Load on the veggies, go meatless or add chicken and Greek out with this delish twist on pizza night.
I have the best time ever exclaiming out loud the above, suddenly, whenever I determine that’s what’s happening for dinner on a given night.
My daughter, or my son and daughter (when he’s home from college) aren’t even phased anymore by what my girl calls my “Facebook in real life“ random, compulsive announcements about things I’m doing or thinking at the moment (of course, she’s also smart enough to realize that this is done for her/their benefit and only in her/their presence, to induce laughter or eye-rolling or both.)
Here’s a quick recipe for what we’re currently loving on pizza night, with a variation listed at the end - we call it Almost-Greek Pizza. Why? I honestly have no idea, as it’s basically all Greek to me (yep, couldn’t resist).
I usually make my own dough but if time runs short, I just whip out a store-bought crust I have on-hand and go to town. Note: if you’ve never made your own pizza dough, I would not attempt heroics until you have some time to devote to your first crust – definitely don’t when crunched for time on a weeknight. It’s not hard, just needs a practice run or two. I know – duh!
Fontina, feta and mozerella cheeses are amazing together and dare I say amazing enough that your clan likely won’t freak over artichoke hearts on their pie (if they recognize them as such).
Tip: hide them under the sun-dried tomatoes.
1 large premade pizza crust (or see below for hand-made dough)
1 cup baby spinach, stems removed
1/4 tsp olive oil
1 small jar pizza sauce (I usually use Mid’s)
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (reduced-fat works well, also)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sliced, pitted Klamata olives
Approx. 4 small artichoke hearts, quartered
Optional: 1 cup shredded chicken
Sliced red onion
Preheat oven to 400° F
Place washed spinach in a small bowl. Pour olive oil over spinach and toss to coat.
Spread pizza sauce over crust.
Sprinkle mozzarella and Fontina over sauce
Arrange spinach, chicken (if using), artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and sliced onions on top of cheese, in that order.
Sprinkle feta on top.
Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust slightly browned.
Yields eight slices.
Variation: substitute basil pesto sauce for the traditional tomato-based pizza sauce for even more Greek flavor.
Homemade Pizza Dough
2 cups all-purpose, whole-wheat or white whole-wheat flour
1 packet (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (75-80° F)
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt
Dissolve sugar in 1 cup warm (but not scalding hot) water.
Add yeast to the water and stir to dissolve. Let proof (stand) until a foamy head forms (approx. 10 minutes)
While yeast proofs, combine flour and salt in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer.
Pour in olive oil and stir to combine.
Gradually add yeast mixture to flour mixture, stir to combine.
Knead the mixture with dough hook attachment in a stand mixer 7-10 minutes, or once hand-combined, turn out onto a flat, floured surface and knead by hand until a soft-but-elastic dough forms (about the same amount of time as with a mixer).
Place in a large bowl sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover with clean kitchen towel.
Let dough rise until doubled in size – about one hour.
Shape dough into a ball and place back onto a flat, floured surface.
Flatten ball and roll out into a circle or rectangular crust with a rolling pin, rolling until dough is about 1/4″ think in the middle of the crust (sides can be thicker if desired).
Bake crust first in a preheated, 400° F oven for approx. 10-12 minutes or until very lightly browned BEFORE adding sauce and pizza toppings.
Note: dough can be refrigerated for 24 hours prior to rolling and baking (in fact, I encourage doing so to promote extra “bready” flavor from further yeast fermentation.)