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Spinach, Cherry Tomato, and Feta Pizza

Making pizza at home from scratch isn’t as easy as ordering it to-go, but it doesn’t have to be much harder than that. I recently combined two Food Network recipes (thanks, Rachael and Giada) for an easy dinner that needed only a simple romaine salad to complete. The dough for the extra-crispy crust comes together in minutes with the aid of a food processor, and can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Vary the toppings to suit you, but I really like this Greek-flavored combo that would be all the better with a scattering of Kalamata olives.  – Susan Puckett

Ingredients

Crust:

3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for greasing the bowl and pan)

Topping:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
9 or 10 ounces washed and dried spinach leaves (from a bag is fine)
Salt and ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1 cup crumbed feta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
Freshly ground pepper and/or red pepper flakes

Instructions

Make the crust: Place warm water in a small bowl; add yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves and bubbles, about 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt and pulse a few times. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons of oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Knead dough about 1 minute,  until smooth and satiny, adding a little more flour if dough is very sticky.

Lightly coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil. Transfer dough to the bowl, turning to coat.  Cover bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free area until dough is doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Punch down dough. (May be made a day ahead at this point and refrigerated in an airtight container.)

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Lightly coat a sheet pan or round pizza pan with olive oil. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a circle or rectangle with a rolling pin, starting in the center of dough, working outward toward edges, leaving a crust.

Set the dough into the prepared pan, patting and stretching if needed to fit. Par-bake in the oven until very lightly golden, about 5 minutes.

Make the topping: In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat; add garlic and onion and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the spinach; cover with a lid and cook 2-3 minutes, just long enough for the leaves to wilt.  Remove lid and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Spread the spinach mixture over the par-baked pizza dough then sprinkle with the feta and mozzarella.  Top with halved cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with oregano and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place the pizza back into the oven and bake until the cheese begins to brown, 7-10 minutes, taking care that the crust doesn’t burn.  Remove from oven; season with ground black pepper and/or red pepper flakes and serve.

Makes 4 servings