Here’s my recent winner for a super-quick weeknight supper. Tilt your homemade pizza toward the breadstick end of the spectrum. Lighter and faster than the traditional.
I am shoplifting my inspiration from recent restaurant visit in Washington, DC (a fitting respite from NPR meetings). I shared a pizza that was heavy with cherry tomatoes and arugula, served barely warm rather than baked to the withering point.
To get this project into the oven in 15 minutes or less, start with purchased pizza dough. My wife and I have been using Pillsbury’s refrigerated dough. Purists, give me a break here. If you haven’t tried it yet, don’t knock it. It does NOT taste like the pasteboard biscuits that come out of grocery store tubes…
Sprinkle the dough with olive oil—a couple of teaspoons should do it; use more if you have performed at least two half-hours of exercise this week.
Next, sprinkle with your favorite form of garlic. A teaspoon of pre-chopped garlic at least—garlic powder if you’re in a pinch for time. Fresh herbs if you are well stocked. Add a handful of chopped onion, to taste.
Now, the variation. Sprinkle on a light handful of shredded pizza cheese—not tons and tons. Follow up with a few shakes of grated parmesan. Just make sure each portion of the dough gets some loving care.
Add freshly ground pepper onto the pizza (sorry, this is one point where the tin can just won’t do). Up to this point you have essentially made an extra-large garlic stick.
Feel free to add a thinly sliced, precooked chicken-apple sausage in the event that you have completed a third half-hour of exercise within the week.
Pop in the hot oven, taking care that it is a blast furnace at 550 degrees. Protect your hands and face, please. You need to be able to write your next pledge check to WFAE.
Cook till golden and bubbling—check after six minutes.
One minute before the pizza is completely done, sprinkle with ½ cup of halved cherry tomatoes. Let them just warm up on the pizza, don’t let them get mushy.
Now, just before serving, top the pizza liberally with washed and dried arugula. Since we are in a weeknight rush I used coarsely chopped leaf lettuce—as in the photo–and it worked fine.
Let the pizza stand for about one minute to set up, then cut and serve. Four portions at least. Yummy the next day as a take-with lunch. Cheaper and more rewarding than the cardboard taste of most carryout pizza.
I would love to hear the variations you come up with!