The subject of busyness has been all over the place lately—on my mind, in the press and in conversation with my dear friend Grace last night—and it couldn’t have come up at a more relevant time. This week, I’ve been so crazy busy that my friend’s wedding last Saturday feels simultaneously like it was yesterday and a million years ago.
The reality is that I love this blog and my job, but I perpetually feel like I’m fighting a losing battle trying to keep up. (Not to mention trying to find time for friends, family, pilates and those little things called relaxation and personal development.)
I look at successful working women with kids who somehow manage to keep their kitchens clean and their fingers manicured, and I wonder, how the hell they do it?! Honestly, I can hardly manage to keep up with my own pile of dishes and walking my dog. I’ve been asking myself questions like, are these feelings of overwhelm just an unavoidable bi-product of doing what I love? Is there a better way to do these things or am I trying to do too much? Just how do we do it all, and is it worth it?
One thing is certain: I cannot run on stress, coffee and dark chocolate alone. I really wanted to share last night’s dinner with you today, but midnight came and the photos weren’t yet edited. I chose sleep instead. Eight glorious and absolutely necessary hours of sleep. So today I offer you a delicious solution for busy summer nights when there seems to be no time to make dinner. These peach and ricotta flatbreads are basically my tortilla pizzas in gourmet form and couldn’t be easier to put together.
You can always make your own flatbread, but in the interest of time, I chose to buy whole wheat flatbread at Whole Foods and freeze it. That way it’s ready whenever I need it. Simply defrost the flatbreads, spread ricotta over the top, bake, and sprinkle with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
- 2 store-bought whole wheat flatbreads or naan
- 2/3 cup ricotta (enough to generously cover the top of each flatbread, this amount is dependent on the size of your flatbreads)
- 1 to 2 ripe yellow peaches, peeled and sliced (I only needed one)
- 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped (a few big basil leaves’ worth)
- sea salt and black pepper
- balsamic vinegar reduction, for drizzling (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the flatbread in a cast iron pan or baking sheet.
- Spread ricotta evenly across the flatbread, leaving 1/2 inch around the edges. Place slices of peach on the ricotta.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped basil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Slice, then drizzle with balsamic reduction before serving.
- Yields 2 flatbreads.
- Feel free to substitute ripe tomatoes for the peaches.
- To make your own balsamic reduction, bring one cup (or more) balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small, thick bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the vinegar is reduced by half or more. Allow the reduction to cool, then transfer to an airtight jar and store in the pantry. Balsamic vinegar is great on everything from pizza to ice cream, caprese salads and so much more.
- Recipe originally appeared on Chesapeake Taste’s Fresh Vegetarian column.
P.s. Further reading on busyness: Why Women Still Can’t Have It All by Anne-Marie Slaughter, The ‘Busy’ Trap by Tim Kreider, Coconut Dreams (and thoughts on the value of idleness) by Shanna Mallon, Why Only Yuppies Feel Busy: An Economic Theory by Jordan Weissman, The Joy of Quiet by Pico Iyer, On Finding Balance Series by Joanna Goddard, and Balance vs. Alignment by Kathleen Shannon. Whew.