Friday, February 27, 2009

Greek to Me Pizza

My goodness, these weeks fly by don't they? Just a minute ago it was Monday morning with a whole, long week ahead, then I blinked and it is Friday again, and I still haven't accomplished anything on my list. The good news is that I am beginning to navigate the new realm of our family dinners, with baseball practices or games rudely inserting themselves into nearly every afternoon or evening. But I must confess that I am already fantasizing about the end of the season and the school year, when we get to pack our bags and head out for a summer on Cape Cod. I am ready for both a change of pace and a change of scenery...although admittedly, our high desert landscape has been lovely lately. But for now, I will try to enjoy the present moment, enjoy the crack of the bat on the ball and the smell of the hot dogs from the snack shack, and enjoy the delightful spring-like weather.

Tonight I made a pizza with all the delicious flavors of a Greek salad, complete with feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, spinach and red onions. The bottom layer (the cheese one) was a bit too juicy, so I modified the recipe a bit to hopefully remedy that. Reminiscent of the filling in Spanakopita, the high pile of spinach on top cooked down and melded beautifully with the sharp feta, briny olives, and rich sun dried tomatoes. It was a brief culinary escape to Greece, before we returned to the all-American ball field once again.

Greek Pizza

one recipe pizza dough (or store bought dough)

1 T olive oil
1 bunch spinach, washed well, dried and torn into pieces
1/2 C cubed feta cheese
1/4 C olive oil
1 t dried oregano
1/4 C chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
1/4 C kalamata olives
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
4 oz. kaseri cheese, sliced (Parmesan would also work)
lemon slices

Preheat oven to 500 degrees for one hour with pizza stone on lowest oven rack or oven floor.

Prepare dough according to recipe or package directions. Stretch dough out onto well-floured parchment paper, with well-floured hands. Trim edges of parchment so there is only a bit showing around the edge of the dough. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix feta cheese, 1/4 C olive oil, oregano and sun dried tomatoes (set aside a few for sprinkling on top). Spread evenly over dough, leaving a one inch border all around. Toss spinach with 1 T olive oil and place 3/4 of it on top of dough (setting some aside to top pizza later). Sprinkle on remaining sun dried tomatoes, olives, onion and slices of kaseri cheese. Using a pizza peel, slide the pizza (still on the parchment) onto stone and bake for 15-20 minutes, or crust is crisp and golden brown. Carefully remove pizza from the oven, and top with remaining spinach. Return to the oven for 2 minutes, or until spinach wilts slightly. Slice into wedges. Squeeze some lemon juice over the top, if desired.

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