Thursday, February 3, 2011

Easy Mexican Pita Pizzas

This is another one of those dishes I threw together quickly in an effort to use up ingredients that I bought without any specific purpose (most of my grocery shopping is driven by a specific meal plan for the week, as well as sale prices). I got a great deal on some organic bell peppers because they were just a little past their prime, and I instantly thought of roasting them because having a bit of a softer texture than normal doesn't matter in the slightest. Roasting brings out the best in vegetables, creating a smoky flavor and intensifying the natural sugars, transforming veggies into little bombs of complex flavor.

As written, this could either make a nice light dinner for two with a vegetable side or an appetizer for 4. Although fresh corn off the cob is ideal, particularly if you have time to roast it, frozen will have to do during winter in Wisconsin. To make this more a bit more substantial, add some black beans or chorizo; if serving as an appetizer, try dipping the wedges into sour cream. This quick and easy meal will please everyone from kids to adults, while still being relatively healthy.

Easy Mexican Pita Pizzas
serves 2 (as a main course) to 4 (as an appetizer)

1 small onion, cut in half and peeled
1 red or green bell pepper
2 whole wheat pitas
6 tablespoons salsa
2 tablespoons corn
1/2 cup shredded Mexican melting cheese like Chihuahua or Oaxaca, mozzarella, or Monterey Jack cheese
Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

1. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, if desired, and spray with cooking spray. Place onion and pepper on baking sheet and broil until blackened on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes, rotating every few minutes during cooking. Remove pepper and onion from the oven and set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Once cool, core and seed the pepper and slice both the onion and the pepper.

2. Spread 3 tablespoons salsa on each pita. Top each pita with 1 tablespoon corn and the desired amount of roasted peppers and onions (you will likely have extra). Sprinkle each pita with 1/4 cup cheese, place on a baking sheet, and return to the oven. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until cheese is melted, bubbly, and just starting to brown. Cut into wedges and serve hot.

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