James Martin shares his recipe for a ricotta flatbread
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James Martin, 49, appeared on ITV today to present James Martin’s Saturday Morning. The chef demonstrated to audiences how to make a popular lunch or dinnertime treat that’s perfect for sharing.
With temperatures in the UK still warm, it’s the ideal time to gather friends and family outside to bid farewell to the last of the summer.
Flatbread is the perfect food choice for a barbecue or an outdoor social event as it can be shared with multiple people.
It is also “really really simple” to make, according to James.
The chef started off by making the bread itself.
He took some yoghurt, flour, salt, and black pepper and put them all in a glass bowl.
James then added a little water to the mixture and used his hands to “bring all the ingredients together”.
“Mix it by hand – you don’t need to be too fancy with it,” he said.
While he was kneading the mixture with his hands, James spoke to cheese maker Mario via video call.
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Mario is the founder of the Yorkshire Pecorino Company, which he set up after moving to the UK from his native Sardinia.
The ricotta and pecorino cheeses James used for his flatbread came from Mario’s factory in Otley, near Leeds.
Next, James flattened the bread mixture on a tray, making it into the shape of a round, long flatbread.
Then he added the toppings. First, he popped a few figs on the bread before cutting slices of pecorino and putting them on top of the figs.
James then put the flatbread in the oven for a couple of minutes before turning to the walnuts, which will be another topping for the bread.
“This, with your cheese, is amazing,” the chef told cheese maker Mario.
To make a stock syrup with the walnuts, James added them to a saucepan with water and sugar.
He then lifted out the walnuts and deep fried them.
“If you put them in stock syrup and then deep fry them, they go sticky. And they’re amazing with cheese,” James explained.
He added: “They only need about a minute in the fryer.”
Next, James took the flatbread out of the oven, which he said hadn’t “been in for very long”.
The pecorino had melted nicely on the bread, and so James added the other essential ingredient: ricotta.
“Take a little bit of the ricotta as well. It’s a cheese whammy,” James explained.
Lastly, James popped Italian ham on top of the rest of the ingredients on the flatbread, before putting it in the oven again.
After a couple of minutes, the chef took the bread out of the oven and finished it off with the walnuts, a few leaves of rocket, a drizzle of honey, and olive oil.
To make the perfect flatbread, James advised making it on the barbecue, in a pizza oven, or in a normal oven but turned on the highest temperature.
He said: “Just turn your oven so it’s so so hot.
“Crank the oven up and you can do that.
“It’s a simple flatbread.”
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