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Tasty and Quick Greek Pizza Variations to Try

The National Herald Archive

Whole wheat pita pizza. Photo: (by jeffreyw, via Wikimedia Commons)

Tasty, quick and easy recipes to make at home are always appreciated by home cooks, especially with so many people home due to the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Try the following pizza recipes with classic Greek flavors and add your favorite Greek olives for even more Greek flare. For those with some extra time, the recipe for homemade pizza dough is also included below.

Pita Pizzas

1-2 packages Kontos pita bread, whole wheat, if preferred

For sauce:

6 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil, and additional for drizzling

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup sweet red wine, Mavrodafni

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained and crushed

Greek sea salt, to taste

For zucchini topping:

4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

A pinch of oregano

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 cups feta, crumbled

Place the pitas on rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper and set aside. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent. Add the tomato paste, cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes to incorporate. Add the wine, oregano, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes. Bring up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 30-40 minutes. Season with salt to taste, then set aside.

For the zucchini topping, heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Then, add the zucchini and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5-8 minutes, and then set aside.

To assemble the pizzas, drizzle the pita bread with olive oil, top with about a tablespoon of sauce for each pita and top with feta cheese. For the zucchini-topped pizzas, drizzle the pitas with olive oil, top with two spoonfuls of the zucchini topping or more as preferred, and some of the feta cheese. Add a pinch of additional freshly ground pepper or red pepper flakes, if preferred. Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the pitas are golden brown. Serve warm.

If preferred, substitute halloumi, kasseri, or kefalograviera, or a mixture of cheeses for the feta. Feel free to add your favorite pizza toppings as well to personalize your pita pizzas. Also, if the cheese is very sharp, the salt can be reduced or omitted.

Tomato and Feta Pizza

2 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 medium-large fresh tomato

1 11-inch prepared pizza crust (or two 8-inch pizza crusts)

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons grated mizithra or other grated cheese of your choice

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil, garlic, and oregano, and set aside. Using a paring knife, thinly slice the tomato. Toss the tomato in the olive oil mixture to coat completely. Arrange the tomato slices on the prepared pizza crust. Crumble the feta evenly over the pizza. Sprinkle the mizithra on top. Bake on oven rack, preheated pizza stone, or a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is slightly melted and crust is crispy and lightly golden brown.

Pizza Dough

2 cups warm water (about 105-115 degrees F)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

4 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt

3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Place the 2 cups warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry yeast, stir, and let stand until yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes.

Add 4 1/4 cups of the flour and the salt to yeast mixture and stir to blend well (dough will be sticky). Knead dough on floured surface until smooth and elastic for about 10 minutes, adding more flour by the tablespoonful if the dough is sticky as you go. Form the dough into ball. Oil a large bowl and place the dough inside, turning it around to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm spot in the kitchen until doubled in size, about 1 and 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough. Knead the dough into a ball and return to same bowl. At this point, you can also divide the dough in half if two smaller pizzas are preferred. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled again, about 45 minutes.

Coat a 15 by 10-inch baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Punch down dough. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Using fingertips, press out the dough to a 13 by 10-inch rectangle or 11-inch round, or two 8-inch rounds. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Top with favorites toppings and bake as directed above.