According to Pizza.com 94% of Americans eat pizza regularly. Define “regularly”… because I’m pretty sure the residents in my household eat pizza for dinner at least once a week, if not twice, and some of us… no names mentioned… have been known to indulge in a slice twice in one day. :) I knew I had a problem when a pizzeria owner said to me “hey… weren’t you in here earlier?” Our favorite is from a little place around the corner called Gotham Pizza. They have the most delicious Sicilian pizza called “Grandma’s.” Grandma’s Pizza is simply homemade red sauce, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. Lately, however, I’m proud to say our house favorite pizza is this simple recipe for homemade Greek Pizza. There’s something incredibly satisfying about tasty fresh pizza right out of your own oven and using Greek inspired flavors like eggplant, basil, Kalamata olives and Loukaniko make this pizza so delicious. If you can’t find Loukaniko at your grocery or specialty store your favorite sausage will do. Just make sure it’s fully cooked.
In creating this pizza, I wanted to construct one with a white sauce rather than a red sauce. The Figs & Feta test kitchen tried a tasty white sauce recipe published over at a fun food blog called Macheesmo. Nick at Macheesmo creates some great recipes and has recently published a savvy cookbook titled Love your Leftovers. Last December Nick published an entry on his blog called Mastering the White Pizza where he introduced the simplest, tastiest white pizza sauce. After trying this recipe I knew there was no way I could re-create the taste. This was the exact taste I was looking to smother on my Greek Pizza creation! With Matt’s permission of course, I’ve used it here. The only variation I made for this recipe is to substitute basil for thyme- just to tie in the Greek theme.
The trick to keeping things simple with this pizza or with any other homemade pizza for this matter, is to walk into your favorite pizzeria and ask if they would be so kind as to sell you a ball of their prepared ready-to-go dough. Most places are more than willing, and this will easily cut your preparation time in half. (Also, check for fresh pizza dough in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.) When I first moved to New York an acquaintance was so kind to pass this little secret on to me. Not only was my favorite pizzeria willing to sell me a ball of their prepared and already risen dough for $3, but the owner invited me in to the restaurant’s kitchen and showed me the proper way to roll it out, stretch it and even flip it in the air. New York pizzeria owners have an enormous amount of pride in pizza. This owner apparently wanted to make sure I made my pizza right – even at home. I was very appreciative of this invaluable lesson and so excited to learn how to roll out the dough by an actual and authentic pizzeria owner. $3 well spent. ;)
1 ball of pizza dough
Macheesmo’s White Pizza Sauce (Replacing Thyme with Basil)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 large shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2-cups heavy cream, warm
1/2 teaspoon fresh Basil
Salt and pepper
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 small Italian eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1-cup fresh spinach
Loukaniko sausage, sliced (About 1 ½ cups), or any other fully cooked sausage
½ cup Kalamata olives, cut in fourths lengthwise
½ cup sundried tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
½ cup feta cheese crumbled
1-cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Mizithra or Parmesan cheese for topping
Fresh basil, julienned
Prepare the Macheesmo White Pizza Sauce by sautéing shallots in butter over medium heat until they are translucent. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add flour and cook for a minute or two. Slowly add in the heavy cream, whisking to make sure lumps don’t develop. Your sauce is ready when it is thick like a gravy consistency. Turn off the heat and season with salt, pepper and chopped fresh basil. Set aside.
Brush a cookie sheet with olive oil. Roll out dough on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin roll equal amounts vertical and horizontal. Once the dough is stretched doubled in size lift up and stretch with fists, starting with your fists together then stretching apart while rotating the dough.
Place the stretched dough on coated cookie sheet and stretch to cover the surface.
Spread the sauce onto the dough, then layer sliced zucchini, eggplant, fresh spinach, Loucaniko, Kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, feta and mozzarella cheeses. Sprinkle with Mizithra or Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned, and the bottom is cooked through and browned. Sprinkle with julienned fresh basil and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and devouring.
©2014 by Alexandra Salidas Roll, Figs & Feta, LLC.
Recipe and photos by Alexandra Salidas Roll of Figs & Feta, LLC. Please do not reprint this recipe without permission. If you would like to feature this recipe on your blog or site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link your post to this one as the original source. Thank you!