Here’s a deliciously different take on an old favorite — pizza — that’s also a cinch to make.
Called Schiacciata in Tuscany, the region of Italy where it originated, it’s technically a flatbread rather than a pizza. But many recipes call for starting with pizza dough. It’s pronounced “ske-chada.”
What makes it different are the toppings: in its most basic form, nothing but halved grapes, fresh rosemary, olive oil and a little salt. In Tuscany, the same grapes that go into the region’s famous wines are used on the dish. Here, I’ve found that smaller black and purple grapes work well. Roasting the grapes on top of the pizza concentrates their flavor and gives them a jammy texture. Rosemary and olive oil show up in many Tuscan dishes.
Grated pecorino cheese, another Tuscan specialty, is often added to Schiacciata (parmesan is a good substitute), and occasionally toasted pine nuts, truffle oil or truffles themselves, if you can get your hands on any.
There are several versions of Schiacciata. One, for instance, is a double-decker flatbread. Basically, one layer of Schiacciata is laid on top of the other, they’re pinched together and baked. It can also be a dessert, with sugar sprinkled across the top before baking.
The savory versions all make a great snack, appy, light lunch or dinner that can be ready in about 20 minutes or less. It keeps nicely overnight and can be reheated or eaten at room temperature.
SCHIACCIATA (TUSCAN FLATBREAD)
12-16 oz. pizza dough, store bought or homemade
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup grapes, halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 to 1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Optional: toasted pine nuts, truffle oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Oil your hands good with olive oil and spread the dough out thinly (about ½ inch) in a rectangular shape on an oiled cookie sheet or other pan. With your fingers, make dimples in the dough. Brush about a tablespoon of olive oil over the dough, then spread the halved grapes, rosemary, cheese, salt to taste and pine nuts (if using) over the dough. Drizzle with olive oil or truffle oil, if desired.
Bake about 10 minutes or until dough is cooked and browned in spots. Remove and serve.