Balsamic Onion, Fig, & Smoky Walnut Flatbread with Homemade Herby Dough

Sweet and savoury flatbread loaded with colourful toppings is a gorgeous, seasonal appetizer or main. Homemade dough infused with herbs elevates this simple, yet impressive and crowd-pleasing dish to the next level.

From pizza to calzones, you know we love all things bready and carby; and our love for flatbreads is just as strong. Flatbreads radiate spring and summer to us as we can totally picture ourselves enjoying them outside as an appetizer with friends or as a main to ourselves, while we soak up the sun. We were lucky enough to get our hands on some beautiful figs this week so we wanted to use that as our inspiration for this recipe. We’re sharing this topping-forward, sweet and savoury flatbread to get you all excited and ready for fig season here and of course, warmer weather, which is only a few short weeks away.

Don’t get us wrong – the herby dough that we’ve created for this recipe absolutely shines and will take your flatbread to the next level, but we get that not everyone has that time for homemade dough. If you want to use pre-made dough to simplify things and have this flatbread ready in no time, go for it! In fact, we pretty much always have frozen dough from one of our local pizzerias waiting in the freezer for when we’re super busy or that craving hits and we can’t wait for the dough to rise. Homemade dough or not, the toppings piled on this decadent flatbread are packed with both sweet and savoury flavours that are so complementary to each other.

Alright, so let’s get into these gorgeous toppings. Caramelized onions are one of our all-time fav pizza toppings, so we switched the classic white onions to red and added balsamic vinegar to tie into the balsamic glaze that tops off the flatbread after baking. Smoky walnuts give the perfect crunch and bring a deep and rich flavour to the dish. The star of the show, figs, are added before baking to allow the juices to be released in the heat, making their sweet flavour come through in every bite. Once the fluffy and perfectly golden-brown bread is out of the oven, baby arugula is added (or heaped on for us) for freshness and a peppery bite, along with optional chilli flakes if you like spice like we do. Finally hit that bad boy with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and you’re all ready to dig in!

We hope you can get your hands on some fresh figs soon and enjoy this flatbread on a warm night!

Don’t forget to tag us in your creations – @smallkitchenbigplates

Balsamic Onion, Fig, & Smoky Walnut Flatbread with Homemade Herby Dough

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Sweet and savoury flatbread loaded with colourful toppings is a gorgeous, seasonal appetizer or main. Homemade dough infused with herbs elevates this simple, yet impressive and crowd-pleasing dish to the next level.

Ingredients

    Herby Dough
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110°F)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or vegan white sugar)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    Caramelized Balsamic Onions
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    Smoky Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    Olive Oil Base
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chill flakes
    Additional Toppings
  • 4-5 figs, sliced
  • Large handful of baby arugula
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Chilli flakes

Instructions

Make the dough
1. Combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 5-7 minutes until the yeast is activated and foamy.
2. Add the flour, rosemary, thyme, salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir again until everything is incorporated.
3. Lightly flour your work surface and your hands and turn the dough out onto it. Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes until it forms a smooth ball, adding additional flour to the counter and your hands if the dough becomes too sticky.
4. Grease a large bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and transfer the dough ball to it. Cover it with a damp towel and place in a warm spot for 1.5-2 hours, until it has doubled in size.

Prepare the toppings
5. Make the caramelized balsamic onions. Heat a pan over low-medium heat and add 1 tablespoon vegan butter. Once it is melted, add the thinly sliced red onions and let them cook low and slow for 10 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme and cook for another 7-8 minutes until they are soft, translucent, and starting to brown. Add the balsamic vinegar, turn the heat up to medium-high and cook for 2-3 more minutes then remove from the pan and set aside.
6. Make the smoky walnuts. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat. In the same pan that you cooked the onions in, add vegan butter and maple syrup, stirring occasionally until it is melted. Add the walnuts, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and salt, and stir to coat the walnuts. Cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes and then remove from the heat and spread out on the baking sheet to cool.
7. Make the olive oil base. Add the olive oil to a small saucepan over low-medium heat and allow it to heat up. Add the thinly sliced garlic and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic is just starting to turn golden-brown. Add the chilli flakes, stir, and then remove from the heat and set aside.

Assemble and bake the flatbread
8. Lightly flour a baking sheet, your workspace, and a rolling pin, and turn the risen dough out. Roll the dough into a rectangle of approximately 15 by 7 inches (ours is usually more of a quirky shape of that size). Transfer to the baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let rise for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
9. Pierce the risen dough with a fork all over and then spread the olive oil mixture across the dough. Add the caramelized balsamic onions and sliced figs and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle the flatbread with balsamic glaze and then top with smoky walnuts, arugula and chilli flakes. Slice into thin pieces and serve warm.

Notes

  1. If you don’t want to make the homemade herby dough you can use store bought and bake according to the package instructions.
  2. We used O Fig Balsamic Vinegar for some extra fig flavour but any balsamic vinegar works.

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