I walked outside this morning and it smelled like Memorial Day. Like a barbecue. And given the calendar this should come as no surprise. But it was only 7:50 a.m., a tender hour when no one's slapping burgers on the grill.
Thirty miles south of me, wildfires burn.
Our walk to school was eerie. The sky hazy, gray. The kids were all chattering about the fires, making gagging faces, and spouting oh-my-god-do-you-smell-that-smoke-it-smells-so-gross run-on sentences. I wonder if they'll have recess outside.
Thankfully, my lifetime experience with fire has been limited. As a kid I watched tv shows where they'd break for commercials and occasionally run one of those quick how-to segments. Like how to get sand out of your eye (fold the top lid over the bottom) or how to freeze orange juice into popsicles or how to cook something shockingly simple. If you were a kid in the 70s and know what I'm talking about, please speak up. (In googling around, I did find this list of Saturday morning kids' shows broadcast in 1977.)
Anyway, one of these in-between segments inspired me to cook when I was too young to be trusted alone in the kitchen. I thought, toast with butter is delicious. And Home Pride Butter-Topped Bread has the butter already in it, and it's so darn good, but my mom never buys it, so how cool would it be if I tried to make it myself? Genius, right?
I buttered a slice of bread. Put it in the toaster. Two minutes later, flames erupted. (For my younger readers, dripping butter + electrical coils = fire, not Home Pride Butter-Topped bread.)
In the intervening 30 years I've learned to deal with controlled fires, though they still make me a little leery. I have embraced the grill, though. And last night, when the dinner hour sneaked up on me faster than usual, I channeled all my superpowers and thought, What would Wonder Woman do if she had 10 minutes to cook? And then it came to me.
Recipe for Super-Quick Grilled Naan Pizzas
This is essentially a riff on that beloved classic, the pizza bagel, with Trader Joe's naan standing in for the bagel. I bet you could use pita bread or even French bread if you don't have any naan hanging around.
Makes 4 pizzas
4 whole wheat naan or doughy flatbreads of your choice
pizza sauce or marinara
a few slivers torn fresh basil
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the grill to medium high.
When hot, brush the naan with olive oil and place face down on the grill. When grill marks appear, flip the naan and brush the other side with oil. Now flip it once more.
Top each naan with a little pizza sauce and some shredded mozzarella. Close the grill and allow the cheese to melt, about 3 to 4 minutes. You may need to move the pizzas to a cooler part of the grill to prevent the bottoms from scorching.
Garnish with a little torn basil and a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.