As of late, I feel like our meals are really reflecting our priorities. While good food and fun meals are still important, our desire to squeeze every last minute out of this summer has us making much simpler meals than we typically do. The fourth of July holiday always marks the midpoint of summer in my mind. When I used to work in retail, it was the time the back-to-school stuff slowly started appearing on shelves, fall clothes started arriving and summer stuff goes on 30% markdown. If you’ve been to your local craft store, you might have already noticed that Halloween deco is in full effect. It’s a little sad to think that in a month I’ll be heading back to school, thankfully for my last semester of grad school. It’s all going so fast, so for the time being, meals are quick and easy, and possibly a little redundant (sorry!), but nonetheless delicious. That being said, I have another wonderful pizza to share with you.
This one was totally inspired by a photo I saw on (Never Home)maker. It was a gorgeous photo of a caprese salad, something I’ve been wanting to make for ages. I had all the ingredients, but we were starving and I knew a salad was NOT going to cut it. Pizza-obsessed as always, I threw together a double batch of our favorite thin crust dough and popped half in the freezer and rolled the other out for a fresh herb, mozz, tomato and balsalmic pie.
For the pizza:1 lb. of dough (we used our thin crust recipe, which will make 2 lbs/2 pizzas)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or 2 small tomatoes, sliced)
15-20 slices of spinach, or a combination of spinach and whole basil leaves.
1 cup mozzarella, sliced into thin pieces Red pepper flakes and/or parmesan cheese
Feta cheese crumbles, if desired
For the sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place oven rack in the lower middle position and place pizza stone/baking sheet on the rack and preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
- For the dough: Follow the preparation/assembly directions for our Perfect Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust. You can opt to freeze or not depending on your time constraints and preferences.
- To make the sauce: Mix olive oil, balsalmic vinegar, basil and salt and pepper (if desired) and stir to combine.
- Once dough has finished it’s pre-bake (see directions in step 2), spread sauce on dough and top with spinach/basil and mozzarella and tomato slices.
- Bake again for 10-12 minutes and cool for 2-3 minutes before slicing. Top with red pepper flakes and or Feta cheese crumbles if desired.
We decided to put a question mark on the end of the recipe title purely because of the spinach. Typically Caprese Salad is made with basil leaves, tomato and freshly sliced mozarella. Traditionally it’s made with a buffalo mozzarella, but we’re in the midwest, and just getting fresh mozz is challenge enough it seems. We toyed with the idea of using basil leaves as a topping, but the thought of a pizza with that much whole basil seemed a little over the top, so we relegated it to the oil-based “sauce” and used fresh spinach as a topping. It still has all the great flavor of basil and the spinach contributed the texture of a leafy green to balance and complement the creamy mozarella and fresh tomatoes. I’d like to say that someday we might get tired of pizza, but I know better. It is without a doubt our desert-island food.
What’s your desert-island food?