My husband and I have been feasting upon Margerita Pizzas of late. We've had some in several different restaurants that were fabulous, so I decided to try my hand at making one at home. How hard could it be -- a few tomatoes, some basil, mozzerella and you're done! Here's my version that takes about 15 minutes to make from start to finish...
Easy Margerita Pizza
Place 1 tube Pillsbury Refrigerated Classic Pizza Crust onto a 14 inch pizza pan or cookie sheet. Prebake the pizza crust for 4-5 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Remove from oven. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of the crust, add a very thin layer of pesto sauce, some fresh snipped basil and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese...
Next, layer fresh mozzarella slices and arrange thinly sliced and deseeded tomatoes (I used plum tomatoes) around the crust on top of the cheese. Add a little more snipped basil and a dab of olive oil if you'd like.
Bake about 5-10 minutes in the already warm 400 degree oven until the cheese is melted. Check pizza often while baking to avoid burning the crust. Remove from oven and let sit a couple of minutes to cool before slicing. This pizza takes so little effort that you'll feel like you're cheating when you bite into its deliciousness!
Now for the fabulous salad -- my favorite part. I will give you the recipe for a larger group, but for my husband and me I use the ingredients below and just put in smaller amounts of the items to make enough for the two of us.
Chopped Pear Salad
3-4 cups chopped bibb or romaine lettuce
3-4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
2-3 medium pears, chopped (can use canned when not in season)
1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
1 cup sugar and spiced pecans (recipe below)
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional, but yummy)
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Poppy Seed salad dressing
Balsamic Vinaigrette (I like "Newman's Own Light")
You may arrange this salad on a platter by layering the ingredients and then drizzling salad dressing over the top, or put it in a bowl and toss. I use about 75% poppy seed and 25% vinaigrette dressing. Experiment with the dressings to discover your preference. I love the combination of flavors in this salad!
Sugar and Spiced Pecans
Add about 1/4 cup sugar, a pinch of dried red pepper and 2 Tbsp. water to saucepan over medium heat. Stir in about 1 - 1 1/2 cups pecans and stir until the sugar is somewhat dissolved and the pecans are coated well. (To add more pecans just add a little more sugar and water.) You need to be attentive because the sugar can burn easily. Transfer to a cookie sheet to cool. When cool break up into individual pieces.
I made this pizza and salad the other night for dinner. While the pizza was baking I threw together the salad. From start to finish this meal took 20 minutes to make. Seriously good for just a little effort!