I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

The Greek Goddess

I vaguely remember studying Greek mythology in high school and I can still vaguely remember some of the better known Greek Goddesses. Heck, my whole recollection of high school in general is rather vague because let's face it, I had boys other things on my mind during those four years!

Let's see....there was Athena and Artemis, the Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of the Hunt, respectively. And of course the well known Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty. But there is one Greek Goddess who you may not be familiar with....Angela, the Goddess of Inspiration.

You may remember my friend Angela from this post but if not, let me give you a refresher course in her mythology.....

I've bestowed the title of "Goddess of Inspiration" upon Angela for two reasons. First of all because she has unbelievable zest for life. A few years ago, Angela was dealt a serious blow to her health ~ something that no woman wants to even think about, let alone endure. But the Goddess of Inspiration did not wallow in self pity, pain, depression, or any of the ugly things that sometimes accompany illness. Instead she tossed caution to the wind, bought herself a convertible and continued to kick life in the butt with a smile on her face.

Secondly, Angela is also deserving of the Goddess title because every time I'm around her, I feel inspired. Spending just any amount of time with her causes me to do things like start digging up my back yard with plans to extend my patio or drag out the ladder and start redecorating the kitchen. You can't even imagine how many ideas started floating around in my head after we spent a girl's weekend in Charleston ~ so many of them that I had to get a pencil and paper and write them down!

And one of the ideas born was this pizza. Wrestling with ideas of how to perfect a pizza recipe to be submitted for a recipe contest, I asked Angela for help. And she did not disappoint. My pizza quickly turned from a jumbled mess of ideas into this fresh, tasty Meditteranean creation loaded with Greek flavors. The recipe may look intimidating but don't let it scare you. The dough comes together in just a matter of minutes and while the recipe makes enough for four crusts, you can either freeze the others or break them up into pieces and serve them flatbread style with the leftover tzatziki. The tzatziki will take a bit of time to mellow out in the refrigerator, so make sure you start that early in the day. And the toppings are fresh and simple...very little preparation needed.

Hopefully this will be the grand prize winner for the recipe contest but no matter, it's the perfect summertime meal and certainly a winner in my recipe book! And much, much thanks to the Goddess of Inspiration for helping me....this recipe is dedicated to you Angela!

The Greek Goddess Pizza

Pizza Dough:

¼ ounce (7 gram) package of active dry yeast
1 Cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons melted butter (or oil)
2 ½ to 3 Cups flour
Zest from 2 lemons
2 Tablespoons dried dill
Olive Oil

In a large bowl, stir the active dry yeast into warm water and let dissolve. While continuing to stir add sugar, salt, lemon zest, dill and butter and begin adding the flour slowly, half cupsful at a time. When dough starts coming together and forms a ball, begin kneading by hand on a lightly floured surface. Knead until dough has a uniform and consistent appearance and elastic feel, about five minutes.

Divide dough into four balls. Cover with a dry cloth and let them rest for ten minutes.

While dough is resting, preheat oven to 400-degrees.
Roll each ball into a very thin 12-inch crust and place on a greased cookie sheet or pizza stone. Brush the crust with olive oil and
bake between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on desired color.

Tzatziki Sauce:

1-1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1-1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt for salting cucumbers
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Peel cucumber, then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out seeds. Discard seeds. Dice cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1/2 Tablespoon salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel.

In food processor with steel blade, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir this mixture into the yogurt. Refrigerate for at least two hours so flavors can blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pizza Toppings:

1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup Lindsay Olives Greek Kalamata Olives, sliced in half
Fresh dill, separated into small sprigs
1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
olive oil, for sauteeing

In a medium skillet, add about 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat on medium high heat. Add onion, and lightly saute until onions turn translucent but do not brown, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from skillet. Add more oil if needed and lightly saute spinach until just wilted, about 1 or 2 minutes.

Spread tzatziki sauce over pizza crust (about ¼ cup or so). Layer tomato, spinach, and onions on top. Toss on feta cheese, capers, and Kalamata olives. Garnish with dill sprigs and fresh oregano. Give a good generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the whole pizza, slice and enjoy!

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Becky said...

I always love reading your blog. You have such a way with words. And food. This pizza looks and sounds delicious!