Sunday, the 24th of July 2016: COMO

I arrived back to my beloved COMO (COlumbia, MO) this past Sunday afternoon. Timing was excellent as it was just a bit before mom and dad's weekly Sunday Family Dinner & Game Night. Nearly every Sunday my cousins Curt and Cathy and their spouses, Pat and Tom join mom and dad for food and game fun. Often there are others that join in (especially us, mom & dad's kids and grandkids - we can't wait to visit and play!), but the six mentioned above are the core group here in COMO. As you can see, this past Sunday, we had gourmet pizzas on flat bread - above are three of the ones mom and dad made. Thought I'd include the video, 'cause it just so darn cute of the two of them! Mom assembled the pizzas, with help from dad, on flat breads with sautéed veggies and baby eggplant, some tomato sauce and Collina brand Italian 4-Cheese Blend, mozzarella, feta and/or ricotta cheeses. There was a bowl of fresh basil leaves on the table as well as a bit on top of some of the pizzas. All were delicious, no matter what the combination, and there were even a few slices left over for lunch the next day! 
Part of my COMO families SND tradition is to play a game after dinner is done. Last Sunday, that game was Sequence, a game easily played with an odd number of people as it's always the gals vs. the guys. It's a fun game - even better because we gals won that night! (Mom and dad have a neat homemade board one of their friends made them, but you can buy a board as well.)

Two of our flat bread pizzas - stagger the start of the baking times so all of them aren't done at once!
(Of course! Trader Joe's has a great flat bread!)

flat bread/pitas - the thinner the better (click here (what we used) & here for examples)

assorted veggies of your choice, sautéed - this night we used: 
red pepper strips
onions, sliced
baby bok chop, chopped
mini/baby eggplant, sliced 
grape tomatoes, halved
chanterelle mushrooms, torn into bite-size pieces
yellow and green zucchini, sliced

basil leaves, chiffonaded (fancy word for cut in strips)
fresh roma or other tomatoes, sliced and set aside

olive or grape oil
pizza or marinara sauce of your choice (we used Newman's, 'cause we had it on hand)

pepperoni, salami, procuitto, other cured meats, optional - but good

Italian 4-cheese blend (We used Bella Collina brand from Sam's Club)
mozzarella, sliced or shredded
parmesan or romano, grated
feta, crumbled (try to find either Bulgarian feta or Greek feta - there is a HUGE difference in taste from US-made feta cheeses - click here for an article on the difference)

basil leaves, whole, for the table

Preheat oven to 425º F. Figuring on 1/2 a flatbread for a light eater and 1 flatbread for a more vigorous eater, line as many cookie sheets as you need with parchment paper and place the flatbreads on the cookie sheets, leaving room between them. 
In a large skillet, coated lightly with oil, sauté your veggies, in this case red pepper strips, onion, bok chop, and grape tomatoes until just al dente. Set aside.  
onions, peppers, tomatoes, bok chop just at al dente
In the same skillet (or a separate one), coated lightly with oil, sauté the eggplant rounds until just browning and softening. Set aside. Sauté the remaining veggies individually and set aside. 
baby eggplant just warmed through

Now for the fun part! Assembling your pizzas! You can do any combination of ingredients you want! If you watch the video, above, you'll get an idea of how mom assembled at least three of ours. 

Pizza 1: First marinara sauce, then ricotta cheese spread all over and then a healthy coating of the Italian 4-Cheese blend. On top of that, the sautéed mixed veggies. Finally, more Italian 4-Cheese blend and parmesan. 

Pizza 2: Marinara sauce, then Italian 4-Cheese blend to cover the flatbread. On top of that, place the sautéed eggplant all around the top in a single layer. Put some of the sautéed veggies on top of the eggplant. Sprinkle Italian 4-Cheese blend on top and some parmesan cheese. 

Pizza 3: Much like pizza 1, but without any grape tomatoes.

Pizza 4: Drizzle some olive oil on the flat bread, then a layer of Emmentaler cheese. On top of the cheese, put a single layer of whole basil leaves. On that place a single layer of fresh tomato slices. Scatter some sautéed sliced onion on the tomatoes slices and then with feta. Then put a layer of very thin slices of lightly sautéed zucchini. Over that scatter fresh, sautéed chanterelles and then parmesan cheese. 

Pizza 5: Drizzle the flat bread with olive the cover lightly with marinara sauce. Sprinkle with some fresh basil and then cover with baby eggplant slices. Sprinkle the eggplant with sautéed onion slices and then a generous amount of sautéed chanterelle mushrooms. Lightly sprinkle the entire pizza with Italian 4-Cheese blend

Pizza 6: Drizzle flatbread with some olive and then smear with marinara sauce and then smear ricotta on top of the marinara. Place slices of mozzarella all over that and then scatter chanterelles, eggplant, sautéed yellow & green zucchini over all. Place pepperoni rounds all around the outside of the flatbread and top with grated parmesan cheese.

The first three pizza all ready for the oven:

top to bottom: Pizza 1, Pizzas 2 & 3

Pizzas #4 & #5 ready for the oven - no photo of #6, unfortunately:

left to right: pizza #4 & pizza #5
this photo courtesy of MumBum

Season all the pizzas with BumHot, (or bought red pepper flakes or cayenne) and any other seasoning you'd like, to taste. Place two or three pizzas in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until done to your liking. Remove them to a serving board, slice and everyone can grab a slice or two. While you're enjoying those pizzas, bake the rest of them and serve when the first round is eaten up!


See you on Sunday!


Gathered 'round: Mom & Dad Bum, cousins Curt & Pat Vogel, cousins Cathy & Tom Shryock, me

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