Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cheese, bread, tomatoes.

Lather, rinse, repeat if desired.

In my life, when we're talking cheese, bread, and tomatoes, it is MOST DEFINITELY desired.

During grad school, I realized that many of my favorite meals combined these three ingredients to a great degree, so I will initiate this blog with perhaps one of the most sophisticated combos of my top three that I can imagine.

Caprese salad/margherita pizza.

I like to eat reasonably healthy.  I know people who would call that an understatement.  It's true, I'm closer to healthy on the spectrum.  But I avoid nothing absolutely (not even the dread try finding a really good BBQ sauce without it!  although, I think I did just admit to looking, mildly, for 10 seconds, then I moved on with my sweet baby ray's purchase.)

ANYWAY.  the point is, I take no special considerations when making my food.  I like it to be reasonably priced, but since I pack my lunch, I figure I'm ahead of the game since I'm not spending $9 on a salad with rubber chicken warmed over. 

ENOUGH about me.

Meals #1 and #2.  I had one for dinner tonight and will have a lovely lunch to begin my week tomorrow.

Things I had:
1 package of 2 pizza crusts
1 hunk of mozzarella cheese
1 carton of cherry tomatoes
Some leftover salad greens that looked wilted and like they'd be tossed tomorrow night if I didn't figure something out STAT
Basil leaves from my window pot of basil plants
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
~15 minutes

To make both of these together:
You're making 1 pizza and 1 salad
Rub some olive oil on one crust, leave the other dry
Preheat oven to 350
Cut the mozzarella-- in thin squares or ovals or whatever (for the pizza crust) and some of it in chunks for the salad
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half or thirds
Arrange mozzarella, basil leaves and tomatoes on top of the pizza crust with the olive oil
Put both the pizza and the dry crust in the oven for about 10 minutes

One of them will emerge looking like this:

Now, while it is morphing into this perfection, get ready to transform your ordinary lunch container into something extraordinary  (look at doesn't know what's coming, but it is excited):
Layer the bottom with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  What do you like?  Do that.  I like about a tablespoon of both.  Then sprinkle half the mozzarella, half the cherry tomatoes, and half the basil that you want in your salad on top of the oil and vinegar (note: I like about 2 ounces of cheese at least in my salad...I'm not a cheese skimper)  It should look like this (isn't it pretty!  aren't you getting excited to eat it?  GOOD THING you've got a pizza coming your way in 5 minutes!):
Now throw in those fresh or wilty doesn't matter...this is really just to add some bulk to the meal and feel better about how much cheese you're eating.  It never hurts to squeeze those greens in where you can.  Then cover those ugly greens with another healthy layer of mozzarella, basil, tomato, and a couple more tablespoons (each!) of olive oil and balsamic vinegar:
Now, take your pizza and the dry crust out of the oven!  Set your pizza aside to cool for a minute while you survey your beautiful lunch for tomorrow: a very pretty caprese salad and a flatbread (you can bruschetta your salad when you get to work or eat it the more traditional way, which doesn't require making a verb out of an appetizer, which is to say, eat it as you made it: a salad with bread):
But wait, there's more!  Go enjoy your pizza!

I hope you're looking forward to lunch!


  1. So - you add the EVO and the vinegar the night before?? How does the salad not get grossly soggy, though? (ps really excited to be first official comment on your blog. :))

  2. that is a great question... i put it in the fridge overnight and at work, which i think changes everything. i like the way it makes the evoo a bit seems to give the salad a nice structure and for whatever reason, i actually like it after it has sat awhile. that being said, i don't remember the last time that i did it like this overnight, so if its a soggy mess, i will report back with a warning! i am excited you're my first comment as well :)

  3. looks delicious. Also, i love this blog. I laughed out loud when you referred to the "ugly greens" because that's how I feel. many, many a green goes bad in my fridge because i'm just like, ugh, greens? no thanks. i will turn to you for advice and recipes for healthy eating because i could afford to do a little more of that. So just be forewarned I'm girding my loins for all of your future blog posts.

  4. Oh, CP has a blog about food. Beets, Beets, Lentils, Kale, Beets! I want to see them all!

  5. oh plo, i know, its so dumb! the LAST thing the world needs is a blog about food. the world needs so much! alas, this is totally self indulgent. i need some internet accountability to seek out and consume beauty, so, here we are!

    jess- the salad was fine with me today. i could see how if you like your leaves very crisp, it would not be your style. in that case, i'd pack up everything but the greens and would take those separately. there IS a salad that i sometimes bring to work that i do that way. (in this case, i liked the greens smaller/more wilty).