Going to new places is a way to see the sights but can also offer a fresh take on food.  Even when I am in vacation mode, I am ‘required’ to take notes and sample all sorts of tasty treats.  Prior to traveling I always check with local experts and social media sites to see what places should be on the to do (eat) list.

My most recent adventures took me to Arizona where, along with the awesome southwestern vibe, fabulous sites, warm weather and countless cacti, I was introduced to a not so traditional dish – hummus pizza.  I know, not something you think of when you envision Arizona fare, but this dish combined two things I love: hummus and pizza, so I had to order it and I was so glad I did.  The warm hummus is an unexpected and delicious surprise. For some reason I had never thought of making a hummus pizza, have you?  It seems so simple and I can attest (since I have made it on several occasions since returning home) it is!  

The hummus pizza we enjoyed in Arizona was served as an appetizer.  Basically an individual-size pizza covered with hummus instead of sauce and sprinkled with toppings, which included roasted peppers and purple onion, feta cheese, and dried black mission figs.  (I would never have thought of the figs but I am telling you they worked and were the key to flavor combination on this pizza!)

If you don’t like the direction those toppings are taking you can choose a different route.  Get inspired by the Mediterranean and make a Greek hummus pizza (Like the one in the photo) by topping the hummus with black olives, feta, tomatoes and peppers or go south of the border with Mexican flavors and top with cilantro, chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, and shredded cheddar! You could even switch out traditional hummus for some black bean hummus!  

There are so many ways you can approach making this meal.  When you have tons of time, go ahead and make you own dough and homemade hummus.  For an easy weeknight dinner go the store-bought route and just assemble and heat!  I even tried it once with whole-wheat store bought naan bread as the base and it turned out perfectly.  More make-ahead advice: Roast peppers and onions in advance so when you get home from work just gather all the toppings, assemble on a pre-baked crust, and tossed in the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper!

My husband and I are loving this new dish and hope you do too!

Who Doesn’t Love Pizza?
Now that local farmer’s markets are offering fabulous, fresh greens, herbs, and vegetables, it’s a great time to ramp up your pizza topping skills.  Meatless Mondays, one of our Oldways Vegetarian Network partners, has created the Meatless Monday Pizza Collection, featuring 10 pizza recipes from cookbook authors including Kim O’Donnel, Ellie Krieger, Mark Bittman, Joe Yonan, and OVN consulting dietitian, Sharon Palmer.  Take a look and get those veggie toppings going today!


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