas Brunch, it occurred to me that I could save a lot of time if I just made one giant crostini… I briefly thought about slicing a baguette in half, toasting the halves and going from there, similar to my cheesy artichoke bread recipe.

Then, as I was scanning the fridge to find something for dinner, my eyes stopped on a package of pizza dough from Trader Joe’s.  It came to me all at once, it was so simple I couldn’t believe I hadn’t figured it out before: flatbread!

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Flatbread was the solution to my problem.  (How many people can say that?)

I could make one large flatbread and just cut it into a bunch of bite-size appetizers for people to snack on.  Just grill your pizza dough until it’s cooked through, add your toppings, slice and serve.  The result was the perfect super fast, super easy way to make my favorite appetizer.

Prosciutto Flatbread

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup fig jam
  • 8 ounces prosciutto
  • 4 cups arugula

Divide your dough into two equal portions and roll into a ball, set on a lightly-floured surface and cover with a towel.  Bring to room temperature for about 1 hour prior to cooking.

Heat griddle or grill to high heat (or heat the oven to 500 degrees and put the rack on the lowest rung).  If you’re using the oven here, you’ll want to start pre-heating it at least 30 minutes early.

Shape your dough, I just stretched mine out into an oblong shape.  You can try for a circle or rectangle if it suits you, but don’t drive yourself crazy over it.  Sometimes I prick it with a fork to make it slightly less bubbly, but I’m not convinced that it makes a huge difference.

Grill your bread until poofed and browned on one side, then flip and cook the other side.  If you’re using the oven, it’s pretty much the same concept, you can leave it in there un-flipped just keep cooking until both sides are browned and the dough is cooked through.  You’ll have to do this twice, because there are two pieces of dough.  If you’re using the grill it only takes a few minutes per side, super easy!

Let it cool slightly, then when you can handle it comfortably, spread a layer of mascarpone on the flatbread (I find this is easier for some reason to do with the back of a spoon, maybe because the flatbread isn’t totally flat).  Then spread a layer of fig jam over the layer of mascarpone.  They’re going to mix together, it’ll be okay.  You’re halfway there.

Now you have two options, prosciutto and then arugula, or arugula and then prosciutto.  I prefer the latter, I find that putting the prosciutto on top helps to hold the arugula onto the flatbread.  If I put the arugula on top I end up chasing it around as it falls off of every bite I take.

Then, that’s it!  You’re done!  Slice it up and eat it.

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not your average chicken sandwich

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Close your eyes, wait don’t do that or you won’t be able to read this. Read this, then close your eyes and imagine, if you will, grilled ciabatta with basil mayo layered with warm, grilled chicken breast, asiago cheese, roasted red peppers (see, told you you’d need these), arugula and red onion. Do you see it in your mind’s eye? Can you smell it? Taste it?

For some reason I NEEDED this sandwich. I woke up with it in my head, had all of the ingredients on hand, and my brain was just repeating over and over “grilled chicken sandwich”, “asiago”, “roasted red peppers”, “ciabaaaataaaaaa”…. Which really isn’t a normal thing for it to repeat, normally it’s more along the lines of, “CHOCOLATE CAKE”, “PEANUT BUTTERRRRR”.

My brain (and stomach) were being held hostage, so I had no choice but to make it happen, and it was every bit as delicious as I imagined.

Ok, now wipe the puddle of drool off of your desk and go get the ingredients and make this sandwich. Now.

Oh, and you can serve it with some roasted red pepper soup and asiago croutons. For this meal, I just doctored some Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with a little chicken stock, asiago, basil, and croutons. It was a match made in heaven.

I’m not really one to brag, but this meal just really hit the spot for me. Warm, comforting, homey, and filling…. just wow.

As much as I loved this sandwich, I can’t end this post without mentioning how much I love my new light box (thanks BF!). This thing is amazing. Of course, natural light reigns supreme for photos, but I am in a serious state of shock when I can take photos like the ones here on a day like this:

Gross, right? Without this light box I would have been screwed. Royally screwed. These photos wouldn’t have even been an option. My only wish is that it had come with more backdrops, but no biggie. I can easily fashion my own backdrops with a little cloth and some velcro. I just need the time… and motivation.

*Update – I’ve been using leftover ingredients from this sandwich to make wraps for lunch during the week …. still delicious :)

Asiago Chicken Sandwich – serves 2 (but can easily serve more)

[Printable Recipe]

For sandwich:

  • 1 (½ lb) chicken breast, cooked and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted
  • ½ small red onion, sliced
  • 4 slices asiago cheese
  • handful arugula
  • 1 small loaf ciabatta, sliced in half
  • basil mayo (recipe follows)

For mayo:

  • ¼ cup mayo
  • bunch of basil, minced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Make your basil mayo by combining the ingredients in a small bowl or food processor. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

2. Roast your red pepper(s) if you haven’t already, peel off the skin, cut to desired size and set aside until ready to use.

3. Cook your chicken breast as desired. I marinated mine in some stock, salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic, and thyme. Then grilled it over high heat for 6 minutes each side, then rest tented with foil for ten minutes. Set aside.

(You can do everything up to here a day ahead of time, and save grilling the bread for last. Or, don’t even grill the bread and have a tasty cold sandwich instead :) )

4. While the chicken is resting, spread basil mayo on your ciabatta (you won’t all of the mayo). Grill over medium high to high heat until toasted (alternatively, you can toast it in a nonstick skillet, or under the broiler).

5. Assemble sandwiches however you like (some people like the toppings on the bottom, some like them on top, whatever you do, just get them in there)