Thursday, May 3, 2012

Puff Pastry Pizza and Arugula Salad with Artichoke, Tomato and Basil Marinade

This is seriously so easy and delicious that it's not fair. Did I mention delicious? It makes a great appetizer and will impress your dinner guests. If you are making it for actual dinner, I would make at least 2 (depending on the size of your family and your stomachs), and I would also serve it with a big salad. My only slight difficulty was finding the puff pastry sheets. Once this got on the table, it was essentially gone in 60 seconds.   The salad is a wonderful accompaniment to just about anything, and is a nice change from boring old plain salad. The arugula and the artichokes are a perfect combination.

Puff Pastry Pizza
Try to limit the ingredients to no more than 4-5.  More than that and it becomes difficult to appreciate the crispy softness of the puff pastry.  Adapted from RealSimple July 2011.

1 package puff pastry
Toppings (your choice):
  • pesto
  • halved grape tomatoes
  • mozzarella cheese, plain or smoked
  • fresh, slivered basil leaves
  • crisped prosciutto, diced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  On a parchment-lined baking sheet, roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a 9x13 inch baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until firm. Prick with a fork, and layer toppings, not too generously or the puff pastry will get soggy. Top with freshly grated black pepper and back until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.  Cut and serve.

Arugula Salad with Artichoke, Tomato, and Basil Marinade

Arugula, approx 2 cups (enough to make a bed) 
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 c grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 c fresh basil leaves, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T balsamic vinegar 
2 T olive oil
1 tsp capers, optional
black pepper
shaved parmesan

Arrange a layer of arugula in a large, flat bowl. Drain marinated artichokes, reserve juice. Top salad with artichoke hearts. In a separate bowl, combine 2/3 leftover artichoke marinade, halved grape tomatoes, garlic, basil, vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper. Let it sit for 15 min-2 hours. Just before serving, toss salad with marinade mixture and top with shaved parmesan.

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