Happy belated Fourth of July! I hope you had a relaxing holiday, full of family-fun and reflective patriotism. I was blessed to celebrate in Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota with my parents, who drove all the way from Indiana to spend some time getting to know the places I’ve come to love.
Toward the end of their visit, we made a dinner stop at Punch Neapolitan Pizza near Lake Calhoun in Uptown, Minneapolis. If you’ve never had an authentic Neapolitan pizza, here are a few things you should know:
1) Trained Neapolitan pizza makers cook this Italian masterpiece in a 905˚F stone oven with an oak-wood fire for only 60-90 seconds! Speedy Jimmy John’s has got nothing on Neapolitan pizza makers.
2) Traditionally, Neapolitan pizzas are made with crushed tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
3) It’s really, really tasty! A lighter take on heavier pizzas, but the flavors are easier to savor and identify.
In the spirit of summer, and in honor of my endless love for pizza, today’s recipe is just that: An easy summer veggie mini pizza! It’s no Neapolitan pizza, that’s for sure … but at least you won’t have to spend months mastering the techniques involved to make it.
Sautéed asparagus spears and bright cherry tomatoes bring fresh notes to the savory, creamy feta cheese and garlic butter sauce. The best part? You can use pita flatbread for the crust.
And while these pizzas take longer than 60-90 seconds to cook, they are still super simple, fast and delicious.
Summer Veggie Mini Pizzas
Makes 4 mini pizzas | Author: Lauren Hardy
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 asparagus spears, halved both length and width
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup feta cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus and sauté until soft yet firm, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and season with Herbs de Provence and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt the butter and stir in minced garlic for the pizza sauce. Preheat oven to 425˚F. Warm pitas in the oven until slightly soft, about one minute. Brush sauce over pitas and top with sautéed veggies and feta cheese. Place directly on a small cookie sheet (or use a pizza stone if you have one), and cook until the pita has reached your desired crispness.