Leftover pitas from the Philly Sloppy Joes earlier in the week – what else to do with them but PIZZA! Normally I let my Heart create the pizzas (because His are the best!!) but this time I had a plan using all of the leftovers in the fridge.
First the pizza sauce: One 8oz can of tomato sauce combined with 2 tsp each: ground Annato (achiote), paprika, chili powder, granulated garlic and 1 Tbsp sugar. I like heat in my pizza sauce but also a touch of sweetness. This is definitely to taste and I sometimes do a more traditional sauce using oregano or just a combined Italian seasoning – so be creative!
Now the toppings, based on what was leftover in the fridge: Low moisture mozzarella, red wine salami, green pepper, and sweet onion, all left from the Antipasta Salad over the weekend plus a sliced tomato, and a jalapeño and basil fresh from the garden. All sliced very thinly.
I decided to stovetop grill pan cook the pizzas because the weather was really hot (90s with 80% humidity) and, in an 800 sq. foot apartment, the oven really heats up the place.
Heat the stovetop grill, over medium-high heat, and place one side of the pita on the hot, dry pan, there is no oil involved. Once that side has started to brown and has light grill lines, flip and “load”.
Sauce first, grilling the first side and flipping helps protect the pita from getting soggy under the sauce, and then, however you want to layer your ingredients. I made four different pita pizzas for the two of us.
As I said, I was looking to use the leftovers from the fridge, so the Sloppy Joe meat from earlier in the week’s Philly Sloppy Joes fit the bill.
Once you have put on your layers, cover the grill pan with a lid to seal in the heat. I use the lid from a large skillet, which is clear so I can see the progress and is big enough to cover the pan, leaving just the very edges open.
I grilled the pizzas one at a time. To help heat up the covered pan, pour a small amount of water onto the edge of the pan, to create steam under the lid. One reason I cooked one pizza at a time was to make sure the water didn’t reach the crust but I was still able to use enough water to get the steam heat I was looking for. Once the cheese is melted and the bottom has nice brown grill marks, remove the pizzas to a warm oven until all are cooked.
Note – the fresh toppings will not be “cooked” as they would be in a more traditional cooking method, so there will still be some crunch to the peppers, onions, and jalapeños. You could certainly cook the vegetables prior to topping the pizza if you prefer. I like the fresher feel of a grilled summer pizza and, since I can’t have an outdoor grill, this totally hits the spot.