Mediterranean Pizza

Best Mediterranean Pizza - Mediterranean Roasted Red Pepper Pizza

…like a dip in the crystal clear waters of Greece…

I found this recipe on the Half Baked Harvest blog and I gotta tell ya, it was freakin’ delicious! I tried making 2 versions of it:

one following the recipe as is, and one with actual roasted red peppers (despite the name, the original recipe doesn’t use actual roasted red peppers.

The red peppers go on the pizza raw and get somewhat roasted while the pizza is cooked, which is why they’re meant to be cut so thin.

I actually do the same thing a lot of the time when using peppers on pizza, but given the name I really wanted to try using roasted red peppers.

picture of mediterranean pizza

Here’s what I discovered when trying the Mediterranian Pizza both ways:

The original recipe (i.e. using raw peppers) made for a really nice crunch to combat the rest of the ingredients which have a really low crunch factor.

My version of the recipe (i.e. using pre-roasted red peppers) made for a really nice sweetness that played nicely with the spiciness and saltiness of the other ingredients, but it was definitely missing the crunch.

So which was better? Hard to say. I guess it depends if you’d prefer a balance of flavors or a balance of texture. You decide.

Oh, and I actually used hot hungarian salami instead of traditional pepperoni ’cause I like a little extra spice in my life.

The origional recipe and method below can be found here:  Half Baked Harvest.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound chicken cutlets or tenders

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups grated parmesan

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and black pepper

1 pound spaghetti

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons salted butter

1 1/2 cups fresh basil, finely chopped

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup heavy cream or canned coconut milk

2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

2 cups baby arugula

juice from 1 lemon

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

METHOD

1. Place the Panko, 1/2 cup parmesan, and the onion powder in a shallow bowl. Dredge both sides of the chicken through the Panko, pressing to adhere by using your fist to really make the crumbs stick. Place the chicken on a plate. Set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain.

3. To make the sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and the garlic together over medium-high heat. Cook 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the butter and stir in the basil. Add a pinch each of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook another minute, until the basil is fragrant, then pour in the broth and cream. Add the cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and cook 5-8 minutes, until thickened slightly.

4. To cook the chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until golden brown on the other side, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and season with salt. Slice into thin strips. Add the prosciutto to the pan and cook 1 minute to warm through.

5. To the sauce, stir in 1 cup parmesan. Toss in the pasta and cook 3-5 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.

6. Toss the arugula with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Divide the pasta between plates and top with slices of chicken, warm prosciutto, and arugula. Twirl and devour…with bread on the side.

mediterranean pizza close up

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