What's the most popular made-at-home family dinner today? According to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive, it's pizza.
About two-thirds of U.S. adults (65 percent) consider pizza among their favorite meals to eat with family.
Pair this favorite dish with a fresh salad, and you've got a homemade, Mediterranean-style meal that's also good for the whole family.
So, encourage your children to get creative and learn about new foods and flavors in the process.
Using homemade, store-bought fresh, or frozen and thawed dough, you and your family can paint your own pizza canvas with vibrant tastes and colors. Slice up juicy tomatoes. Chop leaves of fresh herbs like basil and oregano. Grate wedges of Parmesan and Asiago cheese, crumble on goat cheese or feta, or slice up a creamy Brie. Add the flavor of the hearth with smoked Gouda or applewood-smoked bacon.
Then turn to the convenience of your pantry for roasted red peppers, canned artichoke hearts and olives of all kinds -- from black ripe to pimento-stuffed Manzanilla -- for one of pizza's favorite toppings.
Then, toss leaves of fresh romaine or other sturdy greens with more good things -- olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and Gorgonzola cheese -- and drizzle with your favorite dressing. Dinner's ready!
Smoky Olive, Gouda and Bacon Pizza
Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 8 to 10 minutes.
3 thick slices smoked bacon, preferably applewood smoked
1/2 cup coarsely chopped sweet or yellow onion
1 (14-ounce) prepared round pizza crust
1/2 cup Lindsay Spanish Olives Stuffed with Pimento, drained, or Lindsay Large Black Ripe Pitted Olives, thickly sliced (or a combination of the two, or similar)
1/3 cup julienned well-drained bottled roasted red bell peppers
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or Italian parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut bacon crosswise into thin strips. In small skillet over medium heat, cook bacon and onion, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and onion is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to paper towel to drain.
Meanwhile, place pizza crust on cookie sheet. Scatter olives and roasted peppers over crust; top with reserved bacon mixture. Sprinkle cheese evenly over pizza. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with basil or Italian parsley if desired; cut into wedges. Makes 12 appetizer or six main dish servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 199 calories (91 calories from fat); 10g total fat (1g monounsaturated fat), 25mg cholesterol, 536mg sodium, 17g total carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 9g protein
Olive and Brie Pizza Pie
Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes.
1 refrigerated 9-inch pie crust, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 plum tomatoes, halved crosswise, seeded and thinly sliced
2/3 cup Lindsay Black Ripe Pitted Olives, drained and halved (or similar)
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion with tops
2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano (or 3/4 teaspoon dried)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place crust on lightly floured cookie or baking sheet. Fold in edges of crust one-half inch, pressing down to form rim. Spread mustard over inside of crust; top with half of Brie, tomatoes, olives, green onion, remaining Brie, oregano and Parmesan. Bake until crust is crisp and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes six servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 346 calories (223 calories from fat); 25g total fat (9g monounsaturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 808mg sodium, 19g total carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 12g protein
California Harvest Pizza
Preparation time: 12 minutes. Cooking time: 8 minutes.
2 (10-ounce) packages 8-inch Italian bread shells
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 (6 1/2-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/2 cup julienned bottled roasted red bell peppers
1 (5-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled
1 (6-ounce) jar Lindsay Manzanilla Olives Stuffed with Pimento, drained (or similar)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup julienned fresh basil (stack several leaves, roll up top to bottom and cut roll crosswise)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush each bread shell with 1 teaspoon oil. Top each shell with artichoke hearts, bell peppers, goat cheese, olives and Asiago cheese, dividing equally. Place on baking sheets; bake 8 minutes. Sprinkle each pizza with 1 tablespoon basil. Makes four servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 738 calories (321 calories from fat); 36g total fat (7g monounsaturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 2,022mg sodium, 76g total carbohydrates, 4g dietary fiber, 28g protein
Chopped Salad with Olive-Caper Dressing
Preparation time: 10 minutes.
2/3 cup light or regular honey Dijon or Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup chopped Lindsay Black Ripe Pitted Olives or Lindsay Manzanilla Olives Stuffed with Pimento (or a combination or similar)
1 tablespoon capers, drained
6 cups packed torn romaine lettuce
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta, goat or Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup unpeeled cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken or
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Combine salad dressing, olives and capers; mix well. Arrange lettuce on four serving plates. Arrange tomato, cheese, cucumber and chicken or bacon over lettuce. Spoon dressing mixture over salads. Makes four servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 174 calories (96 calories from fat); 11g total fat (2g monounsaturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 717mg sodium, 11g total carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 9g protein
From Family Features Editorial Syndicate