Saturday, May 17, 2014

Katie Cooks: Naan Pizza

I love Indian food and of course, I also love pizza. Who doesn't love pizza? So on a whim I decided to combine the two loves and ingredients I already had lying around the fridge into one killer combination: a Naan Pizza. Naan, if you're not a connoisseur of Indian food, is a leavened flat bread that is served in most every Indian restaurant. It makes a great "blank" slate for a variety of ingredients, including traditional pizza toppings.

Below you will find the ingredients necessary to make this pizza. It's really so simple to throw together in a pinch and certainly any variation of ingredients customized to your liking will do! I encourage you to be an artist and see what suits your taste buds!

1 piece of naan (or any type of flat bread will do)
3-4 sliced tomatoes
1/3 cup of your favorite pizza or tomato sauce 
1 ball of fresh mozzarella 
fresh basil for garnish 
pinch of salt/pepper

First preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then place naan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on naan. I was careful not to use too much as it gets a little soggy if you overload the sauce! You could also forgo the tomato sauce if you desire.

Next cut thin slices of fresh mozzarella and place on naan. I used fresh mozzarella because I love its rich taste, but any mozzarella will do. My favorite mozzarella is buffalo mozzarella but the consistency is a little too watery for pizza. (Did you know that some people in Italy were arrested for making fake buffalo mozzarella? I love any place that takes cheese that seriously!)

Last of all, add sliced tomatoes. I used Campari tomatoes on the vine because they were from the 99 Cent Only store and looked like what my grocer charges $4 or more for. I also added some yellow heirloom tomatoes because I had them left over in the fridge. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to bring out the flavor of the fresh tomatoes.

"Toss" the pizza in the oven for 15 minutes. While you are waiting I recommend pouring yourself a glass of wine, particularly some Chianti and then prepare the fresh basil for garnish.

Every summer I buy myself a basil plant. Some how it always ends up dying by the end of summer, but it provides lots of lovely fresh basil for at least a few months and saves me from buying basil at the store and having it go to waste.

For the pizza, you can use whole leaves of basil or if you want to get fancy you can use a technique called "chiffonade". I learned this technique from watching my cooking idol, Jacques Pepin. It's really quite simple. Roll the basil leaf up into a tight little cigarette looking shape. Then cut it so that you get these little curly strips.

When the pizza is ready, take it out of the oven and sprinkle the basil on top. You are now ready to cut and serve. This makes a nice summer meal or appetizer that you can serve at a party. My husband and I had it for an appetizer for two last night and it was very delicious! 

Bon App├ętit

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