Many of you have asked for more ideas for easy lunches, so I thought I would share something really simple that my kids have been taking to school. These quick sourdough pizza toasts are a fun addition to lunch and provide some variety if your kids are getting tired of sandwiches. They only take 5-7 minutes to broil, but If you don’t have time to make them in the morning, you can always make them in advance, store them in the fridge, and pack them cold.
These also work well for a quick dinner and are healthier than most frozen or delivery pizzas which often have added sugar in the sauce and the dough as well as other additives and preservatives. Plus making these tends to be faster and less expensive than calling/waiting for delivery.
The ingredients for these toasts are really simple:
I use sourdough bread from our local bakery because it has minimal ingredients and no added sugar and my kids like the taste. (I have a gluten allergy so I use a gluten free sourdough if making this for myself). You can also use any other type of bread that you like including pita bread.
For the sauce, we simply use crushed Italian tomatoes from a can or Italian tomato passata and drizzle on some olive oil and sprinkle the toasts with oregano and sea salt for extra flavor. Or you can use our Basic Sugarproof Pasta and Pizza Sauce (page 336).
We like to use fresh mozzarella for this, but you can use whatever cheese (dairy or plant-based) you like.
Our favorite toppings at the moment are leftover roasted summer vegetables like zucchini and eggplant with some fresh basil added after cooking. Again though you can use whatever toppings your kids like including raw, thinly sliced vegetables like mushrooms or peppers or some spinach. My kids also like canned artichoke hearts and olives or salami or prosciutto. Or you can keep them simple, like a pizza Margherita.
Really this is a no-recipe recipe, but here’s how to make them:
–Sliced sourdough bread or other bread of choice
–A clove of garlic (optional)
–Canned, crushed Italian tomatoes (or Italian tomato passata)
–Fresh mozzarella cheese, well-drained and sliced (or other cheese or cheese alternative of choice)
–Toppings of choice such as roasted or raw vegetables, olives, canned artichokes, or prosciutto
–Turn on your broiler (or preheat your oven to the highest setting).
–Arrange sliced sourdough bread on a baking sheet. If the slices are really big, you can cut them in half so they fit in lunchboxes and are easier for kids to handle. Note: if you would like the final toasts to be more crispy, you can pre-toast the bread first before adding the sauce in the next step. And for even more base flavor, try rubbing a cut clove of garlic on the plain, warm toast.
–Spoon a thin layer of the crushed tomato onto the bread and then lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and oregano.
–Add the cheese and toppings. If using roasted vegetables that are already quite browned, put them under the cheese to prevent burning. The same goes for delicate raw vegetables like spinach leaves. Otherwise most toppings can go on top of the cheese.
–Broil for 5 to 7 minutes, watching closely, until the edges of the bread are toasted and the cheese is bubbly and browned in places. Or bake at a high temperature for a bit longer (usually around 10 minutes, depending on how hot your oven gets).
–Top with fresh basil, if desired.