Chef Dez on Cooking: Local ingredients combined in a tasty treat

I love cooking with fresh local ingredients and there is no better time of year than the summer to do this.

Many restaurants will switch up their menus to celebrate local harvests as well.

One of my favourite new menu selections (when we do go out) is the Prawn Brie Flatbread at my local White Spot Restaurant here in British Columbia. I have contacted them and they were honoured to share the recipe with me from their Celebrate BC summer menu, and today I pass this on to you.

Wherever you live, I encourage you to visit neighborhood restaurants that embrace the local produce/ingredients in your area.

Prawn Little Qualicum Brie Flatbread

Recipe courtesy of White Spot Executive Chef, Danny Markowicz. It has been modified for you to be able to enjoy at home. Makes 4 flatbreads.

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tsp garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp chili flakes

6 slices bacon cut into 1/4 inch pieces

8 pieces baby zucchini, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

1/2 tsp white balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp olive oil

Pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper

16 prawns, cut in half lengthwise

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp olive oil

Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper

4 Flatbreads (Naan bread works great, or your favorite pizza crust)

16 slices brie, thinly sliced (we use Little Qualicum Cheeseworks from Parksville)

1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded

6 heirloom tomatoes, cut in half

Heat 1/2 cup light olive oil over medium heat and add 1 tsp chopped garlic and the chili flakes. When garlic is just starting to turn golden, remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Set the chili oil aside.

Add the bacon pieces to a pan and slowly cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t clump together. When the bacon is crispy around the edges, remove from heat, cool and drain excess fat. Set these bacon bits aside.

Dress the zucchini with the balsamic, 1/2 tsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Barbecue over high heat, placing them flat side down. This will give nice charred marks. Set this aside as well.

Season the prawns with a touch of oil, lemon juice and fresh cracked black pepper. Set aside.

Lay the flatbread on a countertop. Add 1 tbsp. of reserved chili oil to each one, spreading the oil right to the edges. Add the sliced brie and mozzarella cheese, followed by the reserved bacon bits.

Arrange the grilled zucchini over top. Add the seasoned/raw prawns, but don’t overlap them so they cook evenly.

Cut some small tomatoes in half and place them attractively over the top. If you like, a little salt and pepper on the tomatoes makes them sing.

Bake at 400°F for six to eight minutes until the flatbread base is crisp, the prawns are fully cooked and the cheese is melted.

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