Simple Peach, Basil and Ricotta Flatbread

peach, basil and ricotta flatbread

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?

peach, basil and ricotta flatbread ingredients

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.

Simple Peach, Basil and Ricotta Flatbread
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summary
Ingredients
  • 2 store-bought whole wheat flatbreads or naan
  • ⅔ 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)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the flatbread in a cast iron pan or baking sheet.
  2. Spread ricotta evenly across the flatbread, leaving ½ inch around the edges. Place slices of peach on the ricotta.
  3. 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.
Notes
  • 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.

Comments

  1. says

    It’s funny, I simultaneously love and hate being busy and I’m the first to complain if life seems either too quiet or too manic. I probably need to work on embracing what I have instead of wanting what I don’t have! One thing I do know though is that when you’re busy, food is often the first thing to slip. This looks like such a great meal to have in the bag for nights like that.

    • says

      Hear, hear! You know, as busy as I get, I always find time to make myself something decent to eat. At least I’m doing one thing right, right?

  2. says

    In all seriousness, Kate, you are one of those bloggers I have often looked at and thought, how does she do it? so your transparency in this post is refreshing!

    • says

      Time management is not one of my strengths, truly! This blog is fueled by late nights and dark chocolate, and I wouldn’t be able to do it if I didn’t have a flexible work schedule. Thank goodness I get to work from home and make my own schedule!

  3. says

    GOOD FOR YOU for getting 8 hours of glorious sleep Kate! I’m a terribly moody and irritable person when I don’t get a solid 6-8 hours so I think you’re awesome for just going to bed! I know what you mean when you say that you look at other women with kids etc and wonder “How do they do it?” I’ve just got myself to worry about and that’s quite enough for now! These flatbreads look delicious – sometimes simple is best! Have a great weekend!

  4. says

    I’ve been feeling the same way – it always feels impossible to keep up with things. I think our culture has made itself busier than it needs to be – we all need a nap! And time at the cafe, sipping coffee or wine and talking through life.

    These flatbreads look delicious. I just started making flatbread – it’s a perfect dinner! And can be made into anything. I love this pizza version.

    • says

      Wish we could meet up at a cafe for some wine, Sarah! It’s always so fun to chat with bloggers who know how much work goes on behind the scenes. Loved your feature in FoodieCrush, by the way!

  5. says

    Kate! First, I’m a big fan; I’ve tried so many of your recipes and you’re one of the few people, aside from my relatives in Greece, who make me want to eat cheese. From my outsider’s perspective, you have time management down to a science. But I know how stressful and panicked things can get behind the scenes. Back in March, I took on the topic of idleness (http://thensquash.com/posts/view/be-idle) and just today made a virtual vow to schedule quiet time in for myself, once a week, no matter what. I read Shanna’s post at Food Loves Writing and I am so happy this topic is being talked about so much right now; what better time to step back and reflect on how “busyness” affects our lives than when so many of us seem to have disconnected from real living and real interactions in pursuit of achievement? The truth is, idleness breeds creativity… we need that down time (and an occasional eight hours of sleep) to do what we love, the best that we can. May there be more sleep-filled nights and quiet time in your future! Thanks for persevering, and for the dreamy pictures of cheese (but don’t tell anyone, I’m a vegan!).

    • says

      Thank you, Joanne. I assure the behind-the-scenes is not so pretty around here. I completely agree in the value of being idle and I do, at least, make time for a long walk with my dog every day. Even though I’m being physically active, that’s when my mind wanders and I get the best ideas. I think I need to develop some better habits, like turning off the computer at 10 pm and reading books until I go to bed. I’ll give it a try!

  6. says

    Yes to sleep–it makes everything else seem just that little bit more manageable. When I get stressed out, I try to take a deep breath and give myself a break–preferably with an easy yet delicious lunch like this in one hand and a book in the other. :) I love the peach and basil combination!

  7. says

    Guuuurl, you know I feel you. Between my busy day job (and commute!), the site, and Pairings Box biz, I struggle with making time for family, friends, and oh yea, that little thing called doing nothing. I, too, wonder, what will happen when a little one enters the pictures – how will I ever manage?! What will have to give?! I remember recently reading something about how you make time for stuff that’s important to you – if it goes by the wayside, it may not be that valuable in your life. I think life kinda goes in waves that way…eventually, we zero on the things that really, really matter.

    • says

      Girl, you mystify me with your ability to do all that you do. I really admire how you and Matt have creatively turned your blog into a business. I totally agree with your viewpoint—if you’re busy spending time with people and on projects that really matter, then you’re busy for good reason.

  8. says

    Thank you for this, Kate! Seriously, it’s so comforting to hear that someone else feels this way. Those moms with perfectly polished nails and effortless style who do it ALL are total mysteries to me. I feel like I can barely keep up, and I don’t even have kids! For that reason, meals like this could not be more welcome in my kitchen, and I love how easy (but still wholesome and delicious) your flatbread looks.

  9. says

    I read the first to articles (why women still can’t have it all & the busy trap) over the last few weeks, too. GREAT articles! I’ll have to check out your other recommendations. And totally the right choice to pick sleep over photo editing!

  10. says

    You’re not alone, friend. You are NOT alone. Although, I don’t need to remind you. As an aside, I love your reading list, those have been across my desk or in my lap at some point over the past two weeks. Here’s one more for you — maybe tomorrow morning, with cookie in your lap ;) — http://nyti.ms/MSDKDA

    • says

      Loved that article, thanks for sharing! I remember learning about the happiness stuff in psychology classes but underindulgence… that’s a concept I should become more familiar with. :)

  11. says

    Amen! It’s hard so to say no to good things. Still haven’t figured out how to do that. But I made a promise to simplify life this summer. Cheers to that. And beautiful flatbreads!

  12. says

    These pizzas look amazing, perfect for summertime! And I know what you mean about the stress. It’s so important to take a minute and do the things you need, for you, in order to stay sane. My bi-weekly mani-pedis help me feel just a little pampered, and well taken care of. I don’t always get to them, but they are so worth it!

  13. FL says

    This flatbread looks amazing!

    And yes, I just turned down a job today because I could tell it would be just like my last job–60 to 80 hour weeks and the commute would be long. Plus, I have a family. When I asked how they felt about working from home one or two days a week, I could tell they were AGHAST. I am happy to work hard, but I am not willing to devote my life to my job. And I’m lucky that I’m in a position to choose. Many people are not! I don’t know why corporate life has to be SO demanding.

  14. kate says

    I can’t believe I didn’t discover you earlier. Everything on this blog is so incredibly tasty and beautiful :)

  15. says

    I always adore your honest, heartfelt posts, Kate. I’m glad you’re catching up on that glorious thing called sleep, and still posting recipes that make me rumble with hunger :)

  16. says

    I totally understand what you’re saying. How do you manage to do everything? My laundry piles up, my bathroom hasn’t been cleaned in weeks, my kitchen is a mess, and I’m just so exhausted all the time!

    Anyway, this flatbread looks amazing. Love the peach-basil marriage of flavors! I really need to stock up on some flatbread.

    • says

      Your house sounds like mine most of the time! I think I need to accept that it’s ok to let those things go by the wayside sometimes.

  17. says

    This combination sounds delicious…. I just bought a tub of my favorite artisan ricotta and since I usually go at it with a spoon, I think it’s time to try actually using it in a recipe!

  18. says

    What a clever idea. That first photo is absolutely beautiful. I say take time when you need time. We have to recognize that we can’t always do it all. Something has to give once in a while and I’ve learned that’s OK. It’s important to put yourself first.

  19. says

    I totally understand you, but please remember to take some time for yourself as well. We can easily forget that need…:)
    Saw you in the latest Foodiecrush issue (my recipe was in it too) and loved the article! Just as I love this recipe. I often make these simple flatbreads, but this ricotta variation is now on my mus-try-this-list!

  20. says

    It’s SO weird that you posted about being busy because I JUST READ that NY Times article about being “crazy busy” and making your life WORTH something.

    I absolutely understand. And I’m understanding that that flatbread needs to appear on my tongue.

  21. says

    I love the sound of this flatbread, and while I am not often really busy, I’m still in need of quick recipes to make when I return hungry from work.

  22. Alene says

    I found your blog doing a Google search for “raw sesame kale salad,” and I’m so glad I did! It’s just beautiful!!! So many great recipes, and lots of them are vegan! I will be back again and again!

    p.s. I have a quirky mutt, too! His name is Elwood. :)

  23. says

    I am always looking for that spot where I feel “caught up”. It never happens. The laundry always needs doing or the kitchen is falling down around my head or it’s been a week and I’ve not yet found the inspiration to sit down and write a few paragraphs that somehow culminate in cornbread…I want to find that balance between passion, ambition, and efficiency. Someone told me this morning that “adequate is sufficient for us” and while that may make my perfectionist brain revolt, it’s a really important thing for me to tell myself sometimes. Otherwise I feel like I can’t keep up. I’m grateful that I’m passionate enough about something (um, even if it is largely centered around ice cream & pie) to push myself though. At least you aren’t bored!

    That said… these are the best flavors ever! I want to put them in a pie, in an ice cream, and I want to put them on Jim Lahey’s pizza dough… grilled. I also want to simply grill a peach and top it w/ a dollop of homemade ricotta & shredded basil. It’s just classic. Awesome.

  24. says

    I share your feelings of being overwhelmed and, at many times, out of balance. I’m trying to juggle grad school, lifestyle changes I’d like to make permanent, having time for myself, and having time for friends and my boyfriend. It’s definitely a challenge. And I never quite feel like I’ve got it all under control, which can be frustrating and distressing and exhausting. But having the awareness and guts to take a step back and take time for yourself is awesome and inspirational to us. Just like that tasty flatbread recipe you shared – I am looking forward to trying it, with a cocktail or wine, and just chilling out. Thank you!

  25. says

    Ugh, I hear ya! The busyness thing has been so much on my mind lately …. and I’ve decided to let my internet life take a backseat. It feels good. My life feels more fulfilled this way, more enriched. There will never be enough time, will there?

  26. says

    Oh Kate, how I can relate! Some days, walking my dog DOES seem like an insurmountable task, in combination with everything else life. And I wonder, how will I do this all one day, with children (not to mention a significant other)?! Really though, I think we handle what we are given, whether it’s a lot or a little, and we adjust the other parts of our lives to accommodate new responsibilities. With that said, forgoing a blog post to get some much needed rest is a must sometimes! Glad to hear that you took a time out!
    PS. Love these flatbreads.

  27. says

    Kate, I love this recipe! It’s such a good, quick, summery dinner. I popped it in the oven after a late night at work last week (when I was starving!) and the timer went off just after I had changed into some comfy clothes.

    Everyone: if you’re having a “sweets” craving, trying drizzling a little honey over the entire assembled dish. NOM.

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