I had it in my head all day last week that I was going out for pizza that night for dinner. I had the specific pizza in mind - mortadella on a perfectly crispy-chewy flatbread topped with arugula. Thoughts of sitting at the bar with a nice martini or glass of red wine were making me type faster at work. Pizza. Wine. Open windows. Crowded restaurant. Formula for a perfect evening in my book.
I gathered my two armloads of bags, put on the walking shoes, and stepped outside to find it was much chillier than it had been earlier in the day. So I pulled a wrap out of my gym bag to start the walk home. I would have to go home first to change into warmer clothes.
You know how some days it seems to take twice as long to get home? It happened that day...and my commute is always the same: a half hour. Being a walking commuter, traffic never influences the time. So it was just my mental traffic jam that made my feet feel like lead. My bags started feeling like sacks of flour. Pizza seemed so far in the horizon I couldn't even see it. Until...
...I realized this scene, minus the crowded restaurant part, could be created at home. I had pita bread, a freezer full of cheese, artichoke hearts, olives, feta, and wine. This could work. Italian restaurant, home-version. So the Mediterranean pita pizzas materialized. Within 20 minutes I was seated, drinking wine, and enjoying a crisp and hearty pizza.
I taught myself a lesson that night: things in life often materialize in different ways than planned and can been just as good if not better. And 3 out of 4 is pretty good.
Mediterranean Pita Pizza
There are two secrets in this recipe. The first secret is a quick way to give garlic a semi-roasted flavor and texture. The second secret is to slit the pita bread and stuff it whatever you like for a double-loaded pizza.
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 pita bread
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
1/4 cup green olives, sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silicon mat.
Mix garlic and olive oil together in a microwave-safe bowl; season with salt and pepper. Microwave in 20 second intervals until garlic is sizzling and fragrant, about 1 minute.
Carefully slice the corner of each pita bread horizontally as pictured above. Spoon some of the garlic-olive oil inside each pita; sprinkle a little mozzarella cheese into the inside. Close pitas.
Brush the remaining garlic-olive oil on the top of each pita bread; top with mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, olives, and feta cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven until pita bread is almost crispy and cheeses are melted, about 10 minutes. Turn on the oven's broiler and broil pizzas until cheeses are lightly browned and bubbling, 1 to 3 minutes.