Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.
Flatbread dishes are one of my favorite low energy use recipes because they cook in 10 minutes or less, can feature a wide array of toppings, and are extremely easy to make.
This week’s recipe features a delicious cream cheese spread loaded with fresh herbs, tangy fresh lemon juice, crisp green onions, and creamy mozzarella cheese that is topped with salty prosciutto and fresh basil. It works perfectly for a brunch or as a light lunch with a little arugula and baby greens side salad.
I really enjoyed creating this delightful dish. The flatbread spends a quick 8 ½ minutes in the oven to just heat everything through, but the true flavors come through in the combination of the essential fatty acids of the smoked salmon with the salty, briny capers.
Pay close attention to how you season the smoked salmon. It’s better to season the salmon before placing it atop the flatbread (instead of after). Because of the cream cheese, the flatbread will already have a good amount of black pepper and dill in it, so you don’t want your palate to be overwhelmed by too much seasoning.
One more energy-saving tip for this recipe focuses on the cream cheese. The fastest way to soften cream cheese softened microwaving it (which presents the risk of it separating) is to place it atop the oven as the oven heats up. You are already heating up the oven to make the flatbread, so use that heat to soften the cream cheese. Let it sit a couple minutes on each side (preferably in the traditional rectangular packaging), and it will soften perfectly!
Excluding salt and pepper I already had at home, I purchased all of today’s ingredients for under $25. And since the recipe makes 8 servings, you can have a yummy, restaurant-quality meal for barely $3 a person, making this a money AND energy saver!
Herby Smoked Salmon and Prosciutto Flatbread
- 3 Large piece of Naan flatbread
- ¼ c. Green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. Fresh dill, chopped
- 1 oz. Basil bunch
- 1 Garlic clove, pressed or minced
- ½ tsp. Sea salt
- ½ tsp. Fresh cracked black peppercorns
- 2 c. Shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 oz. Cream cheese
- 4 Large Prosciutto slices
- 1 tbsp. Capers
- 4 oz. Smoked salmon
- Extra dill for topping salmon (approx. 1 tsp.)
- Extra fresh cracked black peppercorns for topping salmon (less than 1/8 tsp, just a few pepper mill turns)
1) Preheat oven to 400° F (205° C). Place the cream cheese on top of the stove for two minutes on each side to soften it.
2) Prep fresh ingredients as directed.
3) Tear the prosciutto slices into smaller pieces so 5 pieces can go on each flatbread.
4) Add the softened cream cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, dill, green onions, lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, and garlic to a medium-sized bowl. Mix everything together until smooth.
5) Spread the cream cheese spread on the flatbread.
6) Add one basil leaf for each piece of prosciutto, keeping the leaf against the cream cheese spread.
7) Bake for 8 ½ minutes.
8) While the flatbread is in oven, measure out the capers, tear the smoked salmon into medium sized pieces, and season the smoked salmon with a little extra fresh dill and cracked black peppercorns.
9) Remove the flatbread from oven and let thet cool for 1 to 2 minutes.
10) Top each piece of flatbread with the salmon pieces and capers. Cut into triangles and serve.
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan