Superbowl superfood: Mediterranean Pizza
We’re lucky to be so close to Giorgio’s (www.Giorgios.com), with locations in Merrimack and Milford, NH. It’s an elegant eatery for special occasions and celebrations, but budget-minded foodies hit it during luncheon when the billin’ is easy.
Today’s recipe gets its inspiration from Giorgio’s Grilled Mediterranean Pizza which features a thin, oiled garlic/herb crust which is spread with pesto, then topped with artichokes, spinach, roasted red peppers, tomatoes and feta and mozzarella cheeses.
If you have access to a grill, that’s great, but this pizza is so good, if you have to use a regular oven, you won’t even miss the grill marks!
1 bag ready-to-use whole wheat pizza dough (or homemade)
1 small jar basil pesto*
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped and patted dry
1 large red pepper, roasted and chopped**
1 ½ cups spinach, cooked and well-squeezed
1 can artichokes, quartered
2 -3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 oz. crumbled feta (more or less according to your taste)
Roll dough out thin. I find it’s easier to do this when you can take your time and fiddle with it every 15 minutes or so, then let it rest. Oiling your hands helps.
Spread with pesto, then toppings: tomatoes, peppers, spinach, artichokes, mozzarella and feta.
Place the pizza on the lower rack of a 400 degree oven and bake for about 15 minutes, then lower to 375 degrees for another 10 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese has melted.
This huge pizza will easily make 12 appetizer-size servings for about $10.75 (if you purchased everything). Save even more money by making your own pesto and dough.
1 small package fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Place basil and garlic in food processor and chop fine. Add olive oil with processor running until a good paste has formed. Stir in salt, pepper, walnuts and cheese. This keeps forever in the fridge, and my friends at America’s Test Kitchen (www.americastestkitchentv.com/) tell me it is possible to freeze fresh herb concoctions. Good to do in the summer when the basil is bursting out of the garden.
**ROASTED RED PEPPERS
If you have a gas stove, just roast the peppers over a flame until blackened on all sides. Cool, peel off the skin and discard seeds (resist the temptation to rinse the peppers under running water. It really does affect the taste.)
If you’re using your oven, under the broiler works fine.