Since I’ve always been a big fan of thin crust pizza…and I was really hungry (that’s when the best food-related ideas come) …and in a hurry, I gave this classic a twist.
When baking pizza, I usually use Jamie Oliver’s pizza dough recipe, which is very reliable and foolproof (1 kg white bread flour,1 teaspoon fine sea salt, 2 x 7 g dried yeast sachets, 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 650 ml lukewarm water), but today I was in a hurry and craving golden melted cheese, so I had to find a shortcut.
Instead of kneading some pizza dough, I decided to use some flat-bread (Lebanese flat-bread in my case) along with some fresh vegetables and cheese. I went for some fresh tomatoes, courgette and fresh basil leaves, which I had on hand and were homegrown, but you can use any vegetables you like.
Other vegetables which seem as a good idea for this are peppers, eggplant, broccoli (or even cauliflower), mushrooms and so on. Whenever you can, use vegetables which are fresh, in season and homegrown. You can use other Italian herbs you like as well (oregano and/or thyme is your best bet). You could even replace the cream cheese layer with tomato sauce or Genovese Pesto Sauce (I’ll go for homemade Genovese Pesto Sauce next time, because I’m a huge basil fan).
So, start with a flat-bread, spread some cream cheese on top (I used some homemade mix of organic dairy products: about 3 parts cottage cheese, 2 parts greek yogourt, 1 part cream), then added the diced veggies (I deseeded the tomatoes to avoid getting the flat-bread too wet), some minced garlic (you can use dried garlic as well), some fresh basil, some hot dried red pepper flakes and salt to taste. After baking it for a few minutes to soften the veggies, I added the shredded cheese (preferably mozzarella) and then baked it until the cheese melted and started to get golden. Add fresh basil leaves.
* If you are a vegan, replace the cheese with vegan cheese or spread on the flat-bread some homemade Genovese Pesto Sauce (skipping the Parmesan cheese in it).
*If you like some salami, prosciutto or anchovies on your pizzas, feel free to add them before adding the cheese.
As an important note after burning the edges of my ‘pizza’, spread your toppings (and most important the cream cheese, tomato sauce or Genovese Pesto Sauce) as far out to the edge of the flat-bread as you feel safe doing, in order to prevent browning.
You don’t need a pizza tray or a very large baking tray, just use some aluminum foil and place the ‘pizza’ on the oven rack. You don’t even need a recipe or exact ingredients for this yumminess, just go with your heart and enjoy it. I know we did (with a glass of cold white wine) 🙂