By Eric Kim, The New York Times
When it first opened in 2018, the Manhattan bar and vodka distillery Our/New York would serve makeshift tortilla pizzas that had been quickly burnished in a toaster oven behind the bar. The founder and partner, Dave Ortiz, got the idea from his friend, chef Ilan Hall. “Long story short: A celebrity chef hooked me up,” he said.
The medium-size flour tortillas — affectionately called “tortizzas” by the patrons — were draped in tomato sauce, ricotta cheese and red-pepper flakes. They were marvelous (and free of charge).
You’ll have to pay for your own tortillas, but when prepared at home, the tortizza can be a delicate slip of a weeknight dream — a life raft when time is of the essence. Although you can use corn tortillas for this dish, the moisture in flour tortillas will cause them to puff up in spots once baked in a hot oven, and those bites are the most fun to eat.
Crispy-edged and light, like lither thin-crust pizzas, tortizzas can be topped with whatever you like and nothing you don’t. These tortizzas include a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese that, when melted in the oven, creates a sturdy barrier for the toppings. A dusting of dried oregano somehow makes everything taste of pizza parlor incarnate. The topping, inspired by a Greek salad — and specifically, California Pizza Kitchen’s now-discontinued Greek pizza — is a medley of diced cucumbers and tomatoes and slivers of creamy avocado. Feta delivers sharpness and dreaminess, as does the simple garlicky yogurt sauce (a couple of ingredients shy of a tzatziki).
As with the best boy bands, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors and group projects for school, the salad topping is much greater than the sum of all of its fresh ingredients. Enjoy the motley crew of tastes and textures.
Don’t skip the last part: honey. It might sound out of place here, but that golden sweetness, dribbled at the end over the vegetables, really brings together all of the disparate bits and bobs of this otherwise savory recipe. Anyway, honey is a popular accompaniment for Italian pizzas with soppressata and also happens to be a favored dipping sauce for pizza in South Korea.
These tortizzas eat flat like tostadas but are more yielding, like solo pizzas. But it’s your life: Feel free to fold them like tacos or gyro wraps. When it comes to the tortizza, all that matters is that it ends up in your mouth.
Perhaps the best part of this dish is that it takes about 15 minutes to make, from start to finish, which leaves plenty of time to get on with your day. One useful trick is to make the salad topping and yogurt sauce in advance, both of which will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or two. That way, when you need a quick bite, all you have to do is warm up the tortillas and pile on the toppings.
Yield: 4 servings
Total time: 15 minutes
- 3 to 4 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
- 2 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- 8 (6-inch) soft flour tortillas
- 2 cups shredded low-moisture mozzarella
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano, za’atar or Italian seasoning
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons honey, plus more for drizzling
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- 1 ripe Hass avocado, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
1. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and heat oven to 400 degrees. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a colander set in the sink and toss to combine. Let sit to drain excess liquid, about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, arrange the tortillas on the sheet pans, four per pan, and sprinkle each with the mozzarella and dried oregano. Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, and the tortillas’ edges are crispy but still pale, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. While the tortillas are baking, make the yogurt sauce: In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, honey and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
5. To serve, evenly divide the drained cucumbers and tomatoes among the tortillas. Top each with feta, avocado and parsley, and spoon the yogurt sauce over everything, leaving some back to serve on the side. As a final flourish, lightly drizzle the tortizzas with honey. You can eat these flat like mini pizzas or folded like tacos.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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