Pesto Flatbread Pizza with Mozzarella, Tomato, and Arugula is a clean eating recipe, created by Chef Sam Talbot. The recipe is published in his new full-color cookbook, 100% Real; 100 Insanely Good Recipes for Clean Food Made Fresh (Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House). The delicious flatbread recipe features a multigrain flatbread loaded with fresh vegetable toppings and fresh mozzarella cheese. The flatbread pizza is toasted until the cheese is melted and bubbly, creating a 30-minute healthy lunch, dinner, or appetizer!
Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of the cookbook, 100% Real, in exchange for this review. No additional compensation was received, and all thoughts and opinions on the book are my own.
A Bit About the Author:
If you are a fan of the Bravo channel television show, Top Chef, the name Sam Talbot may ring a bell with you. He was a Season 2 semi-finalist, and fan favorite. The Sicilian-American chef was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a young boy. In the introduction of 100% Real, Talbot writes that he is constantly asked what type of food he eats. They want to know if he eats gluten free, vegetarian, Paleo, etc. His simple answer is,
“…none of the above. What I eat, simply put, is 100% real food.
He says he has learned things from all of the eating styles, but ultimately, it all boils down to eating real food. His philosophy is that, diabetes or not, eating real food is healthy for our bodies and Talbot says nothing tastes better, either. I can’t argue that point. However, I am a fan of the “all things in moderation” lifestyle, and there’s no denying that my Snicker’s cupcake recipe is off the charts delicious. Even if it does contain enough saturated fat to clog a couple of arteries. 😉
I’ll share Chef Talbot’s Pesto Flatbread Pizza recipe with you shortly, but first, here are my thoughts on his cookbook.
100% Real – Cookbook Review
What I Like:
- The hardcover cookbook is sturdy and well bound. It is packed with 100 recipes, shopping tips, cooking tips, and a wonderful introduction.,
- Food photography is an art, and as you have likely heard, we eat with our eyes first. The photographers and food stylists did an amazing job, because the photography in the book is absolutely stunning! Every photo is crisp, clear, and makes my mouth water with anticipation, even for dishes that I typically wouldn’t care for, like the quinoa-chia energy bars (page 123). Honestly, as healthy as they are, I detest the thought of eating chia seeds. I can’t help myself; I always think of chia pets growing in my stomach when I see them listed in recipes.
- The recipes are written well, so that cooks of any level can easily make them. There are technical tips for those who need them, such as how to flambe safely. While creating my baked Alaska recipe, I learned firsthand about the dangers of a kitchen torch.
What Disappointed Me:
- I have mentioned several times before that I’m allergic to all coconut products, and sadly, Chef Talbot loves to incorporate them into his recipes. Without counting, I suspect that 85-90% of the recipes use coconut flour and/or oil. Obviously, this situation makes it difficult for me to try the recipes without substitutions. Having said that, coconut allergies are rare, so hopefully, you’re not as unfortunate as I am. Coconut oil is a healthy fat that is commonly used in healthy recipes these days.
- Another of the “poor me” situations; I live in northeastern Wisconsin. As I write this review, the temperature is -15 F. Locally sourced fresh fruits and veggies are another item that Talbot loves to use, and with good reason. But trying to find oranges that don’t feel like baseballs or zucchini that isn’t tiny and mushy is tough this time of the year. Or for that matter, fresh fish. I really want to make his recipe for Halibut over Apples and Pecans with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (page 163). But after looking at 6 different sources, I was unable to find fresh OR frozen halibut. Sure, I can substitute a different type of fish, but then it wouldn’t be a proper recipe review.
Which leads me back to the Pesto Flatbread Pizza recipe.
I didn’t make the recipe, but I have permission from the publisher to share it. Making the recipe is on my to-do list when local farmer’s market opens… 6 months from now!! Sure, I can buy grape tomatoes and arugula at the grocery store, but they’re not exactly what I would call food photography photogenic. I can use jarred pesto, which is actually what the recipe calls for, but nothing beats freshly prepared basil pesto when you want to make pesto flatbread pizza!
Overall, the cookbook is wonderful, and I hope you will buy yourself a copy to try some of Chef Talbot’s other 100% real recipes. And now… let’s make pizza!
Recipe for Pesto Flatbread Pizza with Mozzarella, Tomato, and Arugula
Multi-grain flatbread topped with fresh vegetables and mozzarella cheese. Fresh, clean eating pizza!
- 2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 (2-ounces each) multigrain flatbreads
- 1/4 cup basil pesto or your favorite variety
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella shredded
- 4 cups loosely packed baby arugula leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Combine the grape tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, tossing to coat. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on a rimmed baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until softened. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
Place the flatbreads on 2 baking sheets. Bake at 375°F for 5 minutes or until beginning to crisp. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto on each flatbread. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes. Bake at 375°F for 8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
While the flatbreads bake, combine the arugula and remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, tossing well. Top the flatbreads evenly with arugula. Sprinkle with the red chile flakes, if desired.
Excerpted from 100% Real by Sam Talbot. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
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