French Bread Pizza

This is a recipe you’ll make over and over and over again. It’s unbelievably delicious and deceptively simple to prepare. It’s got layers of flavor — creamy goat cheese that’s not too tangy, tomato sauce, pesto, salami, and topped with mozzarella (after all, it’s pizza:-)

You can substitute ingredients but try it this way the first time. I think you’ll love it as much as I do!

 These pizzas make great hors d’oeuvres. After baking, cut them cross-wise into slices, or you can freeze them before baking. Increase the cooking time by a few minutes and bake them frozen.

I buy the Italian salami that comes in an 8-ounce package — they’re small rounds which fit perfectly onto the baguette. If you can’t find it packaged like that, buy 1/4 pound of Italian or Genoa salami and quarter the slices to fit onto the bread. You won’t need the entire package, so use the remaining slices in my yummy Grilled Salami & Cheese sandwiches!

FRENCH BREAD PIZZA

  • one loaf French bread (aka baguette), 3 inches wide
  • one 4.5-ounce container creamy goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 4 tablespoons tomato sauce (I open an 8-ounce can and save the rest in a jar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, optional — but really delicious
  • 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese — or you can use Parmesan
  • 16 slices (2 1/2-inch diameter) Italian salami — about 1/4 pound
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Using a tape measure or a ruler, measure 12 inches from the end of your baguette. Slice through the bread and reserve the rest for another use, such as my Baked Gruyere Toasts.

  3. Now, slice through the bread horizontally to make two halves. The easiest way to do it is to stand the bread on one end (you can cut off the very tip of the baguette if you need to get a flat surface) and cut through from top to bottom. It’s easier to control your slicing that way to ensure two even halves.

  4. Scoop out most of the soft bread from both halves. This will give you a bed for all the gooey flavors to come, and helps crisp up the finished pizza.

5.Divide the goat cheese among the two halves, spreading it evenly. Then spoon two tablespoons of tomato sauce on each of the bread halves.

6.Next spread the pesto on each half — one tablespoon per half. Sprinkle the hot pepper flakes over the halves, and then the Romano cheese, dividing it between the halves. Next comes the salami — you’ll need about 8 slices per half.

7.Finally, cover each half with the mozzarella cheese — about 1/2 cup per half.

8.Wrap each half in heavy duty aluminum foil and place in the oven. Set the timer for 15 minutes

9.Remove from the oven and open the foil. The cheese will be melted, but not browned enough.

10.So change the temperature of the oven to Broil, move the oven rack up to the top level in the oven, and put the pizzas, still on the foil, under the broiler for 30 seconds to a minute. You want to keep watch and when the cheese begins to brown, remove from the oven. Cut each piece in half and serve.

Grocery Bag: French Bread Pizza