I love, love, love to cook!
I love going to the grocery store, coming home with fun, fresh ingredients and finding or creating new recipes. But I have to be honest - There are some days that I don't even think of what we will have for dinner until 5 or 6 o'clock. I just get busy with other things. Those are the days when Pita Pizzas come to the rescue!
I keep a variety of ingredients in my pantry, freezer, and refrigerator for these delicious pizzas. We often have a fresh tasty salad (like this one or this one) and one of these amazing pita pizzas and it makes for a great dinner. If we are watching our weight, which is most of the time, we will share one of these pitas and have a bigger salad. We really never get tired of them since there is an endless variety of ingredient combinations that make them new and interesting.
You can vary the base, the toppings and/or the cheese and come up with something creative and fresh every time. I am going to share the recipe for how I made them tonight, but think of this more as another template (see this post for a discussion of template cooking) than a recipe. Feel free to adapt, change, rearrange, whatever... They will be delicious! I know there are those of you who don't have as crazy of an imagination as I do when it comes to cooking, so I am listing some ideas for combinations that I have done that we really enjoy. Really though, the sky is the limit!!
Peanut sauce base with shredded pork (leftovers from Asian Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Sauce), red pepper, red onion, cheese and a shower of fresh cilantro (after baking).
A colorful salad (so we don't eat so much of this wonderful pizza!). Pizza with a pesto base, with chicken sausage, mushrooms, several cheeses and fresh basil (after baking).
There is one thing that makes all the difference in the world with these pizzas and that is the first step. Please do not omit the first step where you heat a small amount of olive oil in a non-stick pan and quickly pan fry the pitas. Yes, it's the same "magic trick" that I shared in yesterday's post: Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps. It makes them "come alive"! It takes plain pitas from ordinary to extraordinary!!! You just have to trust me here! (see yesterday's post!)
Ideas for pita pizza combinations:
Base of pesto, sliced chicken sausage, fresh mushrooms, sliced sweet onion, Italian cheese mix, sprinkle with dried Italian seasoning.
Base of peanut sauce, shredded pork or chicken, sliced red or yellow peppers, Mozzarella and Asiago cheeses, sprinkle with fresh cilantro after baking. (I did this with the leftovers from Grilled Asian Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Sauce)
Base of your favorite barbecue sauce, rotisserie chicken, smoked Gouda cheese, red onion, sprinkle with fresh cilantro after baking.
Apple butter base, thinly sliced apples, Fontina cheese, cooked, diced applewood bacon, sprinkle with minced fresh rosemary after baking.
Base of spreadable goat cheese and roasted garlic, caramelized onions, sauteed portobello mushrooms, Provolone and Parmesan cheeses, sprinkle with fresh basil after baking.
Garlic-olive oil base, Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced Roma tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, sprinkle with fresh basil.
These are just a few ideas, have fun making up your own or if you have a delicious pizza at a restaurant, try copying it at home with a pita pizza base!
White Four-Cheese Pita Pizza with Sweet Basil and Garlic Oil
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 pocketless pitas, I use Kontos Brand but whatever you can find is fine
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
6-8 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
2 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
½ cup part-skim Ricotta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
dried Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons thinly sliced or roughly torn fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with pizza stone or large sheet pan on middle rack.
2. Place the 4 teaspoons of olive oil in a small microwaveable glass container. Add minced garlic and microwave for 30 seconds on high.
3. Heat small (big enough to hold 1 pita) non-stick pan on high for several minutes. For each pita, add 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil to hot pan. Heat oil until very hot but not smoking. Swirl oil in pan to cover most of bottom. Add pita to pan and let sear for 20 to 30 seconds or until golden. Flip pita over and repeat. Remove from pan and repeat procedure for all pitas.
4. Transfer pitas to parchment paper or foil on countertop; brush lightly with some of garlic oil. Top with Fontina cheese and goat cheese, leaving ½-inch plain border. Crumble Ricotta cheese over, then sprinkle with Parmesan and Italian seasoning.
5. Place on preheated stone or sheet pan in oven and bake pizza until crust is golden brown and cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Drizzle remaining garlic-oil over pizza. Sprinkle with fresh basil and freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, to taste. Enjoy!