Seeing as how it is still Pizza Month, this still being June and all, I went all Mediterranean and whipped up some Gyro Pizza!
I must clarify that I do not believe there is much Mediterranean about the modern American style of gyro. I doubt any gyros carts in Athens order mixed meat cones from Kronos, Inc. of Chicago. BUT, regardless of the degree of authenticity, the modern American gyro is a thing of visceral, almost carnal beauty. To take that bold sensuality from the sandwich and bestow it upon the pie: yes. I have that knowledge.
The gyro pizza meat I stole from the ManBQue guys. Or the basic idea, at least. I had ground beef instead of lamb, and I didn’t put raw meat anywhere near my food processor, and I just browned the meat in a skillet instead of packing it and grilling it, but besides that it’s pretty much exactly the same. Kind of. They share the same inspiration, at least.
I used the same good old whole wheat pizza crust that I’ve used in the past, but this time I pre-baked it for 4 minutes at 500°F. For those of us just joining, the pre-baking is a vital component of making a pizza freezer-friendly. You can totally make your own frozen pizzas, delicious and healthy and amazing! Unfortunately, I did not test any of these pizzas in the freezer, because we ate them all too fast. They was really good.
To make a frozen pizza, all you do is, like I said, pre-bake the crust 1, let it cool, add your toppings, freeze on a baking sheet 2, then wrap the pizza in foil and plastic wrap and put it back in the freezer. Boom! To cook it, just unwrap it and put it in a preheated 500°F oven until it looks delicious! This might take ten minutes or so.
But back to gyro pizza!I spread the gyro meat around on the crust, added some slices onions, and some feta and mozzarella. Mozzarella doesn’t go on a gyro, but feta doesn’t melt and I wanted something melty. In the oven, boom, out of the oven, add tzatziki and sumac! I’ve never seen sumac on a gyro, but I know it’s common in Mediterranean cuisine, and it’s really cool, and I like it, so I used it.
Authenticity is not the name of the game here, in case you weren’t aware.
The name, I mean. Of said game.Yeah, we ate it all. None for the freezer.
Pizza Month isn’t over, guys. There’s more coming. See y’all then!
- 3 pre-baked 100% whole wheat pizza crust (see notes)
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp mint
- the other half of the onion, sliced thinly
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh spinach, torn into small pieces
- sumac (optional, for serving)
- 1 small (kirby) cucumber, or a third of an English seedless cucumber
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- generous pinch of salt
- In a large skillet over medium heat, dump the ground beef, minced onion and garlic, salt, rosemary, and mint. Crumble them together and saute until the beef is browned. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Top the pizza crusts with the cooked meat, the sliced onions, the feta, the spinach, and slices of the mozzarella. Bake at 550°F until the mozzarella is melted and beginning to brown in spots. Remove pizzas from oven and let cool.
- While the pizza is cooking, add the tzatziki ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Taste and add salt or lemon juice if desired.
- Spoon the sauce over slices of the pizza to serve. Dust with sumac, if desired.
- For the whole wheat pizza crusts: Mix 500g (4 cups) whole wheat flour, 450g (3/4 cups + 1 Tbsp) water, 10g (1 1/2 tsp) salt, and 1 packet instant-rise yeast. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate over night. The next day, with oiled hands, divide into three equal parts and flatten each part into an 8-inch pizza crust on sheets of parchment paper. Bake the crusts for 5 minutes in a preheated 500°F oven, let cool, then remove from the parchment paper. The crusts are now ready to use.
- If you don’t pre-bake the crust, then when you bake the frozen pizza, the pizza will start to burn before the crust is fully cooked. You’ll end up with raw doughiness. : P ↩
- You want to freeze it before you wrap it to give all of the ingredients a chance to freeze to each other. If you topped a pizza then wrapped it up, the sauce and the toppings would smear everywhere. ↩