Sunday, February 5, 2012

Meatless Mondays: Pear, pesto & brie pita pizzas

Sometimes the key to making something everyone likes is giving some choices and, in a sneaky way, making everyone make their own darn food.  Hard to complain when you're the cook, right?  With this in mind, pita pizzas are a fabulous choice for a busy Meatless Monday.  Armed with a variety of your family's favorite cheeses and meat-free toppings, this one has a little something for anyone.  As an added bonus, you can go as homemade or semi-homemade as you like, depending on your pantry, your motivation, and, well, your Monday.

Although we've made these personal pies with tomato sauce many times before (with great success!), this time we decided to also experiment with a playful and different combo. . .pear, brie & pesto.  Seriously, how can you go wrong with those three?

Basic ingredients:
  • whole wheat pitas (1-2 per person)
  • jar of pizza sauce (see below for an easy at-home sauce with sneaky spinach)
  • grated mozzarella cheese
  • favorite toppings

Easy at-home pizza sauce with sneaky spinach:
  1. Heat 1 Tbsp EVOO in a pan.
  2. Once the oil is warm, add in the following, mix and allow to cook until combined:
  • 1 jar tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup stewed or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh chopped spinach
  • 1 Tbsp your favorite Italian spices (I like thyme & oregano)
  • a little shaved parmesan to top it off
  • salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for our pear, brie & pesto combo:
  • 1 jar of pesto (or homemade if you're feeling ambitious)
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 sliced red onion, caramelized
  • 1-2 ripe pears, sliced thinly
  • brie cheese (double or triple-cream is best for melting)   
Instructions for assembly:
  1. Heat the EVOO in a shallow pan until warm.
  2. Add sliced red onion and caramelize until soft and sweet.
  3. Spread a thin layer of pesto onto each pita.
  4. Top with caramelized onion, thinly sliced pear, and slices of brie.
Instructions for baking pita pizzas:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Assemble pita pizzas as desired and arrange on baking sheet or foil.
  3. Pop in the oven for 7-10 minutes, broiling for a minute or two once the cheese is melted.
  4. Enjoy!
  5. Siena's half-and-half version.
Fun variations:
  • Mexican pizzas with refried beans instead of sauce, cheddar cheese, and homemade salsa.
  • Caprese pizzas with fresh sliced mozzarella, fresh basil, and thickly sliced tomatoes.
Would love more ideas for my next batch. .. what do you like on your homemade pizza?

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