Little Pizza "Baskets"
There are two ways to look at these little snacks.
1.) is that they are great, simple little nibbles, that can replace these heavy, over-the-top festive overloads we are inflicting on ourselves during the Christmas build-up.
And 2.) is that we can make them a part of one of those over-the-top festive overloads.
These are just very simple little pizza snacks... 2 bites and they're gone! So they are great appetizers or party food and basically a safe-bet and a crowd-pleaser in any case for any occasion. And using one little trick, I changed the shape of the typical flat-base pizza, to a hollow little bowl-shape that could be filled with yummy stuff... so easy you are going to love it!
I started off by using a cookie-cutter, the largest I have, to cut out circles from the pizza dough. The fun part came next, as I took a muffin tray, turned it upside down and lightly rubbed it with a little olive oil... and placed the dough circles onto the tray and smoothed them down a little- then baked them at the highest temperature my oven could handle for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, I diced half of a red and yellow pepper, as well as a little onion and then sautéed them with a fine dice of bacon, until everything began to get a nice golden tinge... and out it came- ready to turn into these wonderful little snacks- well... almost!
All that needed to be done now, was to halve a few cherry tomatoes, slice a mozzarella cheese and pit a handful of Kalamata olives... I just love them! Such wonderful eating olives! But it was time to take those little pizza shells off the tray, flip them over and fill them! I did that by first setting 2-3 pieces of mozzarella in each shell- not too much, and then by adding a mix of the bacon and bell peppers. I then set half a cherry tomato into the middle of each and a few pieces of the Kalamata olives around the outside. With a sprinkle of seasoned salt- I used my "Salt of the Earth" mix, off they went, back into the oven for 5 minutes at the highest setting and then for 1-2 minutes under the broiler.
The great thing is that with the tomato still being half-raw, it has a much lighter, fresher flavor than a regular pizza... the rich Kalamata olives and the salty bacon add spice and the peppers have a nice little crunch... almost perfect! A sprinkle of fresh thyme adds a bit of depth to the flavor combination and brings the salty and sweet components together perfectly- and with a subtle and measured amount of Mozzarella cheese, it all becomes something that although simple is rather special... Try it and see!