Unless you live under a rock, a rock that has 5 layers of moss on it, covered in 2 feet of snow, with a topping of ice, you can’t miss the fact that we’re firmly entrenched in the middle of the “holiday season.” What is that, anyway? Oh, yeah, that’s when retailers grease the wheels for massive spending on gifts.
But, this year I’ve decided not to fight my gut reaction to this season of commercialism. I’m going to embrace the holiday season in the spirt of one much younger than I, Louisa, who absolutely loves Christmas, and the holidays, and has been playing Christmas songs since October. Because it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yep, I’m going to go along with that, because it’s so much easier than fighting the tidal wave of holiday gift advertising. And much more fun, too.
Therefore, since my brain has absorbed the arrival of the season a bit earlier than normal, it has also recognized the fact that holiday food consumption is also right around the corner. And it might be good to lighten up our daily dining, just a little bit. Which is why I chose a light and healthy cookbook to inspire this week’s recipes, “Cooking Light, Fresh Food Fast.”
Flipping through the pages I found a lighter spin on pizza that looked pretty good. And, as you know, I love pizza, and playing with pizza recipes. I tweaked the recipe in the book a bit to use up a log of goat cheese I had in the refrigerator (not sure why I purchased it), and included a few extra ingredients that I thought would be good. This lightened pizza turned out to be delicious and very easy to make. In fact, I’ll probably play with this healthier spin in the future, even when I don’t feel the need to lighten up, because it was so good. Joe enjoyed it, and ate his slices like a wrap. I cut off smaller squares to eat it like a finger food. Even Louisa enjoyed it, which says just about everything you need to know!
Here’s my illustrated, grandma recipe for lightened, flatbread pizza:
Sauté 1/4 red onion, diced, in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toast in a heated, small skillet about 2 tablespoons pine nuts per person, watching carefully so they don’t burn. Crumble up goat cheese (I had an 11 ounce log, but probably 2 ounces of any cheese per person will do); slice in half red grapes, about 1/4 per person; tear up about 1 ounce prosciutto per person. Wash 1 cup of baby arugula per person. Reduce 2 tablespoons per person of balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over low heat until thicker and a bit syrupy.
Place 1 flatbread per person on baking sheet, you may need to use two sheets if making more than two pizzas. Divide onions evenly over flatbreads. Top with cheese, grapes, and prosciutto. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven until cheese is warmed. Remove from oven and top with salad and, finally, drizzle on balsamic vinegar.
There are many ways you could play with this recipe including changing the nuts, the cheese, the salad topping, removing the onion, adding garlic, removing the meat, whatever makes you happy!