16 January 2009

Olive Garden Caprese Flat Bread

Olive Garden Caprese Flat Bread
I can't recall where I ever came across this recipe. It is very similar in taste to the "Betta Bruschetta that L'il Burnt Toast and I love so much. Garlicky, cheesy and delectable. If you can find Campari tomatoes in your grocers this time of the year they "almost" rank up there with any of the summer tomatoes freshly picked from the vine. These shiny red tomatoes are aromatic, deliciously sweet and juicy.

Camparis are deep red and larger than a cherry tomato, but smaller and rounder than a plum tomato. The popularity of the campari took off in North America in 2002, following a brief appearance on the television mafia drama "The Sopranos".

According to Wikipedia the campari was originally from Europe and introduced in North America in 1997 by the Mastronardi Produce company, based in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada. Paul Mastronardi, a fourth-generation employee at the company, experimented with about 60 varieties of seeds before settling on the campari."

The campari focuses on big flavour and not size. One of their major producers is here in British Columbia which means we have juicy tomatoes all year round. According to Marie of Proud Italian Cook "they are sold in clusters still on the vine to ensure freshness, grown in a greenhouse herbicide free, always unblemished, sweet, and delicious." Try her Roasted Campari Tomatoes. One of those things you would never regret!!

This is one instance where "size doesn't matter"..... "Good things come in small packages"...I am quitting while I am ahead!!

I did alter the recipe a little by using dough from our local neighbourhood pizzeria. They even baked it for me in their pizza oven and then brushed it with the garlic infused oil they put on the crust. I took my cooked dough rectangle home and carried on from there. Also I am a "tomatoes after" kind of a gal so added the tomatoes to my flat bread concoction in the last 4 to 5 minutes of baking.

Olive Garden is an Italian chain restaurant across North America for those of you who haven't ventured there.

Just enjoy!!!!!!!

**Olive Garden's Caprese Flat Bread**

8 Roma or plum tomatoes, diced (I used Campari's which are delicious in the winter)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10 medium fresh basil leaves, stemmed and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
7 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
11 oz container of refrigerated thin crust pizza dough ( You can use frozen pizza dough/I used pizza dough from our neighbourhood pizzeria)

1 garlic clove
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (no garlic powder in these cupboards)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 grated/shaved Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F

Dice tomatoes into small pieces and transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add chopped garlic, salt, pepper, 1/2 of the chopped basil (about 1/4 cup), and 4 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.

Set aside and allow the mixture to marinate for 10 minutes.

Flatten pizza dough into a rectangle making sure you take the dough to the edge of the pan.

Drizzle the dough with extra virgin olive oil and brush it over the surface.

Bake the dough in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub, cut side down, on to the surface of the bread. The warmth of the bread will help extract the garlic flavor. Allow the bread to cool completely, about 10 additional minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 450°F.

Combine mayonnaise and garlic powder in a mixing bowl. Evenly spread onto the surface of the bread. Top with shredded mozzarella to evenly cover the surface.

Drain the Caprese mixture, (because the salt will have extracted water from the tomatoes), and spread it evenly over the bread. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Return to the oven for 5-7 more minutes until golden, crisp and bubbly.

Garnish with the remaining chopped basil and serve immediately.

You might also be interested in:

Marinate Caprese on a Stick
Golden Bruschetta with Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Pesto
Grilled Flatbread with Ricotta Cheese and Fresh Tomatoes
Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. What a great treat those look like!

  2. Looks delicious...sort of like an Italian burrito.

  3. That sounds like a great tasting bread. Neer heard of camparis before - except the drink of course!

  4. All my favorite ingredients right here in front of my eyes...... A delight indeed!!

  5. That looks amazing Val!

  6. So summery and delicious! A great idea!



  7. It's got my name written all over it! Lucky you to have such nice pizza makers in the neighbourhood!

  8. isn't it crazy how influential shows can be? it's like Sideways with pinot noir.

    I love flatbread of any kind and this looks divine!

  9. I have yet to meet a tomato I didn't like

  10. i agree with peter g - this is so 'me'; what a great looking snack

    ps: thanks for introducing me to grape seed oil - i never knew grape seed could be used in tis way

  11. this is my kind of dish! I love Olive Garden, but my husband does not so I never get to go. ANd what is better than Caprese anything?!

  12. Seems like the only tomatoes I buy anymore are campari tomatoes on the vine from British Columbia! Yep, that's what Costco here carries and I agree - they are the only fresh tomatoes worth buying in winter. Thank God for Canadian ingenuity!

  13. I love those tomatoes, thanks for this beautiful recipe. The boys love to eat at Olive Gardent.

    Have a good week-end!

  14. This looks so tasty! I've not seen those tomatoes before, but will be on the lookout for them. This recipe is very unique compared to other "bread" type of entrees. I really like that garlic mayo mixture, and the more I think about it, the more I really want to try this. YUM!

  15. Wow, that sounds wonderful! It looks even better. I can never say no to bread and tomatoes!

  16. I just love those tomatoes, in fact I have a bowl of them sitting on my counter right now. The flavor is outstanding, and it makes everything you put them on extra tasty, like I'm sure your flatbread was. Thanks for the linky love Val!! :)

  17. I've never heard of campari tomatoes before but I google searched it and Greece is full of these tomatoes. The only problem in Greece is that we call them, what else tomatoes :)
    Thanks to greenhouses we have tomatoes all year round and they even taste better than in summer and sometimes are even cheaper. Yesterday I bought some Cretan tomatoes which were delicious.
    I am sure these tasted delicious especially if they have a wood burning pizza oven.

  18. I have very interesting the information about campari tomatoes. I only knew Campari, the Italian liquor!

  19. Oh my goodness Val! I could eat this for breakfast right now. Delicious!!

  20. what a festive creation!
    just for the record, i like to go to olive garden when my cholesterol and fat intake are feeling a bit low. :)

  21. wow, this is just perfect... :)

  22. I love flatbread. This looks amazing!

  23. I like Olive Garden's appetizers. We don't get to one very often, but when we do, it's never been disappointing. This recipe looks particularly appetizing though (wish you could remember where you found it---as they may have other O.G. recipe's as well).

  24. Right up my alley. You've made my tummy growl!

  25. This SO speaks of summer - and it's SO not summer here! Oh well, never mind - I can just dream...

  26. Wow, what can I say? My mouth is watering already. I'm making a list of groceries supplies right now and I plan to add what I need for this dish. Can't wait to try it.

  27. Oh yum - so simple and so goooood!

  28. You have me drooling here Val :P


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