Preston is my 11 year old and he's a really great eater. This past summer we were in Carlsbad, CA for our beach trip and we went to Jay's restaurant on our last night. It's a tiny little Italian/seafood place right on the corner of Carlsbad Boulevard. All of the kids (my three plus Isaac and Anna)usually share giant plates of fettuccine alfredo, but Preston wanted to try something that he hadn't had before. He asked me to show him a few things on the menu that I would order. He chose the salmon with a white wine garlic sauce and ended up loving it. He ate all of it except for the few bites that I snuck off his plate (It was the best salmon that I've ever had).
I love that he's adventurous and willing to have an open mind to new
tastes and flavors. There are only a few things that come to my mind that I know he
will absolutely not eat (sautéed or caramelized onions and any sort of
cooked mushroom). He has a couple others that he avoids eating like
hamburgers and take-out pizza. I think if you were to ask a classroom full of elementary age kids, most would say that
their favorite foods are hamburgers and pizza? I understand the onions
and mushroom thing because it's a texture thing, and hamburgers I get because of a stomach bug he had that coincided with eating a hamburger, but pizza? The one interesting thing (and very good thing) about the
pizza is that he doesn't like take-out pizza, but will happily eat
homemade pizza any day of the week.
This recipe is sort of one you alter to your own taste. You can
make some of the toppings from scratch or just use your favorite store bought
1 recipe for flatbread pizza (recipe found here)
or 2 8-ounce balls of your favorite pizza dough
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pesto (I used this
recipe because I had basil coming out of my ears)
1/4-1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks
1/4 cup oil packed sundried tomatoes, sliced (I used Tara O' Brady's soused
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup roasted peppers, sliced (how to make your own found here)
1/4-1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted
Place you pizza stone on the center rack of your oven. One hour before
you bake your pizza, preheat the oven to the highest temperature. If you
don't have a pizza stone, you can bake you pizza on an upside down baking
sheet, but don't preheat the baking sheet.
Place a piece of parchment paper on an upside down baking sheet.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out dough until paper thin. Aim
for a circle, rectangle of whatever shape you manage to roll it out to
be. Move the dough to the parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the
dough with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic, a good pinch of kosher salt, and
black pepper over the olive oil. Evenly spread 2-3 tablespoons of pesto
on the dough (use more or less as needed). Distribute the mozzarella,
sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, and feta on top.
Take care not to over load the pizza.
Take hold of one corner of the parchment paper and gently pull the parchment
paper and pizza onto the pizza stone. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or
until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
When down, remove from oven and sprinkle with toasted
Repeat with the remaining dough.
*Pitted and sliced kalamata olives could be used in place or in addition to
the artichoke hearts (I'm not an olive fan so I went with the artichoke hearts)
Recipe slightly adapted from Use