This is my homemade version of the pizza I always order from the small but extremely popular family-owned Italian place in my neighborhood. The Mona Lisa pizza is named after Lisa, one of the restaurant's owners whom I have known since childhood (our parents were very close friends - their whole family cooks outrageously well). Pizza is one of the most popular items on their menu. We sell it at our Little League concession stand and do very well. The Mona Lisa has feta cheese, sliced mushrooms, sliced Roma tomatoes, and baby spinach. My version is made with a thin homemade crust which I grill. The fire infuses the crust with the same smoky flavors you get from a wood-burning oven. Then, there is a little truffle oil at the end. Mamma Mia, I love this! —Waverly
2 (.25oz) packets
extra virgin olive oil
all-purpose flour, plus extra
whole wheat flour
extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
CRUST: Lightly oil a large bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar and olive oil. Let stand several minutes until yeast dissolves. Add both flours and the salt and mix either in a standing mixer or by hand. On a lightly floured surface, pour out dough and knead it until smooth, 3-5 minutes sprinkling with additional flour as needed when it becomes sticky. Place in the oiled bowl and turn to coat; cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Punch down and divide dough into 4-6 equal parts, roll into balls and place on a baking sheet. Cover with a warm damp towel, return to a warm place and allow dough to rest at least 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll and stretch each ball into a circle. I like mine almost paper-thin so it gets extra crunchy, but thick crust is nice too. Don't worry so much about the shape either. Any shape will do. Place shaped dough on a baking sheet which has been covered with cornmeal. Lightly oil the grill and heat to MEDIUM HIGH.
MEANWHILE, PREP THE TOPPINGS: In the meantime, place sliced tomatoes and mushrooms in a roasting pan, toss with 2-3 tsp olive oil and roast at 400 for 20 minutes. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over MEDIUM LOW heat. When oil is shimmering/hot, add garlic and stir just until it softens but is not browned, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat. Add baby spinach to warm oil and toss until the spinach is just wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
GRILL: This next part goes very fast. The most important thing is not to let the bottom of your pizza burn. Place dough on grill and cook until slightly puffed and golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook until crust is crisp and golden brown, just a few minutes more. Divide roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, and the wilted baby spinach among the pizza crusts. Sprinkle with feta to taste. Cook just until warmed. Remove from grill. Drizzle with a few drops of truffle oil and serve.
Waverly used to be a lawyer and is now a mother 24/7. She has made a commitment to cooking for her family and absolutely loves it even when her family does not. She is teaching them, one meal at a time, to enjoy wholesome homemade food. She abhors processed food but recognizes its insidious nature and accepts the fact that her children will occasionally get some Skittles, Doritos, or the like. Her philosophy and hope is that if she teaches them well at home, they will prefer wholesome healthy foods when they go out into the world without her.