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Simply Gourmet

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Lavash Pizza with a Salad of Greens, Gorgonzola and Toasted Almonds

(Family Features) - If you're looking for recipes that are impressive enough for entertaining and fit easily into a healthy and active lifestyle, try Chef Joanne Weir's tasty new recipes and tips for gourmet meals with simple sophistication.

Known for her award-winning cookbooks, Chef Weir focuses on fresh and natural ingredients such as almonds, olive oil, fresh herbs, lemon and garlic.

"When planning meals, stock up on ingredients that boost flavor and texture," says Weir. "Take meals from ordinary to extraordinary by choosing tasty and versatile ingredients, like almonds, that work well in sweet and savory dishes."

In addition to bringing great crunch and flavor to meals, almonds are also good for your heart and may help maintain a healthy cholesterol level.* A one-ounce serving, or about 23 almonds, provides protein (6g) and fiber (3.5g) and is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium.**

Chef Weir has developed simple, yet gourmet recipes like her Lavash Pizza with a Salad of Greens, Gorgonzola and Toasted Almonds. True to her style, the ingredients are pure and simple on their own - and when combined, they create an amazing flavor and texture experience. This recipe calls for pungent gorgonzola, creamy mozzarella, simply dressed salad greens and crunchy, roasted almonds atop lavash bread. Lavash is a rectangular-shaped soft flatbread; find it in the bread aisle of most supermarkets, usually near the pita bread.  

For more simple, affordable gourmet recipes, visit AlmondsAreIn.com.

* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognized almonds with a health claim in 2003, stating, "Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."
** Good news about fat.  U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated.  One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.

Lavash Pizza with a Salad of Greens, Gorgonzola and Toasted Almonds

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup whole blanched almonds (or whole natural)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 pieces lavash bread, cut into 8 x 12-inch rectangles
  • 6 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 8 cups baby salad greens
  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola or other blue-veined cheese, crumbled

Preparation
    1. Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Place almonds on a baking sheet and bake until light golden (if using blanched), 8 to 10 minutes. Chop almonds coarsely (this can be done several hours in advance). Increase oven temperature to 400°F.
    2. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. This can be done several hours in advance.
    3. Five to ten minutes before serving, place one sheet of the lavash on a baking sheet. Bake until it just begins to take on a light golden color, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle grated mozzarella onto the top, distributing evenly. Place lavash in oven again and bake until cheese is melted and lavash is golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.
    4. In the meantime, toss salad greens and almonds with the vinaigrette. When lavash is golden and crisp, remove from oven and top with one-quarter of the salad. Sprinkle with one-quarter of the Gorgonzola onto the top. Cut into squares or rough shapes and serve immediately.
    5. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, making 4 lavash pizzas in total.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Start to Finish Time
30 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 (8x12-inch) lavash pizzas

SOURCE: Almond Board of California


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