Stuff & Nonsense: pizza

Showing posts with label pizza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pizza. Show all posts

23 August 2018

Tomato, Basil, & Mozzarella Flatbread

Between the garden and our CSA share, we are inundated with tomatoes. The cucumber have mostly given up in this heat and the few that have ripened recently were incredibly bitter, so cucumber and tomato salad is no longer a regular at our table. Instead, I've been slicing the tomatoes, dressing them with a drizzle of white wine vinegar and garlic-infused olive oil, and finishing them with a little sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. My father occasionally chops up vine-warm tomatoes, sprinkles them with sugar, and pours a little cream over them. He says this is good both as breakfast and dessert, but I am not brave enough to try it.

Anyway, I've found sandwiches and flatbreads are a great way to use up our tomato excess. The sandwiches are simple -- take a slice of hearty bread (farmhouse white is most traditional), spread it with mayonnaise, add thick slices of tomato, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add a few basil leaves, top with another slice of bread, smoosh the sandwich together a little bit to make sure everything is well glued together, and eat.

The flatbreads are slightly more complicated, if only because you need to use the oven. To save time, I use a prepared pizza crust, but you could make your own.
  • Slice 8 oz ball fresh mozzarella.
  • Slice a large tomato or tomatoes.
  • Chop a handful of fresh basil.
  • Chop four or five fat garlic cloves.
  • Brush pizza crust with a little garlic-infused olive oil and sprinkle with a salt-free Italian herb blend. Bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 3 minutes or until it crisps and the edges have browned a little.
  • Top with sliced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and cheese. Sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with a little more oil and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

Makes a beautiful, crunchy pizza bursting with summer flavors.

20 July 2017

Brie & Green Apple Flatbread

I had leftover brie and naan after making the "Berry & Balsamic Flabread" for July's Improv Cooking Challenge, so I thought I'd try another fruity flatbread, but this time I'd use apples. I happened to have an excess of green apples on hand -- bought them on a whim and have completely failed to eat them -- and I thought apples and brie would pair well together.

Despite becoming distracted by Kate Quinn's The Alice Network and over-baking the crust a bit, I thought this flatbread a worthwhile endeavor. It really is a great combination of textures and flavors and it goes together lickety-split, thus avoiding the impatient lunchtime hangries. (You also get the impatient lunchtime hangries, right? When you're so HUNGRY that if you don't eat lunch ASAP you're going to go all Tasmanian Devil on people??)

Brie & Green Apple Flatbread

Yield: 1 small pizza


  • 1 small naan
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 oz brie, sliced thinly
  • 2 oz sliced cored green apple
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ oz baby arugula
  • Cider vinegar, as desired
  • Runny honey, as desired
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Put your pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Brush the naan with olive oil. Layer naan with brie and apples. Sprinkle w/ cinnamon.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the apple slices have softened.
  4. In a salad bowl, toss arugula with vinegar and honey.
  5. Scatter dressed arugula over the naan pizza and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve.

13 July 2017

Improv Cooking Challenge: Berries & Balsamic

July's Improv Challenge Cooking ingredients are the bright sweet-tart flavors of berries and balsamic. I decided to keep my dish simple and combined those with fresh herbs and cheese to make decidedly nontraditional pizza. I know warm cheese and berries might sound a little nope (The Husband would not eat this if it were the last thing left to eat on Earth), but it is a tasty savory-sweet combination I cannot get enough of.

A flatbread pizza requires cheese and I wanted to push the boat out, experience wise, and cook with something different. Generally, I'm a goat cheese or cheddar girl, with brief forays into the blues, so I thought I'd try Brie this time around. I'd eaten Brie before -- part of a cold mixed cheese platter with fruits and nuts -- and been underwhelmed by it, but I've read Brie is the "queen of cheeses" so maybe I should give it another try? Maybe, it would taste better warm?

And it did. Warm Brie, imho, is good. Cold Brie -- at least the unknown Brie I'd eaten before and the one I used in this flatbread -- are just kind of mushroomy and blech. But warm Brie ... warm Brie is soft, creamy yumminess. Especially paired with balsamic vinegar and sweet berries.

In short, this flatbread, with its great mix of flavors and textures, is absolutely delicious and so dead easy to put together that you could eat one every day.

Berry & Balsamic Flatbread

Yield: 1 small pizza


  • 1 small naan
  • 1 tsp garlic olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 oz Brie, sliced
  • 3 oz mixed blueberries and blackberries
  • ½ oz baby arugula
  • ½ Tbsp blackberry balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Put your pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Brush the naan with olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Layer naan with Brie and berries. Scatter with thyme.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the berries have softened.
  4. Scatter arugula over the naan pizza, drizzle balsamic vinegar over all, and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve.

If you don't have pizza stone, then just preheat your oven and prep and bake your flatbread on a baking sheet. For the longest time, I thought pizza stones were just pretentious tomfoolery for home cooks, but then I inherited one from my mom and ... homemade pizza is better on a pizza stone. And anything you might usually wrap in foil or parchment and bake on a sheet pan can be baked on a pizza stone. Also, a pizza stone bakes up beautifully crusty "artisanal" loaves. So it's multipurpose. And, since you can just leave it on the bottom rack of your oven all the time, don't worry about storage space ...

For anyone new to my blog, the Improv Cooking Challenge is a monthly blog hop where two ingredients are assigned, participants must make a new-to-their-blog recipe using both ingredients, and publish a blog post about it on the second Thursday of the month. If you think that sounds like fun, click on the Improv Cooking Challenge logo below.

11 May 2017

Taco Pizza

My parents still keep raving about the taco pizza they buy at their local pizzeria ... so much so that I decided to make my own as it doesn't appear on the menus of any of my local pizzerias and, while it sounds, fantastic, I'm not desperate to drive 90 minutes for a pizza. (Yes, I know I could visit my parents and enjoy their favorite pizza at the same time).

  • prepared mini pizza crusts (feeling lazy)
  • taco sauce
  • ground beef cooked with Penzeys Arizona Dreaming seasoning blend
  • shredded "pizza cheese" blend
  • chopped red onion
  • chopped, pitted black olives
  • chopped romaine
  • chopped cherry tomatoes
  • guacamole drizzle (guacamole mixed with red wine vinegar and olive oil to make a vinaigrette)

There were meant to be crushed tortilla chips, too, but I forgot about them in my hurry to get pizza in my mouth.

How was it? While a bit messy -- definitely a knife-and-fork pizza -- and probably not at all like my parents' favorite, we both enjoyed eating it and there were no leftovers. I'll be making this again.

26 February 2016

Easy-Peasy Barbecue Chicken Naan Pizza

Too lazy to run any of the errands I'd planned, I instead frittered away the day reading webcomics ... but, eventually, the growling of my stomach began to distract from even the most thrilling adventures of Far to the North and Blindsprings. Food must be acquired. Easy food. Food that definitely didn't involve putting on pants and leaving the house.

Naan pizza to the rescue!

I readily admit all the amounts in the following recipe are approximate as I was hungry and not measuring as I went. I'm also dead cert you could use buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese to create a delicious buffalo chicken version.

Barbecue Chicken Naan Pizza

Serves: 4


  • 2 garlic naan [Stonefire]
  • 4 Tbsp barbecue sauce [Stubb's]
  • ½ cup chopped cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie)
  • ½ cup shredded reduced-fat shredded "Mexican" cheese blend
  • ¼ cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro


  1. Pop your pizza stone in the cold oven and preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce over one side of each naan.
  3. Toss chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, and spread chicken over naan.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese, and top with red onion and cilantro.
  5. Slide naan onto hot pizza stone and bake for 8 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is all melty.
  6. Quarter each naan pizza and serve.

If you don't have a pizza stone, just prepare and bake the naan pizzas on a baking sheet.

19 November 2015

Improv Challenge: Squash & Sage

I'm trying to make pizza more often at home (because it's cheaper and we can get all the weird custom flavors -- chicken and sweetcorn for one -- our little hearts desire) and I'd heard that naan bread makes a good crust for quick pizzas. Deciding it would be better to experiment on myself first before springing the naan pizza concept on The Husband, I decided to build myself a pizza out of what was in the fridge.

Fresh sage from my generous coworker's garden!

And then I realized I had the ingredients for November's Improv Challenge -- squash and sage -- on hand! Hooray! For the first time in months, I wouldn't be making the Improv recipe the week it was due! Really, I always start out with the best of intentions and then time just gets away from me and suddenly I'm throwing something together at what feels like the very last minute!

Cubed butternut squash and onion tossed with garlic-infused olive oil.

The only naan I could find at my local Price Chopper was Stonefire brand in either whole grain or garlic. Obviously, I went with garlic! They're smallish naan, but there are two to a package so I figured this recipe would serve two hungry adults. As always, ymmv with serving sizes.

Since I didn't use any gooey cheeses the toppings don't properly stick to the naan making these a little messy to eat. I got around this my folding my pieces in half, making a sort of naan pizza sandwich. More civilized types might want to use a fork and knife.

This tasted all kinds of awesome. Maybe more cheese next time, though ...

Youtube has many nifty how-to videos on frying sage leaves, but I found this one simplest:

While this recipe makes two naan pizzas, you don't necessarily have to make them at the same time. The vegetables can be roasted a day or two in advance and kept in the fridge until wanted. The sage can also be fried and kept at room temperature in a sealed container for a few days. And, obviously, you could double triple the amounts for one big traditional crust pizza.

Butternut Squash & Beet Naan Pizza

Yield: 2 pizza


  • 2 naan (each about 8x7")
  • 4.5 oz butternut squash, diced small
  • 1 oz chopped red onion
  • 2 oz chopped roasted beets [Love Beets]
  • 1½ Tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1.5 oz crumbled blue cheese [Salemville Amish Blue]
  • 1.5 oz crumbled goat cheese [Alouette]
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 8 fried sage leaves
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Toss squash and onions with 1 Tbsp olive oil and arrange on a quarter sheet pan (13"x9"), trying not to crowd. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove pan from oven and set aside. Do not turn off oven!
  3. Place naan on a baking sheet; brush with ½ Tbsp oil. Bake at 400°F until naan just begins to crisp and turn light golden color, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Scatter red onions, squash, beets, cheese and chopped sage leaves across naan. Bake until pizza is heated through and cheeses get all melty and yum, about 5 minutes.
  5. Garnish with fried sage leaves and fresh cracked black pepper.

25 May 2013

Rainy Day Pizza

So far, Memorial Day Weekend is a wash -- cold, grey, and nothing but rainrainrain. Definitely not grilling or picnicking weather. Excellent for English-style pizza with tuna and sweetcorn, though!

Ingredients: prepared thin crust, low-sodium tomato sauce, salt-free Italian seasoning blend, roasted corn, red onion, albacore tuna, shredded Italian cheese blend, sliced tomatoes.

Rainy Day, Lazy Day Pizza

Rainy Day, Lazy Day Pizza

Every time I make pizza, I am reminded I should make it more often. It's easy, healthier than takeout, and makes The Husband happy. (A few weeks ago, he rather wistfully mentioned I hadn't made pizza in a while).

20 April 2013

Figgy Ham Quesdilla & Flatbread

I made a delicious fig spread for March's Eating the Alphabet Challenge and, while I've found it's great on crackers with little blue cheese, I've been wondering what it would be like in a ham panini -- smoked ham, creamy havarti, peppery arugula, thick crusty bread. Trouble is, I don't have any bread in the house. Nor do I own a panini press.

But I do have tortillas and a skillet ...

Fig Havarti Ham Quesadilla

Fig Spread & Ham Quesadilla
Serves 1 or 2, depending

2 Tbsp neufchâtel
¼ cup havarti cheese, shredded [Boar's Head Cream Havarti]
2 Tbsp fig spread
2 thin slices black forest ham, sliced into fine ribbons [Boar's Head Lower Sodium]
1 handful arugula
2 8-inch whole wheat tortillas

Smear one tortilla with fig spread and the other with cream cheese leaving a ½-inch border around the edge.

Sprinkle one tortilla with shredded cheese, arugula, and ham. Cover with remaining tortilla.

Fig Havarti Ham Quesadilla

Lay the quesadilla in a very hot nonstick skillet. Cook on each side until the tortilla is crisp and golden (about 1 minutes for each side).

Remove from skillet and let sit 1-2 minutes. Cut into 4 wedges and serve with a small green salad dressed with (fig!) balsamic vinegar and olive or flax oil.
You can also make a fancy-pants flatbread "pizza" using most of the same ingredients -- smear fig spread around like you would tomato sauce on a flatbread and top with shredded havarti. Broil just until the cheese is melted and the flatbread is a little brown around the edges. Top with arugula, ham, a drizzle of fig balsamic vinegar and season with fresh ground black pepper. A sprinkling of crumbled blue cheese wouldn't go amiss, either.

Fig, Ham, Havarti & Arugula Flatbread

This is definitely a knife-and-fork pizza ... or, if you're a barbarian like me, you can roll up the flatbread and eat it like a wrap!

24 August 2012

Too Many Tomatoes? Pizza!

I thought about making a tomato pie with garden herbs, corn, cheddar and pie crust, but then I realized I could just make pizza with the same ingredients for less time and effort.

Actually forgot to put corn on it!

I bought a ball of refrigerated whole wheat pizza dough at the grocery store, but all the other ingredients were on hand -- pesto, red onions, mozzarella, and cheddar were already in my fridge and tomatoes, thyme, and oregano came from my garden.

I preheated my oven, with the pizza stone in it, to 450°F. While the oven was doing its thing, I sliced the vegetables very thinly and chopped the herbs.

Feeling all smugly organized and shizzle, I set out to roll my dough ... not realizing I had no cornmeal and didn't know where my rolling pin was! Yes, I lost a rolling pin somewhere in my kitchen. I am truly blessed.

Happily, a water glass makes a handy rolling pin substitute and I rolled the dough out on a rectangular piece of parchment. This turned out to be The. Best. Idea. Ever. as I could just pick up the parchment, pizza and all, and slide it onto the hot stone. The paper browned while the pizza baked, but did not burn. Then I just slid the hot parchment paper/pizza off the stone onto a cutting board and let the pizza set for 5 minutes or so. Cut it into pieces and went omnomnom.

Pretty sure this pizza should have served four people with salad, but we skipped the salad and split it between the two of us and were happy. The Husband gave the pizza 10 ★s, but later downgraded it to 9½ ★s when I told him I'd used a whole wheat crust. Silly.