From The Kitchen Of Rachelle Underwood

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mediterranean Pizza

This pizza is TDF. Every time I make it, I say to myself, "This is like something you would get at a restaurant." It may sound like ingredients that you don't have on hand. But, I have actually created this recipe, so that you can have it several times a month, and have all the ingredients ready for use.
I buy a big block of Mozzarella cheese at Costco, and divide it into thirds, and freeze them, until they are ready for use. I buy a big container of pesto sauce at Costco, and divide it into 1/4 c. servings in individual sandwich zip-lock bags, and freeze them. (Note: doing this with the pesto allows you too pull out of the freezer a gourmet flavoring for pesto mayo, pesto and pasta, grilled pesto chicken, pesto pizza...etc.). I buy canned artichoke hearts, drain them, use what I need and freeze the rest. When chicken is on sale, I buy a whole bunch, throw it into a marinade, and grill it up on the BBQ. I freeze the grilled chicken breast, so that it is ready to go for a variety of meals. Those are just some of the money saving tips, and tips to having an amazing meal on the table without having to go to the grocery store all the time.
As far as pizza crust goes, if you do not want to go the homemade route, buy the pizza crust in the can. It works just great! I have tried many homemade pizza crusts, and by far, I like the Kitchen-aide Pizza Crust because of it's simplicity, taste and texture.
If you do cook this recipe up, leave a comment and let me know how it went, I would love to know!

Mediterranean Pizza

For the Pizza Crust:

1 pkg. yeast
1 c. warm water (120 degrees)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 c. flour

In kitchenaide bowl, dissolve yeats in warm water. Add salt, olive oil, and 2 cups of flour. Turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute, or until combined. Add remaining flour until it forms a nice ball. Then knead for 2 minutes on speed 2. Remove dough from dough hook and cover bowl with a towel, and let dough rise for 1 hour in a draft free environment. (like your oven)

For the Pizza:

2 Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbs. olive oil
2 grilled chicken breast, sliced into bite-sized peices
1/4 c. pesto sauce
3-4 artichoke hearts, chopped
2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 onion, sliced thinly

In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sliced tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Let this mixture marinate at least 30 minutes. (you can make this in advance, and let it sit on the counter for hours if you prefer) When crust has risen for an hour, preheat oven to 550 degrees or as high as your oven can go. Spray the pan that you are using to cook the pizza on with cooking spray, and sprinkle with cornmeal (optional). Spread crust to the edges of the pan (I use a large jelly roll pan). Spread pesto over crust, then cheese, then chicken, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and lastly the onion. Pop into the oven until crust is golden, and cheese has melted. FABULOUS!

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