Puff Pastry Margherita Pizza

Feb 21st

A friend was due over with her kids for lunch. What was my problem, then, that I didn’t remember that I had to make lunch until about 11 am? Take out is always an option, but baby girl was sleeping. THIS, friends, is why it’s SO IMPORTANT to always have puff pastry in your freezer. It can bail you out of any forgotten meal.

Ideally it should thaw for 24 hours in the fridge, but I’ve put it from the freezer to the counter for 30 minutes with no problems. If you top it and bake it as if it’s real pizza dough, your cheese will burn before the pastry has puffed. You need to pre-bake literally to the point that it’s totally baked through, THEN top and re-bake. If you have the egg and parm cheese you can top it off a million different ways, but I took the standard route since I had a pint of cherry tomatoes.

Anyway – the house smelled great and my friend enjoyed her lunch. Light seeming and much lower in calories than traditional pizza dough, it’s a great meal for girlfriends – whether it’s lunch, dinner, or afternoon snack. Lesson learned, kiddos, is that you must add Pepperidge Farm Frozen Puff Pastry to your shopping list, even if you have no intention of making this recipe anytime soon. Trust me, the day will come when you’ll be glad you did.

Puff Pastry Margherita Pizza

Serves 2 (as a main) or 4 as a side

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed*

1 egg

½ c. parmesan cheese, divided

1 c. cherry tomatoes,  halved

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

¼ tsp. kosher salt

½ c. grated mozzarella cheese

2 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. On lightly floured counter (or parchment paper), unfold puff pastry and roll with pin to smooth creases and stretch pastry to a 10×15 inch rectangle. Prick with fork all over.

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3. Beat egg lightly in small mixing bowl. Using a brush, coat pastry with egg wash. Sprinkle with ¼ c. parmesan cheese.

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4. Bake pastry for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

5. Meanwhile, toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil and garlic.

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6. Top baked pastry with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle pizza with ¼ tsp. kosher salt.

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7. Top with remaining ¼ c. parmesan cheese.

8. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle immediately with basil.

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9. Let cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

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