The finished product
The internet is full of people obsessively pursuing the perfect home pizza (yes, Serious Eats
, I'm looking at you). I am impressed by their dedication and their results. It's just…not me. The way I see it, if I want perfect pizzeria-style pizza, I'll…drive 25 minutes to my parents where I can order proper Chicago-style South Side thin crust. Okay, so maybe that was easier back when I wasn't in the pizza desert of a neighborhood I am now.
So back to this pizza. This is not the OCD kind of homemade pizza. It uses storebought pizza dough, and doesn't require a pizza stone. It's still delicious, and will also take you maybe 15 minutes to put together. To my fellow Hyde-Parkers, I'm pretty sure it comes out even with Pizza Capri. Which suggests that Pizza Capri buys their pizza crusts at Trader Joe's.
Ready to go into the oven
The genius of this recipe is that it uses marinated artichokes, draining them but saving marinade to use to coat the crust and drizzle over the pizza. This adds a lot more flavor than using simple olive oil would have. I hewed fairly close to the recipe, although I substituted canned, diced tomatoes because it's February in Chicago and the tomatoes are just sad. It called for those herb-seasoned feta crumbles but I just crumbled a block of feta myself and sprinkled some Italian herb seasoning on top. I also used a whole wheat pizza crust, to help me feel better about myself, and I found that the toppings were hearty enough to pair with whole grain. Oh, and I didn't have sweet onions so I used regular yellow onion and de-flamed it with Rick Bayless's boiling water trick.
…So maybe I didn't stick so close to the recipe. Whatever, the idea's the same, and the result was delicious!
Artichoke and feta pizza
Adapted from Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh
Obviously, you can sub homemade pizza dough if you have more time or ambition than I did.
Cooking spray or oil and cornmeal, for pan prep
1 ball pre-made pizza dough, like Trader Joe's
1 12 ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts
About half of a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup sliced white or yellow onion
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1-2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped or torn into small pieces
Preheat oven according to dough instructions. Prepare a baking sheet by coating with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil and then sprinkling with cornmeal.
Drain the artichokes, but reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade. Place the onions in a strainer, and holding the strainer over a sink, pour over the boiling water for a few seconds. Set aside.
Flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a rough 12×10 inch rectangle–alternately, use your hands to stretch out the dough–and place on the prepared pan.
Brush 1 tablespoon of the reserved marinade onto the pizza dough. Top the dough with artichokes, tomatoes, onion, and feta. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, then drizzle on the rest of the marinade.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is crispy and golden. Remove from oven and top with fresh mint.