Most nights I feel like cooking. Not just cooking, I feel like having an adventure in the kitchen. Tuesday just wasn't one of those nights. I was tired and a bit under-the-weather with allergies and felt more like a couch potato than a wildly creative chef. So, the only adventurous cooking going on in my place was coming straight from the Food Network. To my dismay, Giada's delicious creations didn't jump through my TV and place themselves on my fine IKEA china. So, it was time to take action.
I summoned enough of the adventurous cook in me to walk to the kitchen. Then, what I can only describe as the "Dance of Indecision" took place. And it went a little like this: open fridge, look around. Shut fridge. Open cabinets, look around. Shut cabinets. Open fridge. Shut fridge. Open cabinets. Shut Cabinets. You get the idea. Barren and overstocked fridge alike; it's not always easy to be creative when the adventurous cook in you has decided to go on strike. Thank goodness the "Dance of Indecision" only went on about seven minutes before I gathered some staples and began cooking. So, if you have 20 minutes and a few key ingredients, you can use your less adventurous, more endearingly lackadaisical side to create one delightful little insalata pita pizza.
This simple pita pizza offers all the crispiness, cheesiness, and heartiness of your average pizza, and the cool insalata topping provides a zip of tangy flavor that rounds out the richness of the garlic, shallot, and mozzarella.
Insalata Pita Pizza (Serves 1 so double, triple, or quadruple as you please)
1 7-inch pita (can be whole wheat or white)
1 small shallot, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
⅓ cup shredded mozzarella (I used 2% mozz to lighten it up)
1 cup loosely packed baby arugula or preferred greens
½ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
A few big basil leaves, shredded
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
2. Top pita with mozzarella cheese, garlic, and shallot slices. Place in oven (I placed directly on the rack, but you can use a baking pan to keep it neat) and bake for 8 minutes or until pita is turning golden brown and cheese is blistered and bubbly.
3. While the pitas are getting toasty in the oven, whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Add the arugula, cherry tomatoes, and basil to the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Top with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
4. Place your pita pizza on a plate, top with insalata mixture, and cut into quarters. Enjoy!