Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Greek Pizza

Happy New Year, everybody!  I think there's really nothing like entering a brand new year to get you motivated.  So many of us make plans to eat a little better, or maybe just cook at home more and eat out less.  January seems to be the one month when everybody is thinking about their health! 

So, in honor of New Year's Resolution-makers everywhere, I give you the Greek Pizza.  Not only is it a snap to put together, but it's also wholesome, light, high in protein, full of flavor, and very satisfying.  For the base of the pizza (and my daily legume fix) I used Palirria Giant Beans in Tomato Sauce.  When you mash the beans together with the sauce, it acheives a wonderful hummus-like consistency and the flavor is just marvelous - lots of bright tomato with hint of dill mingling with the creamy white beans.  The toppings are just an assortment of all the veggies I love best on a pizza.  If you haven't tried black cerignola olives, now is your chance to get some!  They are my all-time favorite olive for their rich meatiness and lightly floral flavor.  Kasseri cheese is the final touch, and is another must-try ingredient.  It is made with a blend of sheep and goat's milk and has a salty, tangy, complex flavor and it melts like a dream.  Feta would make a fine substitute, although you'll be depriving yourself of that nice, smooth, melty texture that Kasseri will give you. 

So, next time you have to get dinner put together at lightning-speed, give this simple recipe a try!

Greek Pizza
Serves 4

4 Whole Wheat Pita rounds
1 can Palirria Giant Beans in Tomato Sauce (hummus with a little extra olive oil is a good substitute)
1 can (14 oz) Artichoke Hearts
1/2 cup chopped black olives (black cerignolas are my favorite)
1 roasted red pepper, roughly chopped
4 oz Kasseri cheese, grated (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a small bowl, smash the beans in tomato sauce with a fork until no beans are left whole and mix until a chunky paste forms.  Drain artichoke hearts, cut off leafy ends and reserve for other uses (they are great in pureed soups).  Roughly chop hearts.

Arrange pitas on a work surface.  Assemble pizzas using 1/4 of each of the ingredients for each pizza:  spread bean paste on pita leaving about 1/2 inch around the edge.  Top with remaining ingredients in any order you like and place pizzas directly on the oven rack.  Bake until cheese is completely melted, about 6 to 8 minutes.

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