Friday, August 12, 2011

August 12: White Pita Pizzas with Red and Green Prosciutto Salad

   Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4 10- to 12-inch  pita breads, white or whole-wheat
1 large garlic clove, crushed
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
   Zest of 1 lemon
1 sack (10 ounces) or 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small fennel bulb
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 medium head of radicchio (optional)
8 slices prosciutto di Parma or ham, cut into strips
20 fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
   A generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Drizzle EVOO over the pitas and rub them with the crushed clove of garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper and arrange on 2 cookie sheets or place directly on oven racks. Transfer the bread to the oven and toast for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the pitas start to flirt with being crispy.

While the pitas are in the oven, in a bowl combine the ricotta, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.

Remove the slightly crispy seasoned pitas from the oven; spread the ricotta mixture over the bread, covering it from edge to edge. Sprinkle the ricotta with the shredded mozzarella and return the pitas to the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts and browns at the edges.

Trim the tops of the fennel bulb and quarter lengthwise. Remove the core from each quarter with an angled cut. Slice the fennel across into thin pieces and add to a salad bowl. Shred the romaine and the radicchio and add to the bowl. Add the prosciutto and basil, then drizzle balsamic vinegar and EVOO over the salad and season with a little salt and pepper. Toss the salad thoroughly.

To serve, remove the pitas from the oven, arrange them on 4 serving plates, and arrange a pile of the red and green salad on top. If eating pizza with a knife and fork isn't your style, then serve the salad on the side.


I like this meal, although it is a little bland if you eat the elements separately. I ended up cutting my pizza in half (I used those flatbreads because I couldn't find big enough pitas), and putting the salad inside like a filling and eating it like a taco. The flavors go well together that way. This recipe was very quick and easy. I changed a couple things in the recipe: first, I made the radicchio optional because I don't like it; second, I added ham as an option in place of prosciutto. I am liking ham better nowadays than prosciutto.

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