The Kitchen Prep: #PizzaWeek: "Greek-za!" Mediterranean Pizza

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#PizzaWeek: "Greek-za!" Mediterranean Pizza

I have never met a person who doesn't like pizza in some way, shape or form. {And if I did, I might be suspicious...} I mean, c'mon... bread, melty cheese, and toppings of your liking? Pure comfort in a convenient, hand-held slice.

When my buddies over at NoshOn.It reached out and asked if I'd be interested in participating in their #PizzaWeek, saying yes was a complete no-brainer.

Pizza is a great unifier. I am convinced that, done correctly, it could bridge generation gaps and end world conflict. Ok, maybe that's a bit excessive. But I can't imagine not being anything but supremely happy when sitting down to split a pie with another.

In fact, some of my absolute favorite memories have pizza involved -- family pizza nights at home as a kid; 3:00 a.m. mushroom pizzas with my roommate in college; finding the ultimate pizza place when Steve and I moved to Dallas {it was our first meal in Texas, eaten among moving boxes}; my father-in-law's famous homemade pizzas; and finally, learning how to make amazing pizzas myself over the past few years.

You just can't go wrong no matter what type of pizza you enjoy the most.

One of our favorite Friday night pizzas at home is what I've lovingly started to refer to as "Greek-za"... a pizza with Mediterranean toppings.

It is so, so good. Can't turn down another slice, kinda good.

When I made the "Greek-za" this time, I rolled out the dough really thin to make it more of a flatbread. Not only does it cut down on carbs this way {because we all know you must be very worried about that if you're eating pizza}, but then you're also getting more toppings than bread, which is never a bad thing in my book. The spinach, tomatoes, Greek olives and red onion intertwined with a variety of bubbly cheeses and sprinkled with fragrant herbs is drizzled with syrupy-sweet balsamic's easy to see why this recipe tops my list of favorites.

If you like pizza as much as I do, be sure to check out the other #PizzaWeek posts being shared today by the following talented bloggers:

Roasted Veggie Pizza by Dine & Dish
Mini Cauliflower Pizzas by The Fitchen
Berry with Arugula & Prosciutto Pizza by FoodieCrush

And if you still haven't gotten your fix, head over to Pinterest and follow the "Pizza Pizza!" board where you can find a variety of pizza recipes to suit any and all tastes!

"Greek-za!" -- Mediterranean Pizza 
Yield: 2 thin crust personal pizzas

Your favorite pizza dough recipe {I used this one} or store bought pizza dough, cut into quarters*
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup favorite grated Italian cheese blend
1/2 cup favorite mozzarella, grated
1 roma or plum tomato, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup Greek olives, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried mint
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
*I also use a sprinkle of Alessi Dipping Spice -- I love this stuff.
For Drizzling: Good quality balsamic vinegar, or balsamic glaze

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place pan or pizza stone in oven to heat up as well.

2. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil and garlic in a small microwaveable cup and heat on high for 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant and begins to sizzle. Remove from microwave and set aside.

3. Cut one of the quarters of the pizza dough in half.* Set aside the other half and keep covered. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to desired thickness -- for this version, I rolled mine out quite thin to about a 12x6 inch oval. Repeat the process with second piece of dough to make 2 personal pizzas.

4. Carefully move rolled dough to hot pan or stone. Brush the crusts with the garlic oil and bake for 3-6 minutes {depending on thickness} or until the crust is beginning to turn golden brown in some spots.

5. Remove from oven and top each pizza with spinach leaves, Italian cheese blend and mozzarella. {Doing it in this order helps the leaves stay in place, but you can arrange it as you like, of course.} Place tomato slices, sliced red onion and olives on top of cheese; sprinkle with crumbled feta. Sprinkle dried mint and oregano {or whichever spices you choose} over top.

6. Return pizzas to oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the pizza are crisp and browned. For a crisp underside, I like to move the pan to the very bottom rack of the oven for the last minute or two of cooking. Just make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn!

7. Remove pizzas from oven and drizzle with balsamic syrup if desired. Slice and serve hot.

*Most 1 lb. dough balls will make 2 large pizzas, 4 medium pizzas or 8 individual thin crust pizzas. It's up to you how you want to divide it up, but for the this particular recipe, I've listed enough ingredients for 2 individual thin crust pizzas or 1 medium pizza. Hope that isn't too confusing! :)


Christine at Cook the Story said...

This looks absolutely fabulous! What a fun, pizza filled week it's been!

Shanna @ pineapple and coconut said...

What a gorgeous pizza!!

bmayer said...

My favorite Greek Pizza was from Whole Foods, which they dont make anymore :-( . Your car would smell wonderful for days!! After trying many homemade versions, the pizza dough from Publix bakery is my favorite. In an effort to be healthy I bought the whole wheat dough ONE time. That was one time too many, it tasted like cardboard....stick to the regular!

Dianna M. said...

@Christine - Thank you! I've enjoyed seeing all the creative recipes, too... now, where to begin on trying them all?! :)

@Shanna - Thanks so much! It's as tasty as it is pretty, I promise!

@bmayer - When we're in a rush or feeling lazy, I grab the Publix pizza dough, too. I've never tried the whole wheat one but I guess I won't since it doesn't sound too promising! :)

Molly Sinert said...

I think I will add this to our Pizza rotation!

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