I like trying out new food products. Last week, while shopping for pizza dough, I came across a package of two whole wheat thin pizza crusts. The instructions read: Just place on a baking sheet, top with whatever toppings, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. That sounded easy, fast, and healthy. Basically, it was a blank canvas for any ingredients I wanted to use. So I bought it.
The first pizza I made was a vegan pie. I spread the crust with pizza sauce, then topped it with blanched broccoli florets, sliced Kalamata olives, sliced sun-dried tomatoes, and pickled jalapeño rings.
The result was quite tasty, every mouthful popped with one of the different flavors. The crust was a bit chewy, but flavorful. The instructions did read to skip the baking sheet if a more crispy crust was desired.
For the second pie, I used asparagus, smoked mozzarella, sweet onion, and radishes.
The asparagus was trimmed into 1-inch lengths. Then, tossed in a bowl with 1/2 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and some salt. Next, I roasted it on a sheet pan for 3 minutes (it was very thin) at 450 degrees.
To prepare the pie for baking, I spread four ounces of grated smoked mozzarella on the crust. That was followed by the roasted asparagus, 1/2 sweet onion, sliced in moons, and 3 radishes, sliced thin. Another 1/2 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil was sprinkled on top.
This pizza was experimental in that I’ve never encountered radishes on a pizza before. And although I liked their mild taste, I think next time I might use a different ingredient, one with a more assertive flavor - like eggplant. I thought the smoked mozzarella, asparagus, and sweet onion were a great combination.
The third pie was inspired by one of my favorite dishes: Greek lemon potatoes.
First, I placed 6 oz. of fingerling potatoes in a pot and covered them in lightly salted water. They were brought to a boil, simmered for 15 minutes, then drained. When the potatoes were cool to the touch, I dried and sliced them in half horizontally.
I brushed the crust with 1/2 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Then topped it with the potato halves, thinly sliced shallots, and Greek oregano. The juice of half a lemon was drizzled over it and 2 ounces of crumbled feta were sprinkled over the whole surface.
The verdict: it was a delicious pie, but there are changes I would make in the future. The potatoes were perfectly cooked and tasty, but there weren’t enough of them. I would use 12 ounces, rather than 6 ounces and also double the amount of lemon juice.
The possibilities for such pizzas seem endless. I was thinking that next time I might try to incorporate the ingredients of another favorite dish - caponata. Eggplant, zucchini, capers, black olives, tomatoes and pignoli nuts. Hmmm… Sounds good to me.