The one caveat to moving into a grown-up house this summer has been our wallets have taken a teeny, tiny hit. Indeed it is sad that going out to try new restaurants, one of my favorite hobbies, isn't high on the priority list. Then again, our house looks supes cute so I'd say it was a fair trade-off!
But just because we're not going out as much doesn't mean I'm not trying to whip up some tasty eats at home. And it's definitely a good thing I like bringing the restaurant home with new recipe testing!
When we do go out to eat, one of our favorite restaurants is a place we discovered a few years ago, Mioposto. It's this quaint neighborhood Italian bistro that you could easily miss. We really only discovered it from taking a drive in this area while looking for apartments. We finally decided to try it last year for a date night and we've been going back ever since.
What we ordered the first time became our order every other time we have gone because why mess with perfection? We get the ceci, roasted chickpeas with fried garlic and sage, oven roasted Hood Canal clams with white wine, butter and garlic, served with their housemade oven baked Mio bread (essentially like pizza dough-esque bread for sopping up all the juice), Caesar salad, a perfect rendition of a classic, and, the pièce de résistance, the spring lamb pizza.
Everything we've tasted at Mioposto is superb, no doubt. But it's the Spring Lamb Pizza that I dream about. Your probably thinking, "lamb on pizza? That's an….interesting combo." Yup, it sure is! But it's the perfect juxtaposition of creamy, savory, spicy and fresh with mozzarella, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, red onion, lamb sausage and a mint and basil sauce on a perfectly charred wood-fired pizza crust. It's both delicious and refreshing to try a pizza so different and completely out of the box!
Naturally, after having the Spring Lamb Pizza a number of times now, I've simmered on the idea of recreating it at home. So here we have it, folks, my rendition of the Spring lamb pizza with a few Hungry Ali twists.
Twist #1 would be the use of naan bread (garlic naan to be exact because you always say yes to adding more garlic) instead of pizza dough. Guys, I adore fluffy, pillow-like naan and it especially tastes good with some Indian curry. But if you're not using it for homemade pizza too then you're seriously missing out! Trader Joe's makes it super easy with frozen naan that tastes awfully close to the real, authentic deal. It's also easy, wallet friendly and can be stored in your freezer to fuel your homemade pizza cravings. Not only do they make for one tasty, almost wood-fired pizza dough, but they're perfectly portioned for individual pizzas.
Twist #2 is not so much a twist but more of a simplification of Mioposto's version which features a basil and mint sauce. Instead of whipping up a sauce as an added step, I leave the herbs in their natural form to create a layer of aromatic freshness. The combination of fresh mint and lemony basil paired with spiced, gamey lamb is to die for.
These pizzas just may be may new favorite thing to make for more reasons than you can imagine. Not only are they absolutely delectable, they're simple to make, quick to throw together and they're downright impressive. Just look at them! They were begging for a photo shoot….
If you're looking for a meal to impress but don't want to break the bank, these pizzas are your answer. They're proof that you don't have to go out to eat or spend tons of money to eat well and have a date-night worthy meal.
Lamb Naan Pizzas
- 6 frozen naan flatbread (I use the garlic variety from TJ's for an extra garlicky kick!)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup (about) shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 6 oz goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
- 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add lamb and garlic, breaking up until small pieces to start browning. Add coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper to season. Browning should take 5-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, prep your naans! Whether you're using a grill or an oven, toast the naans on low heat on the grill or in a 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes to warm and soften.
Remove from heat and assemble your pizza. Evenly distribute shredded mozzarella, followed by lamb mixture, small dallops of goat cheese, red onion slices and roasted red pepper pieces. Add to oven or grill on low heat and cook for 10 minutes. Either turn the broiler on for 2 minutes or crank the heat to medium high to crisp up the naans ever so slightly. Remove from heat and immediately top with chopped mint and basil. Enjoy!