Awakening to the Infinite in an Oddly Perfect Flatbread
As I restored myself, cellularly and emotionally, in the wake of deep grief, the act of writing not only became therapeutic, it pumped a kind of spiritual oxygen into my lungs. I wrote to make sense of things, to answer questions that haunted me, to keep my heart awake to the possibility of new life. And amid it all, writing to each other daily, my friend Janson and I discovered the magic of something we called “Infinite Selves: A Memoir of Singularity in Plurality,” or IS:AMOSIP for short.
IS:AMOSIP was (and still is) a rotating roster of stories that capture the core human struggles we both—we all—experience. The heartbreak, the loss, the longing, the absurd and hilarious difficulty of just being human. Somehow, knowing that my suffering was understood by this one other human—whose life was externally so different from mine, yet whose heart was so close to mine—provided the levity and verve I needed to keep writing my own story, a new story. A new memoir of singularity in plurality.
And so this flatbread was born, a memoir in food form, created by Janson and me the summer when I moved to Los Angeles. When we first made it, it was an experiment, a dish we both knew might sound more poetic than it tasted. But thyme made the poetry perfect, radicchio spelled out the bitterness of loss, and nectarines reminded us of the good in our blood. It was electric—a flatbread for sweetness, for telling new stories. For memoirs of singularity in plurality.
Braised Radicchio, Nectarine & Burrata Flatbread
Makes 1 large or 2 smaller pizzas in about 35 minutes.
Add 3 to 4 hours if making your own pizza dough.
- 16 ounces pizza dough
- Cornmeal, for the pizza stone or baking sheet
- 1 medium head radicchio, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, plus more for drizzling
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 medium yellow nectarines or peaches, sliced 1⁄8 to ¼-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 8 ounces fresh burrata cheese
- Truffle oil (optional, but highly recommended)
MAKE THE RADICCHIO
Set aside 1⁄3 cup of the radicchio to sprinkle atop your finished pizzas, and place the rest of the radicchio in a pan with 1 tablespoon oil and the vinegar, honey, and salt. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the radicchio starts getting caramely and deep brown and tender. In a separate pan over medium heat, sauté the shallot in 2 teaspoons oil and a sprinkle of salt until slightly browned.
MAKE THE FLATBREAD
Preheat the oven to 475°F.
Sprinkle a large pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and stretch 1 large ball or 2 smaller balls of dough by letting them hang from both hands until they reach the desired shape and evenness. The edges can be slightly thicker than the middle, and the dough should be quite thin, since it will rise. It’s a pretty forgiving piece of dough, so don’t worry too much.
Drizzle the dough with a generous handful of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
If making 2 pizzas: Spread half the braised radicchio atop one of the stretched-out pizza doughs, and sprinkle with half of the shallots. Arrange half of the nectarines on top. Sprinkle with half of the thyme, drizzle with half of the vinegar or glaze, and add some extra salt. Do the same on the second pizza. If making 1 pizza: Follow the same instructions, using all the ingredients at once.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and dollop with the burrata. Return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the pizzas reach your desired level of crispy-edged brownness and cheesy bubbliness. Dress them with the reserved radicchio and drizzle with extra vinegar and the truffle oil, if you choose. Serve immediately.