I hadn’t gotten to the subject of dinner and it was past five. With three hungry kids nipping at my heels (literally), I took a wild-eyed spin around the kitchen — pantry, freezer, fridge, breadbasket – making a mental note of my options for a 20 minute answer to dinner (not many) and briefly considered take-out. The half empty package of whole wheat lavash bread caught my eye and a twinkle of an idea filtered through: Pizza. I fired up the oven and whirled a tomato sauce in the blender, seasoning it with a few staples from my spice drawer, wondering all the while if this was going to be any good.
A bit of reconnaissance in the fridge produced the necessary toppings and when the pies went in to bake, I set to work on a few side dishes. The gorgeous lettuces that arrived that morning in my CSA box found their way into a salad accented with orange sections and walnuts, which my daughter Rosie mercifully toasted for me after I had burned them (twice). Distraction is a terrible thing when it comes to toasting nuts. A head of steamed Romanesco broccoli, which looks like a prehistoric animal and tastes like cauliflower and broccoli “got busy,” rounded out the supper.
The pizza was a hands-down hit. When I made it again a week later I found myself hoovering a few slices before I could even get it onto the serving plate. The whole experience reminds me that the old adage, “necessity is the mother of invention” is never so true as it is in the kitchen. Plus, it was a whole lot better tasting, healthier, and cheaper, than take-out. I felt like a champ.
SPINACH AND PROSCIUTTO LAVASH PIZZA
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced, unsalted tomatoes, drained
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt
- 3 8×10-inch pieces whole wheat lavash bread*
- 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/3 cups washed baby spinach or arugula
- 2 thin slices prosciutto (1 ½ ounces)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Whirl the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, fennel, oregano and salt in a blender for about 30 seconds until smooth. Measure out 1 cup of the sauce and spread it evenly over the lavash, covering the entire surface of the bread. Save the remaining sauce for another use. Sprinkle the two cheeses on top, followed by the spinach/arugula. Tear the prosciutto into pieces and distribute over the pizza.
Bake the pizzas on the bottom rack of the oven until crispy around the edges, about 10 minutes. Cut into quarters or eighths and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings (maybe with a few slices leftover for school lunches)
* Lavash bread is a Middle Eastern flat bread available in many supermarkets and specialty stores
Good Idea: After about 5 minutes of baking, remove the pizzas and crack an egg in the center of each one. Return to the oven, this time on the top rack, and continue to cook until the egg whites are opaque while the yolks remain soft. Great as a breakfast pizza.