Between full days of work, volunteer commitments and silly side projects, it’s hard to imagine that cooking can still be an outlet for stress relief. But that’s what hobbies are for; and cooking is mine. Plus, a civilized meal with friends (by civilized I mean not dining alone with a box of salad bar or bowl of popcorn) is the ultimate stress relief for me.
Cooking and entertaining can be super easy when you have the right staples. Here are a couple tricks. A stocked refrigerator and pantry with staples of fresh seasonal veggies plus good quality oil cured olives, anchovies and capers help make it happen. A beautiful display of lemons can have a duel role of presentation and the much needed drizzle of fresh acid on greens or fish. Frozen salmon and store bought pizza dough are also good stand-bys.
After a full day of work yesterday, and after incubating a silly community event (more to come), I made a delicious pizza using items from my kitchen. In less than 30 minutes, a pizza that can practically claim to be a salad too.
Weeknight Pizza with Mushrooms, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad
- 1 pizza dough, I love the Wewalka Bistro Style Dough
- 1 pint cremini mushrooms, sauteed in butter, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt & pepper
- 1/2 pint, grape tomatoes, halved
- 4-5 thin slices prosciutto, torn
- 4 ounces, torn brie cheese
- 1 small handful shredded mozzarella
- 3 large handfuls, arugula
- 1/2 lemon, for juice
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- pecorino romano cheese, for final sprinkle
Preheat oven to 400. Roll out pizza dough. Drizzle slightly with olive oil. Scatter pizza dough with mushrooms, tomatoes, prosciutto and cheeses. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crispy and bubbly.
Toss arugula in extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season with pepper and a tiny bit of salt. Top hot pizza with arugula salad. Dust with pecorino romano cheese.