Per Serving: $0.74
I have a serious love affair with pizza. I’m sorry, have I mentioned this here before? While I was once a pizza purist, I can now appreciate the gourmet “salad pizzas” of California, as well as the simple veggie-packed lavash pizzas, and fancy restaurant flatbreads. About a year ago (in Peru) we were on this really serious pita pizza kick, eating them for lunch at least once a week. Simple little pitas topped with whatever vegetables we had on hand:
So easy! I recently got a craving for South American fugazza, which is basically dough with onion and butter and a little cheese,, baked to golden perfection. (I think it’s Italian-Argentinian, NOT the sandwich though.) I could get one of those babies for 60 centimos (about 20 cents) at the bakery across from where I taught class. I decided to make a sort of marriage between the two, using rich ricotta cheese and leftover fennel from my CSA box. (There’s ALWAYS leftover fennel.) You could easily use onions or shallots instead, but I’m always looking for ways to use up our fennel!
This is a surprisingly filling but light lunch, or an easy dinner when paired with a salad or vegetable side. Or you could skip the healthy sides and just eat two pitas. No judgement. Or you can make them when everyone is out of the house and hide whatever you don’t eat in the back of the freezer. (Shh!) Just know that you can basically get all of these ingredients (maybe onion instead of fennel) at Trader Joe’s. Easy peasy weeknight dinner? Do it.
- 1 medium bulb fennel (and/or onion)
- 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 whole-wheat pitas
- 1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
- 1/2 oz fresh basil for garnishing (thinly sliced)
- Preheat oven to 450º.
- Slice fennel as thinly as possible using a mandolin or super awesome knife skills. Spread out on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil (half of total). Roast for 15 minutes. (Keep an eye on it – you want it golden, not brown.)
- Meanwhile, crush, smash, or mince your garlic cloves into small pieces then mix together with the 3/4 cup of ricotta cheese. (You can also blend it together in a blender or food processor, but you’ll probably need a touch more oil.) Add pepper and red pepper flakes to taste, about 1/8-1/4 tsp of each.
- Brush or drizzle the other tsp of olive oil onto the pitas. Divide the ricotta mixture evenly between the four pitas. Garlic Ricotta on Pita
- When the fennel is golden, remove from sheet and mix with butter and a little salt to taste. Divide amongst the pitas, spreading evenly. Fennel
- Bake in oven for about 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and serve!
- Category: Lunch, Appetizer, Snack, Pizza