Tag Archives: pizza

Pesto Naan Pizza with Bacon and Feta

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Cheater pizzas and I go way back.

When I was a kid I went to summer camp up north every year. One of the highlights for me was always the week long canoe trips on remote lakes. They were hard work with 8 hour days of paddling and sometimes 4 km long portages! But gathering around the fire for dinner after a long day was one of the best feelings! Pita pizzas were a staple meal on these trips because of their simplicity. Still to this day, the combination of pita with pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni is a comfort food for me.

Even though these days I tend to make real pizza with homemade dough, sometimes I still crave the simplicity of a cheater pizza. Okay, that’s just my way of saying “sometimes I’m too lazy to make dough.” This pesto naan pizza is inspired by a pizza that I had a few years ago at a restaurant in Hamilton. Theirs used a more unique homemade pesto with mint and lemon in it. But given that cheater pizzas are a lazy meal, I decided to just go with a bottled pesto. Feel free to make this vegetarian by leaving off the bacon – it’s still just as good!

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Pesto Naan Pizza with Bacon and Feta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!
Author:
Yield: 2 naan pizzas
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly (makes leftovers)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • ⅓ cup pesto
  • 2 pieces whole wheat naan
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the thinly sliced onion. Saute for about 3-4 minutes, then turn down the heat down to low and cook for about 15 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside. *Note: this makes leftover caramelized onions.
  2. Lay out the bacon in a cold skillet and place over medium heat. Cook until starting to get crispy on the underside, then flip over and cook until the other side starts to get crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Spread the pesto on each piece of naan and top with the bacon, caramelized onions, feta cheese, and mozzarella. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until cheese has melted. To brown the mozzarella, broil it at the end, keeping a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.

Your turn: What’s your favourite pita or naan pizza toppings?

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Pazzo Taverna and Pizzeria Review

I’m going to tell you something and it’s going to make me sound like a giant dork.

I created an Excel chart for my restaurant bucket list, organized by city and type of food. This way I can easily pick out just a few restaurants to suggest when I’m making plans with someone. It’s kind of neat!

A few Fridays ago I crossed one Stratford restaurant off my bucket list – Pazzo Taverna and Pizzeria! JZ was able to get off work early, so we headed there mid-afternoon and planned to explore the city a bit before dinner.

Highway 7

It was chillier than we expected out, so we wanted to grab some hot drinks to warm ourselves up. I suggested Balzac’s, a local chain with great coffee, but as we were walking we stumbled upon a small independent cafe called Slave to the Grind that we decided to check out.

Slave to the Grind

I liked it immediately! Exposed brick walls always create a really cool atmosphere. This place had several other great features too, like lattes made with various brewed teas and a selection of vegan milk options. I got a masala chai latte made with almond milk with a dusting of fresh cinnamon on top. It was delicious while not being a sugar bomb like most chai lattes.

Slave to the Grind

We sipped our drinks while walking around Stratford. I found at least 3 other restaurants there that I had to add to my bucket list when I got home! We also wandered through Shakespeare Gardens, which was exactly what I pictured the gardens looking like when I read Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. As a side note, if you haven’t read that Shakespeare play yet, add it to your reading list. It’s my favourite one!

Shakespeare Gardens Stratford

When our reservation time came, we headed over to Pazzo Taverna and Pizzeria, one of Stratford’s best known restaurants that is both a Taverna in the upper level and a Pizzeria in the lower level. Our reservations were for the pizzeria.

Restaurant review of Pazzo Taverna and Pizzeria in Stratford, Ontario

Because it’s below street level with stone walls, you almost feel like you’re in a wine cellar! It gives it a really cool atmosphere, although I wish our table wasn’t so close to our neighbours’ table. It’s hard to have a nice conversation when you can almost join in the conversation of the people next to you.

I had a glass of their wine special for the night, which our waitress recommended and I really enjoyed. I wish I had written down what kind it was! JZ really liked his Tawse Riesling as well.

Restaurant review of Pazzo Taverna and Pizzeria in Stratford, Ontario

I had the Soiled Reputation (a local farm) green salad to start, which had slow roasted tomatoes and fennel in it. It was a bit overdressed but I otherwise really enjoyed it. I like that they stuck to only a few flavours to let them really stand out. Unfortunately JZ didn’t love his Caesar salad, and I had to agree with him. It had a strong punch of garlic, but was somehow bland at the same time.

Restaurant review of Pazzo Taverna and Pizzeria in Stratford, Ontario

We both really enjoyed our pizzas though.

I took a while to decide on my order (like always – decision making is not my strong point!) but eventually decided on the Don Corleone pizza on the whole wheat crust, which came topped with pepperoni, Italian bacon, roasted red peppers, and fresh basil. It had the perfect thickness of crust (thin, but not too thin) and such great flavours on it! JZ loved his Italian Stallion pizza too, topped with prosciutto, Italian sausage, Italian bacon, spicy calabrese, bocconcini, roasted garlic, and fresh herbs.

Restaurant review of Pazzo Taverna and Pizzeria in Stratford, Ontario

They were pretty big servings though and we both left with half our pizzas in to-go boxes. Two meals from a $16-20 pizza ain’t bad! But my forgetful self ended up leaving my box in JZ’s fridge, so I didn’t get to enjoy my leftovers. Guess we’ll just have to go back some time!

Pazzo Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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5 tasty late summer vegetable recipes

5 tasty late summer vegetable recipes

Being unemployed has its disadvantages: occasional boredom, lack of money, and living at home with my parents to name a few. But it also has a few perks. Namely, having plenty of time to cook!

5 tasty late summer vegetable recipes

Recently I’ve gotten busy (in the kitchen – get your minds out of the gutter) whipping up tons of food using the best of the late summer produce. Sure you could make these recipes any time of the year, but now is the best time to do it because the produce is local, meaning it is cheaper, more flavourful, and likely higher in nutrients since it takes less time to get to your plate. Plus the late summer vegetable recipes in this post are all tried and true, so you can be assured they are delicious!

1. Pan-roasted corn risotto from Food and Wine

5 tasty late summer vegetable recipes Photo credit (for left photo): Food and Wine

I made this one day last week when we had about 10 cobs of leftover corn to use up (my parents like to really overbuy when they’re cooking for company). I found this recipe and then got a fierce craving for risotto, so I knew it had to be made. I cut down on the fat because 5 tablespoons of butter plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil is a bit excessive for everyday cooking. I found that 1.5 tablespoons of each butter and olive oil was perfectly sufficient without sacrificing any flavour!

2. Classic tomato soup from Fine Cooking

5 tasty late summer vegetable recipes Photo credit: Fine Cooking

Funny enough right before I made this soup I considered ordering take out sushi. But I tend to spend a lot of money out at restaurants, and I prefer to not spend it on takeout. So I decided on grilled cheese instead, and whipped up this easy homemade tomato soup to go with it. It calls for canned tomatoes but I used fresh and just removed their skins. It turned out great!

3. Sweet corn, zucchini, and fresh mozzarella pizza from How Sweet It Is

5 tasty late summer vegetable recipes Photo credit: How Sweet It Is

With all of my free time to cook, I’ve been playing around with making breads and pizza dough. So when my aunt invited us to a BBQ, I decided to bring this pizza to contribute as an appetizer. I used both fresh and hard mozzarella to make it extra cheesy!

4. Balsamic roasted beet, sweet orange, and chevre salad from The Flourishing Foodie

5 tasty late summer vegetable recipes Photo credit: The Flourishing Foodie

What I love about beets is that they have such a long growing season: they’re grown almost all summer long and into the fall. In the summers they’re perfect for salads like this one. Can you ever go wrong with beets paired with goat cheese? (Psst, the answer is no)

5. Open faced eggplant sandwich with olive-walnut relish from Fine Cooking

5 tasty late summer vegetable recipes Photo credit: Fine Cooking

I’m not always an eggplant lover. When it’s not cooked properly or paired with the right flavours, it can be pretty bad. But this recipe is the perfect way to serve eggplant to bring out and complement its best flavours. I used pine nuts instead of walnuts to make it nut free, but otherwise followed the recipe and it turned out fantastic.

What late summer vegetable recipes are you cooking right now?

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