I referenced in my post earlier this week a Greek-style salad and white pizza I made for my mom friends a few weeks ago.
I should say: My baby is getting older so my obstacles are shifting as I cook. When he was all about sleeping in a baby carrier all the live long day, I wouldn’t have been able to get a pizza in and out of the oven very successfully. So keep that in mind if it’s still early days.
But the great thing about this meal is it tastes great at room temperature, so you can make it a little ahead and your mom friends (or your significant other) can grab and eat as timing permits.
This is an easy and very adaptable salad. A yogurt-based dressing or Bulgarian (soft) feta cheese make it creamy.
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 can chick peas
- 1 small jar Kalamata olives (Be kind to yourself. Buy pitted!)
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 1-2 ripe tomatoes
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1 small container *feta cheese
- Baby spinach (optional)
For the dressing:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice (it’s OK to use bottled)
- Brown/dijon mustard
- Dried or fresh herbs, oregano is especially good
- Salt & pepper
- Plain yogurt (optional)
Seed and chop the tomatoes and cucumber into bite-size pieces. Toss in a bowl with the rinsed can of chick peas. Check the olives for pits, chop coarsely. Chop the onions. (I don’t really like the bite of raw onions, even red onions, so I did a quick pickle: I chopped them into bite-size pieces and tossed them in a very small pot to which I had added white vinegar, salt and some pickling spices once it came up to a near boil. I let it sit for a few minutes before draining and rinsing. This is entirely optional, but I enjoyed it.) Chop and add the parsley. Finally, add the feta.
*My grocery store sells Bulgarian feta, which in addition to being way cheaper than the Greek version, is very soft and ends up lending a creaminess to the salad once I mix it in. If you don’t have this option, no worries.
Mix the dressing separately. I usually use a mason jar and shake the whole thing up. I do about 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts oil, add a good dollop (a teaspoon?) of mustard, a small handful (tablespoon?) of dried herbs that I first smashed up in my hand, and salt and pepper to taste. If you want a creamy dressing (and/or if you didn’t find Bulgarian feta), add some plain yogurt to the mix. Taste and adjust as necessary.
Because there’s no lettuce in the salad, it won’t wilt much. Toss it with the dressing and chill it for a little while before you serve to let the flavors meld. I ended up having a lot of liquid from the tomatoes & cucumber, so I mixed in some baby spinach leaves before serving to pick up some more of the dressing.
I used to make my own pizza dough usually. Then I had a baby.
- 1 package of fresh pizza dough (I bought whole wheat)
- Red onions (use the other half from the Greek salad recipe)
- One tomato (a meaty tomato like Roma is probably best for this)
- A few slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- Olive oil
- A ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
- A few cloves of garlic
- Dried herbs of your choice
Bring the pizza dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit on your counter to warm up for awhile so it’s easy to stretch. Once it’s pliable, stretch it out and lay it on a greased pizza pan (you can also spread cornmeal underneath it.)
Preheat the oven to pretty hot. Say, 450°?
Drizzle or brush olive oil onto the dough. Finely chop the garlic and spread it around. Add some dried herbs if you want; I went with dried oregano to match the dressing in the salad.
Slice the mozzarella cheese into disks as thin as you can get them without cutting yourself and cover the dough with them (you can leave gaps, it will spread.)
Thinly slice the onions and separate the circles. You won’t need a ton, just enough to spread out over the pizza.
Thinly slice the tomatoes and try to seed them well and get out as much moisture as possible. If you skip this step, you could have a very soggy mess on your hands, so take care.
Spread out your seeded tomato slices. Top the whole thing with bacon crumbles.
Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is starting to brown. Slice and allow to cool a bit (you can eat it hot, but you’ll worry less about dropping crumbs on the baby if it’s at room temp!) Leave out some crushed red pepper flakes for people to season as they like.
Bon apetit, mamas!
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