Friday, June 12, 2009

Making Gourmet Pizza At Home - Salmon and Tzatziki Pizza

My friends and I made some really, really good pizza last night! Of course we had a couple of classics, like pepperoni and pizza margherita. But the gourmet pizzas were the big stars of the evening. In fact, the three gourmet-at-home pizzas were so good that I can only share them one at a time. Each deserves to be savored and appreciated on its own.

You know I'm crazy about thin and crispy crust and I like to make it myself, just to be sure it's perfect. I actually had four crusts in the freezer from last week's brick oven pizza party, which had been pre-baked -- the secret to great pizza at home. With one additional crust made from leftover dough and pre-baked before everyone arrived, we were ready to make five pizzas for the seven of us to sample.

Partially pre-baking the pizza crust is a good idea for so many reasons:
1. saves time
2. makes it easy for people to handle while adding toppings
3. easier in and out of the oven
3. assures a crispy crust, without blackened toppings
4. freezes nicely so any time is pizza time

This is Linda proudly showing off her pizza -- Salmon Pizza with Tzatziki. It was, quite simply, O-U-T-S-T-A-N-D-I-N-G! The recipe is based on one I found in a wonderful little cookbook, Delicious Pizza (publisher is Paragon Books Ltd, in the UK, but I couldn't find it listed at Amazon or Barnes and Noble - I picked it up at a discount garden center). I decided to add some feta to the other toppings and then I adapted Kalyn's delicious Tzatziki recipe for the topping. The result was just perfect. Really! Do I need to say it again? Make this pizza if you like salmon, or feta, or tzatziki. I guarantee you will love it! And if not, I will come to your house and take it off your hands.

(adapted from Delicious Pizza)
1 lightly pre-baked 10-12 inch pizza crust
2 small tomatoes, diced
2 shallots, diced
1 6-oz. salmon fillet, baked
2 oz. feta cheese, diced
Tzatziki – see recipe below

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Sprinkle the tomatoes and shallots evenly over the pizza crust, almost to the edge. Break salmon into small pieces with a fork and spread on top of tomatoes and shallots. Top the salmon with diced feta. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until crust begins to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool briefly before slicing. Serve with Tzatziki to spoon over pizza.


(adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen)
16 oz. Greek* yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
½ tbsp. kosher salt (to salt cucumber)
2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
freshly ground black pepper

Place diced cucumbers in a strainer or colander and sprinkle with Kosher salt and let stand for 30 minutes to reduce moisture. After draining, press firmly with dry paper towels to blot out moisture. In a bowl, mix yogurt, lemon juice, cucumbers, garlic, dill and freshly ground pepper until well-blended. Check seasoning to know if any more salt is needed. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Tangy and refreshing served with grilled meats, poultry or fish.
*Note: If you can't find Greek (Oikos, made by Stonyfield Farms, is my favorite) yogurt, you will need to strain regular yogurt through a coffee filter for about 30 minutes, to remove some of the liquid. Greek yogurt is much thicker than regular yogurt and makes a much nicer sauce.


Becky said...

OMG, that Salmon and Tzatziki pizza looks just fabulous. I'm gonna see if we can get some salmon tomorrow!

Maris said...

i would never expect salmon and tzatziki to be PIZZA toppings! It sounds like you had a great time and some delicious pizzas!