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~ T.G.I. No-Fuss-Friday Greek Pizza for Mel Tonight ~

IMG_5456I'm Mel -- I cook all week -- on weekends too.  I cook for my family, friends, and, friends-of-friends. I even cook on TV, and it's all fun, but, every once in a while, I have occasion to cook for myself. Tonight is such a night, and, I am going Greek and easy and super-good.  Why cook for myself when I don't have to?  Because, with little effort, calorie for calorie, my food tastes much better than over-priced, lack-luster take out or delivery -- in the case of tonight's pizza, it's faster too.

IMG_5479When it comes to pizza just for me, I don't want to spend time kneading the dough and waiting for it to rise. When I'm craving crust, I want the end-in-sight as close-to-now as possible.  That said, pre-made pizza crusts and canned pizza dough, in my opionion, were not one of the best inventions of the 20th century. They taste like cardboard -- In my heart, I believe they contain cardboard.  There is one exception:

Boboli.  It's not only a very good and tasty product, it mimics the texture and thickness of Greek pizza nicely.

IMG_5482Boboli have been around for years now, and, for very good reason: Boboli gave us a great product at a reasonable price, and, to prove it, they've stood the test of time.  In my kitchen, they've been kid-tested and mother-approved too.  I've also used Boboli as a tasty, uniform foil to test many of my pizza sauces, cheese options and topping combinations.  I individually wrap a 2-pack of their mini 8" crusts in plastic.  I thaw one out in minutes, and, minutes later (tick, tock), I'm eating pizza for me -- with a slice or two for tomorrow too.

What exactly is authentic Greek-style pizza?

IMG_5421Greek pizza per se refers to the dough/style of crust -- the same way New York-Neopolitan- or Sicilian-, Chicago- or Detroit-, or, St. Louis- styles do.  Greek-style crust is butter- not olive-oil based, then, patted into and baked in a shallow, heavily-oiled pizza pan (not a deep-dish pan), instead of directly on the bricks of a pizza oven.  This renders it well-formed (not free-form) and somewhat thick with a fried-like exterior and a chewy interior.  This type of crust is referred to as "Greek pizza" even when the pizza comes with non-Greek topping options -- which are offered at "pizza-and-pasta"* or "house-of-pizza"* Greek-owned pizza joints (*code words signifying the eatery you are entering is not a classic Italian restaurant, but a classic Greek restaurant offering some Italian-style food).

IMG_5434Greek pizza toppings, as one would expect, revolve around authentic, common-to-the-cuisine Greek ingredients.  If tomato sauce is used, it is thick and tangy with a strong taste of garlic and oregano. Hummus or red pepper hummus are two other popular sauce options.  As for cheeses, it starts with deli-style mozzarella (to provide the ooey-gooey affect) and ends with crumbled feta (which softens but doesn't melt, for the classic briny edge). Other options include red onion, fresh or sun-dried tomatoes, a variety of Greek-style olives, marinated artichokes, and sometimes, fresh greens like spinach or arugula leaves. Wisps or chards of Gryro-style super-thinly-sliced roasted meats (marinated lamb and/or beef) replace Italian-style ground or cured meat options (beef, sausage, pepperoni and/or salami).

Atop 1, 8" Boboli pizza crust, layer:  5 slices deli-mozzarella, shaved pieces of red onion & sliced Campari tomatoes, 5 coined Kalamata & 5 pimiento-stuffed Spanish-style olives, feta cheese crumbles & a generous sprinkling of Greek seasoning blend:

IMG_5426Place pizza directly on rack of 425º toaster oven & bake for 8-10 minutes: 

IMG_5448Slide pizza from rack to plate then wait (tick, tock) 3-5 minutes, &, slice & eat:

IMG_5460T.G.I. No-Fuss-Friday Greek Pizza for Mel Tonight:  Recipe yields instructions to make 1, 8" Greek-style Boboli pizza/6 slices, enough to feed 1-2 people

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; toaster oven (optional)

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d2e0bba4970cCook's Note:  I surely didn't invent the word pizz'alad, but it is catchy. That said, I'd been kinda making various versions of them at home for my kids for years (Philadelphia cheesesteak, Buffalo chicken and Texican taco to name three), before publications like Eating Well, Bon Appetít and Food and Wine started using this trendy term to describe a pizza with a salad on top.  Click here to get my basic (Crazy for Caprese) recipe for ~ Pizza' alads:  Salad Pizza (Pizza w/a Salad on Top) ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)


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