Tuesday 26 June 2012

Greek Pizza

A couple of weeks ago, I had the good fortune to spend the day with my step-mom.  We spent a lovely morning walking on the shore and then went in search of lunch. 

We ended up in what my husband likes to describe as a “cosmic granola café.” You know the kind of place I mean:  They appear to be hangovers from the 60’s and 70’s, with brightly coloured walls, mismatched furniture, lots of local artwork of questionable merit, loud music, and a menu that leans heavily towards nuts, grains, and odd juice combinations.  The patrons are often seen wearing bohemian shirts, tattered hand knit sweaters, multiple piercings, unkempt hair, and socks and sandals.

It’s not that I mind these places. I don’t. They have the potential to afford me hours of entertainment - people watching - and some really interesting conversations.  Unfortunately, though, they’re a challenge to me when it comes to actually ordering food.  I have diverticulitis and cannot eat nuts, seeds, or unhulled grains.  In a “cosmic granola café,” that constitutes pretty much the whole menu. 

Our lunch café was no exception to this rule.  A quick scan of the menu showed only a single dish that I’d be able to eat:  Greek pizza.  The pizza was expensive - $12.95 for a slice and a salad – but I consoled myself that, for that price, it must be fabulously good.  

It wasn’t.  

When it arrived, my slice of pizza was pretty sad looking; a sea of mozzarella cheese studded with a few cherry tomato halves.  Its taste lived up (or perhaps I should say down) to its appearance.  There was a whole wheat crust that tasted like soggy cardboard, a quantity of unseasoned spinach, and the aforementioned mozzarella and tomatoes.  That’s it.  

I guess they were calling it "Greek" pizza because of the spinach and tomatoes.  Its flavours certainly didn’t speak to me of sunny Mediterranean shores or of hot, dry hillsides.

The good thing about a disappointing meal like that is that it spurs me to do better.  I came home determined to make a better Greek pizza while working within the same basic framework.  Here’s how I did it:

I made a batch of whole wheat bread dough.  I used a third of the bread dough to make my pizza crust.  (I baked the rest into a loaf.)

Once my pizza crust had risen for an hour and a half, I baked it in a 375ºF oven until it was cooked through but hadn’t taken on any colour.

I allowed the crust to cool.  While it was cooling, I thawed a 10-ounce box of frozen, chopped spinach, wrapped it up in a clean dish towel and squeezed out as much liquid as I could.

When the crust had cooled, I spread it with about 3 Tablespoons of tomato sauce; just enough to cover the crust.  (I don’t like a lot of sauce on my pizza.  If you prefer more, by all means use more.)

I topped the sauce with some very finely minced garlic and the thawed spinach, then sprinkled it with a little freshly grated nutmeg.  I added  some thinly sliced red onions, and kalamata olives that I’d pitted and coarsely broken apart with my fingers.  I seasoned this mixture with some finely grated lemon zest.

I added a generous quantity of crumbled feta cheese

then filled in with some mozzarella because I like how melty it gets. 

I sprinkled dry oregano and coarsely ground black pepper over the cheese.

I finished my pizza by arranging sliced and seeded red and yellow tomatoes on top.

When the pizza was assembled, I baked it at 400ºF until all the ingredients were heated through and the cheese was melted.  It was delicious!

This post is linked to Gallery of Favorites hosted by Premeditated Leftovers and The 21st Century Housewife, to The Pity Party at Thirty Handmade Days, to Foodie Friday hosted by Rattlebridge Farm, to Weekend Potluck hosted by Sunflower Supper Club, to Link and Greet hosted by Country Momma Cooks, to Strut Your Stuff Saturday hosted by Six Sisters' Stuff, to Scrumptious Sunday hosted by Addicted to Recipes, to Sunday Round Up with Heather and Kayla, to Think Pink Sunday hosted by Flamingo Toes, to Makin' You Crave Monday hosted by Mrs. Happy Homemaker, to Craft-O-Maniac Monday hosted by Craft-O-Maniac, and to Busy Monday hosted by A Pinch of Joy, to Delicious Dish Tuesday hosted by Full Time Mama, Mama Chocolate and Coping With Frugality, to the Tuesday To Do Party hosted by The Blackberry Vine, to Tip Me Tuesday hosted by Tip Junkie, to Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday hosted by DJ's Sugar Shack, to Cast Party Wednesday hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain, to the Look What I Made Linky Party hosted by Creations by Kara, to Wonderful Wednesday hosted by Printabelle, to Thursday's Treasures hosted by Recipes For My Boys, to Tastetastic Thursday hosted by A Little Nosh, to Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage, to Foodie Friday hosted by Not Your Ordinary Recipes

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 Country Momma Cooks   SixSistersStuff.com

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    Mrs Happy Homemaker  apinchofjoy.com

    Full Time Mama

 Tuesday To Do Party   Tip Junkie handmade projects  

Photobucket   Cast Party Wednesday   Creations by Kara

   Tastetastic Thursday 6/28   Miz Helen’s Country Cottage  


Terri said...

LOL @ 'cosmic granola cafe' !! I'm glad you added feta to the home version!! Nothing speaks greek to me more than feta, tomatoes and olives!!! ♥

Aunt B said...

Me too Terri. :) Thanks for stopping by to check out the recipe.

Mimi said...

Yum!You packed a lot of flavor on that pizza.

Aunt B said...

Thanks Mimi. We enjoyed it. :)

Anonymous said...

Yum! That looks delicious! Maybe I need to make that for myself :)

Anonymous said...

These pizza's look delicious. I love to make my own at home as well and add all sorts of toppings. I particularly like spinach, feta, olives, sun dried tomatoes... yum. I'll give these a try for sure. Thanks for sharing. Mr.CBB

Aunt B said...

Thanks Alea. We sure enjoyed it. I hope you do too.

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like the recipe. Thank you for stopping by to check it out.

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like it. Pizza at home is always better, I think. Much more affordable too! :)

Winnie said...

I just love the combination of ingredients that you put

Aunt B said...

Thank you Winnie. I'm glad you like it. :)

Kim (Sunflower Supper Club) said...

Your pizza is beautiful! That did sound like a sad little pizza at the cafe. I have found that most of the time I can make a dish better in my own kitchen, and I know exactly what is in it! Thanks so much for sharing it on the Weekend Potluck. Have a wonderful weekend!

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you think my pizza is beautiful. Thank you for the compliment. :) Thanks, too, for hosting the potluck. I appreciate the opportunity to see so many interesting recipes.

Six Sisters said...

Oh my goodness! This looks SOO good! We can't wait to try it! Thanks for linking up to "Strut Your Stuff Saturday!" Hopefully we'll see you tomorrow at 8pm MDT for this week's party! :) -The Sisters

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like it. Thanks for hosting. I found a lot of interesting links at the party.

April J Harris said...

I'm so sorry that your lunch was such a disappointment, but so pleased it inspired you to create this wonderful pizza! It sounds just fabulous and looks so pretty with the red and yellow tomatoes.

Aunt B said...

In an odd way, the disappointment was a good thing. I'd never have made my version of the pizza otherwise. Sometimes things turn out unexpectedly for the best. :)

Miz Helen said...

This looks like an awesome pizza. I just love the combination of flavor, we would really enjoy it. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Aunt B said...

Thanks Miz Helen. I'm glad you liked the recipe. I'm sure to be back soon. There are always such good links at your parties. :)

CuteEverything.com said...

Now that's a Greek pizza! Very nice, it looks so good. I love how you just used bread dough, I want to try that. Thanks for linking!

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you liked the recipe. Thank you for stopping by to check it out.