Of course, there’s more than one way to make a flammkuchen. In addition to the classic, chef Nicholas Tang of Washington’s DBGB Kitchen and Bar makes a vegetarian tarte flambée with mushrooms and sliced red onions; it’s finished with olive oil and arugula, to give it a spicy kick. In any of its iterations, the dish is ideal lunch, dinner or happy hour fare. And let us not forget brunch, when you’ll also find it at Mintwood Place topped with — what else? — smoked salmon or bacon and egg.
The unleavened dough is made with flour, water and a bit of salt. It’s rolled out very thin and, once baked, has an almost crackery texture. It’s similar to a thick flour tortilla or, says Tang, a bready wonton skin.
The dish gets a tangy richness from a thin layer of creme fraiche or fromage blanc, often seasoned with a little ground nutmeg.
More richness is added with thin strips of fatty bacon (a.k.a. lardons). They’re tastefully strewn on top, raw, and become crispy-chewy once the flatbread is baked.
Diced or thinly sliced onion, also added raw, brings a welcome sharpness.
Find the dish in the District at Mintwood Place (1813 Columbia Rd. NW, 202-234-6732, mintwoodplace.com) and DBGB Kitchen and Bar (931 H St. NW, 202-695-7660, dbgb.com ) or in Virginia at L’Auberge Chez François (332 Springvale Rd., Great Falls, 703-759-3800, laubergechezfrancois.com).
More Anatomy of a Dish from Food: