Perfect, quick & easy weeknight pizza

I couldn’t even bring myself to call this one a recipe in the post title. That’s how easy it is.

I loooove pizza. But the price adds up, much of it is really greasy, and it’s hard to find one with the perfect crispy thin crust. You can make your own to fix most of these problems, but many people find the idea daunting. Making pizza from scratch is actually pretty easy. But some nights you just want it to take 20 minutes, or do it on the spur of the moment, and that’s when this comes in handy.

Lavash bread: Much of the secret is the choice of crust. I’ve tried various pre-made crusts and doughs, and the best thing I’ve ever found is something that isn’t marketed as pizza crust at all—it’s a Middle Eastern flatbread. It cooks up crispy and thin, which is hard to manage at home.

So. Preheat your oven to about, say, 400 F. Grab a heavy sheet tray, or whatever’s on hand. Slap some parchment paper on there and spray a light bit of cooking oil on to make sure the bread doesn’t stick.

Put a round of lavash on the parchment paper. Yep, it’s already cooked, not dough. That’s okay. Lightly brush or spray it with oil—this helps to protect the bread from getting soaked by the toppings. Olive oil is nice but not necessary.

Top the round with whatever toppings you like on your pizza, leaving about an inch of space around the edges. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is browning and crispy, the cheese (if any) is melted, etc.

Toppings:

When it comes to cheeses, you’ll want a big pile of shreds (they’ll melt down a lot). I like freshly grated monterey jack or cheddar, maybe some mozzarella slices, and/or a scattering of parmesan (good parmesan should be used in moderation and always with other cheeses—it has a strong flavor). Another option is slices of marinated fresh mozzarella—then you can use the seasoned oil left over to brush on the crust and/or dip bread into.

As for tomatoes, you have options. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, try slicing or dicing them, then salt lightly and place in a colander or strainer for 20-30 minutes to remove some of the water. One of my favorite options is part of a can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes. Something I do when I get super-ripe grape tomatoes from the farmer’s market that won’t last is split them, season them, oven-roast them, then refrigerate them. This way you can drain some when you need them during the week and use them on pizza or pasta.

Cheese pizza: Spread some tomatoes (see above) on the bread, then top with shredded cheeses.

Red clam pizza: Rinse and drain a can of boiled baby clams (good source of iron, by the way!). Spread those tomatoes on the bread again, top with clams, top with cheeses, and bake.

Basil-mozzarella pizza: Top with tomato, slices of mozzarella, and whole basil leaves. Bake. (This is a great place to use that marinated mozzarella).

Chorizo pizza: Top with tomato, mixed shredded cheeses, and slices of chorizo (or crumbled chorizo) that you’ve pre-browned on the stovetop and drained.

You should be able to go from there! Remember, it’s as easy as:

  • Lavash bread, brushed or sprayed with oil
  • Toppings
  • Bake!
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Posted in Cooking
6 comments on “Perfect, quick & easy weeknight pizza
  1. bev says:

    You didn’t mention feta cheese. Relatively low in fat, and you don’t need a lot of it for lots of flavor. I especially like it with fresh tomato. Hmm, I also like pesto pizza with fresh tomato; I wonder how pesto and feta would pair up. It would be either nirvana, or a sensory overload that would make my brain explode.

  2. heather says:

    Feta with pesto and tomato should be perfect, actually; I’ve seen those flavors combined in other arenas.

  3. Marisa says:

    My mouth watered just reading that. I am a huge pizza fan. All I ever want to eat is pizza and I am always fighting his urge to keep the pounds off. This recipe however seems safer than the usual cheese lovers stuffed crust pizza hutt. Can I add some pepperoni please?

  4. Great tip about draining super-ripe tomatoes for use during the week. Ripened tomatoes are full of flavour and great for cooking. I definitely like your idea about saving ingredients for later use!

  5. Hi, this recipe (not really recipe) for pizza looks easy and sounds yummy. I am wondering where one would buy Lavash bread. I don’t recall seeing it in my friendly grocers. I do love pizza too!

  6. heather says:

    Shari: I get lavash bread at my local grocer’s, but it’s going to depend on how large your grocer’s is and what it carries. Flour tortillas can work as well.

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