Cherry tomatoes are always in season at the supermarket, so why not capitalize on the bounty with a pizza? In this recipe, the tomatoes get supporting help from spinach and walnuts.
We're taking an express route by using bagged spinach and a pre-baked crust, and we're letting the chopped walnuts provide the protein (with crunch to boot). Because the herb blend will deliver zippy flavor, we're using a low-fat cheese to reduce the calories and fat.
Instead of an Italian herb blend, we took a French route with herbes de Provence, a delightful mixture that includes dried lavender. This seasoning mix is sold in the spice aisle of many supermarkets, but it's not hard to make a blend yourself (see recipe).
Swapping herb mixtures creates distinctive flavors in any number of dishes.
If you have time, use an unbaked pizza crust and follow its directions (they're sold in specialty stores and sometimes even at pizzerias), or use your own homemade version.
If you have good Parmesan on hand, shave some on top of the less expensive mozzarella for added punch.
Homemade herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried lavender
Combine. Store, tightly covered, in cool, dark place.
Oregano rosemary cherry tomato-walnut pizza
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
12-inch unseasoned pre-baked pizza crust
2 cups (about half of 5-ounce bag) baby spinach
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
¾ cup chopped walnuts
1½ teaspoons herbes de Provence
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces low-fat shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
Heat oven to 400 degrees or according to crust directions. Brush oil on crust.
Scatter spinach on crust, then distribute halved tomatoes over. Sprinkle nuts over pizza. Season with dried herb mix, salt and pepper to taste. Top with shredded cheese. Bake according to crust directions, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool 5 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 667 calories, 39 g. fat, 30 mg. cholesterol, 51 g. carbohydrates, 34 g. protein, 997 mg. sodium, 5 g. fiber.