Meatless MANIC Monday
Nectarine | Shishito | Gorgonzola Flatbread Pizza

Monday thinks it gets the last word.

Monday is a stern schoolmistress-- everything you’ve got to give is rarely enough. You’re short on patience, paperclips, sandwich bags—temper. Traffic is a beast. The telephone you hate to answer just won’t give in. NOBODY answers their texts. (yes, I’m talking about you. And you. And YOU.)  Every little thing blamed on the fact that it’s Monday. I mean Monday is the boss of EVERYthing.

But what Monday doesn’t know is that I’m onto her, and her wicked ways. I’ve a strategy to combat her chaos. After a day of missteps, miscommunication, missed deadlines, and general Monday mayhem, I’m wrestling back control. Beginning with dinner plans.


Well, at least the kitchen. I’m in charge of my kitchen. I’m in charge MONDAY, through Sunday. My strategy? Keep a few things stocked in pantry, fridge, and  freezer, and call on them for these kinds of days. The kind of day when stopping at the store on the way home is just ONE THING TOO MUCH TO ASK. WAY TOO MUCH. Pulling out a recipe is asking too much, as well—and following instructions isn’t my strong suit when I’ve been asked to follow TOO MANY DIRECTIONS already.

You, too?

Take back your kitchen. Take back your world. TAKE BACK YOUR MONDAY. GET THE LAST WORD.

Start by eating a delicious dinner. There, there. It’s going to be all better.

Where’s my wine glass?


Let's play it fast and loose, here. This week, I'm going meatless (although a version with the same ingredients with the addition of Belle Vie Farm duck prosciutto was just as amazing, not long ago and I encourage you to try it if you can't imagine a meal without meat), and I'm running with everything I have on hand-- no stops on the way home. NOT ONE STOP.

Lavash, a type of flatbread that comes in packages where I shop. It lasts a bit on the shelf, as it is hermetically sealed, but you can also freeze the package, for longer life.

Olive oil-- about a tablespoon

Fresh mozzarella-- I keep a container in brine in the fridge-- it lasts a few weeks, and is fantastic on panini, with eggs and greens, and more.

Nectarine-- it took only one. I leave it unpeeled, and just cut half-moon slivers straight from the pit. Peaches or plums would make a nice substitute

Shishito peppers-- I keep a pint in the fridge all of the time when they are in the peak of season. Folks love to snack on them (see how, here), but don't stop there! They are a mild pepper with great flavor and perfect for roasting on and in dishes, as well as an appetizer.

Gorgonzola cheese-- You really don't need much-- just enough to crumble over the top, but choose a decent quality, and be sure to adjust your seasonings, especially salt, to accommodate the sharp, briny bite of this pungent choice. Not a fan of gorgonzola? Blue cheese, goat cheese, feta-- all good substitutes.

Do the Thing

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place pizza stone, if using, on middle rack of oven. Alternatively, use an inverted sheet pan to bake the pizza upon, for optimum crust crisp.

Brush lavash with a thin layer of olive oil. Strew thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese down center of pizza. Layer nectarine slices, halved shishito peppers, and crumbled gorgonzola atop. Using proscuito? Tear into small pieces and strew across topped pizza. Using crushed red pepper? You can add now, or season arugula topping, if using, after pizza is removed.

Cook until toppings begin to brown and crisp on the edges and cheeses are bubbly and melted, about 10 minutes. If lavash is getting dark before topping is cooked, turn oven to broil, allow to heat fully, and place pizza a few inches under heating element to reach desired results.

Optionals: I finished this particular pizza much they way Italians finish their famed Neapolitans, topped with a high pile of fresh, organic arugula, after removing from the oven. I like to dress the arugula with a little truffle oil, a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice and/or zest, a little salt (watch the saltiness closely-- remember that gorgonzola) and black pepper, and a healthy sprinkle of crushed red pepper if it hasn't already been added to the cooked pizza.

All that's left is to allow to cool a bit before slicing-- just long enough to pour a very slightly chilled glass of my favorite Cabernet Sauvignon. Your well-informed wine steward might have something to say about that, and trust me, I'm sure she/he knows much more about it than do I, but CS is my favorite and on Mondays, I get to choose the wine pairing. And where I'm eating (maybe not the dinner table), and what time I'm eating (whenever I darn well feel like it), and who I'm listening to (NO DEBATES. Maybe Dean Martin.)

And I'll be praying Tuesday is a little gentler on my mind. Hope it is for you, too.

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