Usually when I cook I like to plan out a week’s worth of recipes ahead of time, go to the grocery and cross them off of my dinners-to-make post-it one at a time. Well, as of late I’ve been in somewhat of a food rut and have really fallen off the ball. So tonight was one of the few nights where I winged it in the kitchen. I always get nervous relying on my own instincts in the kitchen because if it all goes horribly wrong, I’m the only one to point the finger at…. as Brian has done may-a-time. So when I do decide to ditch recipes and go it on my own, I usually stick to something pretty easy to “riff” on, something with a basic structure that you can’t easily mess up.
Tonight Brian and I made mini-pizzas. Sometimes I get so bored with the same ol’ same ol’ pizza routine, so I like to make pizza feel new again by making it mini and swapping out some of the normal go-to ingredients. One of the things I hate most about a normal homemade pizza is having to cut it up, so today I grabbed some Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats to serve as our crusts. This was my first time using this product and I have to say, they worked really well. They are sliced in half, so each pizza was only getting 50 calories from the “crust.” They held up nicely when I spread them with sauce and ricotta cheese. I really like ricotta cheese, and I like it even better cold than in a hot lasagna.
I made each pizza a little differently, as you’ll notice on the pictures. I only put sauce on one of my pizzas, but Brian got it on all of his. I also left one of his ricotta-free so he could have one with some more traditional mozzarella.
For the toppings I decided to grill up some small-cut veggies.
I chose asparagus tips and threw in artichoke hearts and pearl onions. This was super-easy because the artichokes and onions were from a frozen bag! I just sprayed some olive oil on it all and let it grill up for about 20 minutes, stirring twice, until I noticed the asparagus and onions were soft and starting to brown.
Then I mounded all the veggies on our pizzas, along with some julienne-cut sun dried tomatoes I had in the fridge. The last step was putting the pizzas back on the grill to toast the bottoms and get the mozzarella melty.
(Sorry for the horrible picture here, I was negotiating my camera with the hot grill and two dogs running around my feet hoping that I drop some food on the ground.) We only left these on the grill for about 2 minutes. We were afraid of burning the bread, but I think we could have safely left them on longer if we wanted to get the sauce and ricotta really warm.
Here are the final products:
These turned out really good! I actually liked the pizzas without sauce the best. I think it was because the sun dried tomatoes were sweet enough that I didn’t need any more tomato. I also really like onions, others might want to use chopped onion instead. Some pancetta, capers or olives would have been phenomenal on these to add some saltiness. Hopefully I’ll remember that for next time!
Artichokes are one of my all-time favorite pizza ingredients, so this was more like comfort food for me than stepping too far out of the box. I have been known to get a little crazy with pizza though– one time I made a pizza with three easy-over eggs on top! (I’ll save that recipe to share some other time). Brian and I have two all-time favorite pizzas… one we order out, and it’s a “Bahama Mama” (Hawaiian with BBQ instead of pizza sauce) that we order from a place around the corner. The other is homemade and has Eggplant, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and feta. Sometimes we add italian sausage too. What are your favorite homemade pizza toppings? Do you like to add anything out-of-the-ordinary?