During the pandemic lockdown, my husband Dave (aka best sous) took to making my homemade pizza recipe every other week. We only ate half and so froze the second half in order to enjoy a fake take-out meal or no cooking night the following week. Pizza, wondrous on the streets of Naples, delivered from our local spot, or made right in my own kitchen’s oven, is probably my favorite food. In other words, doesn’t take much to convince me to bake it in some new guise or getup. As I planned this year’s Friday Fish meals, I thought about pizza but also had crab on my mind. It was either crab pasta or crab pizza and, well, you see what won! The question was, “How did I want to do it?” A really fast version featuring purchased mini-naan flatbread sounded fun and doable for all of you, too. Homemade pizza dough isn’t everyone’s thing, though it’s easier than it looks. Takes time is all. The naan— which is also available in a larger size should you want it, usually has its own display at the grocer somewhere around the bakery area but is widely available. Instead of waiting an hour or two for dough to rise and then trying to shape it into a manageable round (square? rectangle?), these little flatbreads come ready to grill and bake. They fit in the toaster, too. Add a few toppings, some cheese, stick it in the oven, and you have pizza. Even if you chop toppings and grate cheese, dinner’s on the table in under 30 minutes as the pizzas bake only 6-8 minutes. Have kids? They can make their own pizza. Do make your salad first!
If you don’t see mini naan at your grocer, you can order it on amazon though it’s a large package.
Since the sauce for this particular pizza doesn’t need cooking –it’s just two cheeses and some seasonings whirred together in the food processor, with a mixer, or by hand — once you’ve preheated the oven, you’re on your quick way. Scroll through the photos to see how little work is involved:
Cheesy Crab Mini Pizzas
- ½ cup (4.5 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 2- ounces goat cheese at room temperature
- Generous pinch each: kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, crushed red pepper
- Zest of one lemon
- Small plump garlic clove, minced
- 4 mini-Naan flatbreads
- Olive oil
- 4- ounces lump crab (8 tablespoons)
- 1/3 cup sliced jarred artichoke hearts
- ¼ cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers (4 tablespoons)
- 4 very thin sliced red onion
- 8 pitted kalamata olives cut in half
- 4 grape tomatoes cut in half
- ¼ cup each grated mozzarella and grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
GARNISHES: optional but recommended
- Minced fresh chives or green onions
- Sriracha mayo (1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce mixed into ½ cup mayonnaise)
- PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 375 degrees F. Place rack at bottom. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
- MAKE THE CHEESE SAUCE: Pulse together the cheese sauce ingredients in a food processor, taste for seasonings, and set aside. (Or beat with an electric mixer or by hand.)
- PREHEAT THE STOVETOP GRILL or a heavy skillet over high flame for two minutes. Meanwhile, brush the mini naan lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the mini naan for about two minutes on each side or until a few dark brown marks appear. Do not overcook as the pizzas will bake in the oven, too. Place the naan on the lined sheet pan.
- ADD THE CHEESE SAUCE AND TOPPINGS TO THE MINI NAAN: Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the cheese sauce evenly over each flatbread, stopping ¼-inch short of the edges. Add 2 tablespoons crab, 2 slices artichoke hearts, 2 or 3 slices roasted peppers, 4 kalamata olive halves, 2 grape tomato halves, a slice of red onion spread out over the other toppings, 1 tablespoon each grated mozzarella and sharp cheddar, a ½ teaspoon or so grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, along with a light sprinkle of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
- BAKE THE PIZZAS 6-8 MINUTES or until the cheese is melted and the bottom is crisp. Serve hot garnished with chives and Sriracha mayo, if using. Store leftovers well-wrapped for one-two days in the fridge. Do not freeze.
CHANGE IT UP: Omit the goat cheese and use all ricotta for the cheese sauce. Let it first drain through paper towels in a sieve for an hour or two to thicken it. A lazy cook might sub alfredo sauce if she had it on hand. Add sautéed mushrooms instead of artichokes. Slip on a julienned basil leaves or shredded spinach or even a piece of two of arugula. Dice cooked asparagus tips and skip the roasted peppers. Fresh red peppers? Chop them into tiny pieces before using. This pizza is cheezy-weezy using a total of five different cheeses. I had three kinds of cheese on hand for the toppings; use only one if that’s what you have. Skip the crab for a veggie pizza.
If you like this, you might also like my:
or Spiked Gazpacho with Crab (below)
or how about Alyce’s Crab Chili? (below)
LIFE GOES ON:
We went to see a matinee of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” with friends last weekend (stellar show!) and had dinner afterward at our house. For dessert, if only because I had lots fruit on hand, I made my Sour Cream-Apple with Walnut Streusel pie. It’s a bit of a chore compared to simple apple pie but worth each extra moment. The filling includes a sour cream custard that makes the pie though maybe the streusel has something to do with it, too. I took new photos and may redo the post as the old one has no printable recipe. If you want to make it soon, just copy and paste the recipe into a word document.
Thanks for spending time in kitchen and keeping me company; you’re so welcome here. One more week for Friday Fish 2023 and it’s coming during what turns out to be a busy travel week for me — going to the beach with my family. If a new post isn’t doable, I’ll try and spend some time, perhaps on the plane, putting together a roundup post of favorite….whatever. I’ll be dreaming until then just in case.
Enjoy whatever sort of spring you’re seeing,