Rougette, Bacon, Caramelized Shallot Flatbread

When the temperature begins to drop, many people hang up their spatulas, take down their patio umbrellas, and close up their grills. But wait! October is one of the best times to take the dinner party outdoors! Put on your jackets, turn up the grill, and huddle in. You’ll want to get closer to these indulgent flatbread pizzas. The smoky grilled crust will recall the barbecues of summer, while the rich bacon and cheese will fill you with the warmth of winter. It’s the perfect autumn offering.

Rougette, Bacon, and Caramelized Shallot Flatbread

Makes 16 4×4 inch pizzas

Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 1.5 hours

Dozen small shallots

3 T butter

3/4 red wine vingar

3T brown sugar

8 oz bacon, strips

8 oz Rougette Bavarian Red

Pizza dough, enough for a one large pizza

2 cups arugula or frisée

Melt butter until foaming. Add shallots and cook on medium heat, partially covered for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower heat and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Set aside.

As you finish the shallots, start to cook bacon strips on low heat for 15-20 minutes until just turning crisp. Drain and set aside.

Start a charcoal or gas grill and get it to medium heat. (You can also bake these flatbread, using a pizza stone and preheating the oven to 500 degrees).

In saucepan combine vinegar and brown sugar and set on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes until reduced. Liquid should be viscous, but still fluid. This is what is called agrodolce, or “sweet/sour” sauce. It will thicken as it cools.

Prepare the pizza dough. Divide the dough into quarters and stretch each quarter into and 8×8 inch square. You can cook one or two at a time on the grill, depending on your crowd. Brush each flatbread with olive oil or reserved bacon fat. Set oil side down on grill for 3-5 minutes, or until undersides are slightly browned and crispy. Brush top of dough with oil or received bacon fat and turn dough over and grill for another 3 minutes or until slightly browned.

Transfer flatbread to foil. Brush lightly with agrodolce sauce. Add thin layer of  caramelized shallots. Dot pizza all over with 2 oz. Rougette cheese. Break up bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and scatter over cheese. Transfer flatbread back to grill for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top each flatbread with 1/2 cup arugula.