One of the few things that survived the recent menu overhaul at four-year-old St. Francis was the market vegetable flatbread ($12) – possibly because the natives would revolt if chef-owner Aaron Chamberlin removed it.
Who doesn’t love tangy, wood-fired, crisp-edge flatbread topped with whatever is in season at the moment? It starts with all-natural sourdough – the common foundation of St. Francis’ flatbread menu, which also includes cheese, smoked salmon and meat varieties. After a 24-hour fermentation to develop the flavor, the dough is stretched into a long sandal shape, drizzled with garlic-infused oil and topped with a simple tomato sauce. From there, the recipe is season-dependent. It could be broccoli and cauliflower in the winter, or summer squash, corn or oven-roasted tomatoes in the summer. If a given vegetable is in-season, it’s fair game for topping before the flatbread slides in the mesquite and almond wood-fired oven, imparting a slightly smoky flavor to the vegetables and the crust.
You’ll find no cheese on the market vegetable flatbread, but generally there is avocado – full of buttery flavor and healthy, non-saturated fats – and always a healthy splash of extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Pretty simple.
“I never intended to put flatbread on the menu,” Chamberlin says, but guests were clamoring for it, so he delivered – and how. It’s always delicious.
111 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix