Meyer Lemon Pizza

The look on my husband’s face said it all. He had just returned home from an evening surf session and was ready to devour his dinner. After all of that paddling, not to mention the hike to and from the beach with his surfboard in tow, I’m sure he was hoping that meat and potatoes were on the menu. Sorry BJ, you didn’t marry a meat-and-potatoes-for-dinner-every-night kind of girl.

“Lemon pizza? For dinner?”

“No, MEYER lemon pizza,” I answered, like that would make a difference. It didn’t. Sometimes recipes just sound really good to me. I read it or see a picture of it, and just know that it’s going to be delish. Enter Meyer Lemon Pizza. More often than not, BJ is totally on board with my weird ideas. He loves to try new things and would definitely be considered an adventurous eater…But I guess I can’t really blame him for being a little bit skeptical about this one. I can see where a citrus-covered, meatless pizza could be a bit of a disappointment to hungry surfer. However, any pizza crust smothered in goat cheese, caramelized shallots (my personal favorite flavor-rever-upper), toasted pine nuts and ribbons of fresh basil has to be divine, right?

Right!! This pizza is one of the best things I’ve eaten so far this year. Meyer lemons are a really cool lemon-orange hybrid with a very soft, thin skin that lends a really fun sweet-tartness to every bite. Not having enough goat cheese to adequately cover my store-bought Boboli pizza crust, I mixed in a little bit of plain greek yogurt and lemon juice to get the crust happily smothered. From there, top your cheese with thinly sliced meyer lemons and caramelized shallots, and quickly bake or broil in a screaming hot oven. Top with pine nuts, basil and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Pizza nirvana on a plate!

BJ loved it! I knew he would. My 18 month old “Mmmmmmed” and “Yuuuuumed” his way through his slice. Always my favorite dinnertime serenade. I’m not going to lie. I threw a few steaks on the grill at the last minute. I didn’t want to disappoint the need for meat that BJ rarely voices but always appreciates. It was a fabulous dinner on our back porch. The best company a girl could have, plenty of protein, and a the shining star, my super weird sounding, but oh so yummy Meyer Lemon Pizza. I hope you will try it soon!

Lemon Meyer Pizza

Ingredients:

whole wheat Boboli pizza crust
5 oz. goat cheese
1⁄4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 large or two medium shallots, sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1⁄2 cup basil, chiffonade
2 Meyer lemons-­‐ thinly sliced and 2 teaspoons of juice reserved from half of one
salt and pepper, to taste
extra-­virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat butter over medium-low heat. Add shallots and slowly caramelize. Set aside.
  3. Combine room temperature goat cheese with Greek yogurt and lemon juice. Whisk vigorously until smooth and easily spreadable. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread goat cheese mixture onto pizza crust leaving a ½ inch border all the way around. Top with lemon slices and shallots. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and top with pine nuts, basil, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Slice and serve.


Mega Meaty Pizza Lasagna

A few weeks ago my mother-in-law celebrated her 50th Birthday in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. It was an awesome week with my husband’s family. We rented a super cool beach house and kept it very low key. We ate in every night, played board games and celebrated 50 years of a very special lady. Really good times. For me, part of the fun was being the family chef for the week. As long as I’ve been in the family, I’ve never had the opportunity to really cook for them night after night. Sure, there have been meals here and there, but this was the first time I was able to hold them captive in the kitchen for an entire week. It was awesome!! We had burgers made with a combination of beef and bacon, biscuits with homemade sausage gravy, a good old fashioned low-country boil, steamed King Crab legs with drawn butter, a GIGANTIC mexican fiesta, and last but not least, my Mega Meaty Pizza Lasagna.

I have a few different lasagna recipes in my repertoire. One recipe I was given while visiting Italy and another that has become a huge hit on Pinterest, my Buffalo Ranch Chicken Lasagna. Both are great, but I knew neither would cut it as our first dinner at the beach. I needed to kick things up a notch to make sure this hungry bunch of meat-eaters left the table feeling satisfied. That’s when I recalled a lasagna recipe I’d seen from a cookbook my mother-in-law gave me that included ground beef, ground sausage and pepperoni. PEPPERONI! IN LASAGNA!! Yes, please! Taking that concept I added some ideas of my own and hit a serious home run. My family loved it and couldn’t get enough. I made it again a few days ago for some friends and heard more than once that it was the best lasagna they had ever tasted. I credit the pepperoni, it really does the job.

I wanted to share this easy recipe with you because if you’re anything like me, you would love to be known for your amazing, meaty, decadent, cheesy, pepperoni-laced lasagna. Is there anything better to be known for? Enjoy!!

mega meaty lasanga

Ingredients:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage (mild)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. pepperoni, roughly chopped
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
12 oz. can tomato paste
2 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon oregano
1⁄4 teaspoon all-spice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
16 oz. box no-­‐boil lasagna noodles
1 lb. mozzarella cheese
16 oz. ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large, heavy skillet, lightly brown ground beef, sausage, onion and garlic in the oil.  Add pepperoni, tomatoes, tomato paste, water, salt, pepper and oregano, all-spice and Worcestershire. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  3. In a 13 x 9-inch pan, spread 1 cup of the prepared sauce. Alternate layers of noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, ending with sauce, mozzarella and parmesan.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbling.
  5. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.