Earlier in the week, when the menu was discussed I decided to bring something healthy, something that didn't require forks and something that went with the casual theme yet still nice enough to impress the in-laws.
So, I put my thinking cap on and mentally went through some of the options and I flipped through a number of cookbooks. I'll try to explain the best I can the journey my brain takes me on during my "creative process".
My best idea at this point was a cold vegetable pizza. I have made them before, using a refrigerated crescent crust, baked off and spread with a mixture of cream cheese and ranch dressing, then sprinkled liberally with finely chopped vegetables. It is delicious, but hardly impressive and definitely could be healthlier. So, I recalled something I had at a meeting once - something I call bagel bites. A bagel, cut into 6 wedges and spread with cream cheese cand topped with different fruits and vegetables. But, what I really wanted to bring was a nice salad. A salad requires a fork - how can I make a salad you can eat with your hands? So after a few more rounds of mental ping-pong I came up with this salad pizza. Yes, a salad you eat with your hands!
Mediterranian Flatbread Salad
1 12" multi-grain flatbread
1 8oz pkg cream cheese (light), room temperature
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
salt & pepper
1/4 C red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 C green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 english cucumber, peeled & finely chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/4 C red onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp black olives, drained, pitted and chopped
1/2 C feta crumbles
Place flatbread on a pizza pan.
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well.
With a pastry brush, brush the flat bread with the olive oil mixture and bake according to package directions. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
In another bowl, place the cream cheese. Add 3 tbsp of the olive oil mixture. Mix well.
Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the flatbread. Sprinkle with peppers, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and olives. Top with feta and drizzle the remaining dressing.
I can made ahead and refrigerated at this point.
Prior to serving, slice into wedges.
This was a new way to serve salad, and will definitely do it again. I plan to make it for the Superbowl, for the Scout potluck dinner, and even at the cottage.
As an additional note: instead of mixing olive oil with the other ingredients, you can use bottle Greek salad dressing. It would taste (almost) as good. I had a co-worker once from Greece and have me his recipe for Greek salad dressing. I may never use store bought again.
I also wanted to mention, while testing this recipe I cut up WAY too many vegetables, so I plan to make a Greek Salad wrap. I'll use my vegetables with some cooked chicken, the feta and a little dressing; all wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.