This restaurant-inspired pizza is a must-try!
Vacations can be a funny thing.
For parents of small children, vacations are basically just periods of time when you take care of your kids in another town. The scenery changes but not so much the agenda.
If you are fortunate enough to get away for a vacation sans children, the story is a little different. You no longer have to put all your energy into coordinating the perfect schedule of fun activities, adequate rest time, and plenty of snack breaks. Instead you can put all your energy into figuring out what you want to overeat for breakfast, what you should pack for lunch, and, after whatever you fill your afternoon with, what food sounds best for dinner. Of course, let’s also not forget the after dinner coffee and dessert.
I associate vacations with food. I can clearly remember meals we ate on our honeymoon nine years ago. (Hello amazing gnocchi and the best shepherd’s pie of my life). Meals from beach trips and camping trips and weekend retreats are similarly impressed upon my mind. Is it normal to remember the burger I ate last August at a women’s conference???
We may do any number of things on our vacation, but my mind is really never that far from thinking about what I’m going to eat next.
I like how Jim Gaffigan puts it: “We eat, you know, because we want to have a good time. Really that’s all a vacation is– just us eating in a place we’ve never been. ‘Why don’t we eat something, then we’ll go and get something to eat. And we’ll see that thing we’re supposed to see– they’ve probably got a snack bar there, right? After that we should probably get something to eat, though. Then we’ll eat something.’”
Nowadays, half the fun of eating out is getting inspired to try new recipes when we get back home. Some of our favorite go-to meals are ones I first tried sitting in a restaurant.
Last weekend my husband and I were able to get away for a weekend trip to the mountains for the third year in a row. We hiked and (he) fished and (I) napped and, of course, ate good food. Half the anticipation of the trip was eating breakfast at our favorite biscuit place in town. It would be your favorite, too, if you tried their saucer-sized biscuit topped with fried chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy.
There was also an incredible birthday dinner at a family-style Italian restaurant that makes all their pasta from scratch everyday. You had me at fresh pasta.
But, the dish I most wanted to recreate when we returned home was the pizza we ate Friday evening.
After an afternoon on the river on Friday, we just wanted a simple meal at a restaurant near our hotel room. We ended up outside on the patio, under an umbrella in a summer rain storm, sharing some of the best pizza we’ve ever eaten.
The pizza was simple enough to recreate. And the homemade version was just as great as the restaurant version.
This pizza is a very quick and easy recipe. The dough is the same dough I use for all my pizzas because it is so simple, foolproof, and delicious. The infused oil can easily be put together at breakfast, and then be ready to use for lunch or dinner.
We eat pizza regularly in our home because it’s so versatile and convenient. A year or so ago, we bought a baking steel to cook our pizzas on– and I’m so glad we did. Using the baking steel results in the PERFECT crust. Crispy and browned to perfection. If you eat homemade pizza often like we do, I would definitely suggest investing in a baking steel. (We chose the steel over a stone because the steel cannot break. Ever.)
Garlic Infused Olive Oil Pizza with Prosciutto & Bacon
- simple thin crust pizza dough for two pizzas
- 1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced into thin strips
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 (heaping) C shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 slices prosciutto, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 C greens, (spinach, baby kale, swiss chard, or a combination of the three)
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- extra Parmesan to grate (optional)
1. In the morning before you want to make the pizza, combine the garlic cloves and the olive oil in a jar. Let the oil sit for at least 4 hours before making the pizza.
2. Preheat the oven– 450° for a pizza baked on a pizza pan, or 500° for a pizza baked on a stone or baking steel.
3. Make the pizza dough: Combine 2 2/3 C flour and 1 tsp salt in a small bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, add 2 tsp yeast and then 1 C hot water. Let the water/yeast mixture stand 5 minutes, then pour the mixture into the flour and stir with a spatula until a wet dough comes together. Add another 1/3 C of flour and knead the dough until it is soft and no longer sticky, adding a tablespoon of additional flour at a time as needed. Divide the dough in half and let rest while you gather the remaining ingredients.
4. Grease a pizza pan or cut a piece of parchment paper. Spread one half of the dough with buttery fingers until the dough is thin and measures about a 10″ circle. Drizzle 3 Tbsp of the garlic infused olive oil on the dough and evenly spread with a spatula.
Top with half the cheeses, half the greens, and half the meats. Grate additional Parmesan cheese on top if desired.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes (without a stone) or 7-8 minutes (with a stone/steel).
5. Repeat step 4 for second half of pizza dough and toppings.