French Bread Pizzas
with lemon, bell pepper and caper salad
Everyone loves pizza, and using French bread as the base is a big time saver. Make a fast, homemade meat sauce as a base for melty cheese, and serve with a fresh salad on the side.
French Bread Pizzas:
- Shallots - 1 clove , chopped
- Cheese, fresh mozzarella - 6 oz , thinly sliced
- French baguette - 1 loaf , halved and cut into 6" / 15cm lengths
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Beef, ground and lean - 3/4 lb
- Tomato puree (14 oz / 397 g can; sub tomato sauce) - 1 can
- Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
Lemon, Caper and Bell Pepper Salad:
- Bell peppers, any color - 1/2 , diced
- Lettuce, romaine - 1 head , chopped
- Honey - 2 tsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Capers - 1 Tbsp , rinsed
- Shallots / Bell peppers - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cheese - Thinly slice cheese. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Lettuce / Baguette - Prep as directed.
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- Heat oven to 400F / 204C.
- While oven is getting warm, heat a non-stick frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add oil and shallots to hot oil. Saute until shallots are tender, ~1 minute. Add beef with a bit of salt and pepper and saute, breaking it apart as it cooks. Saute until beef is cooked through. Add tomato puree and tomato paste and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens, ~2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- Spray a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and top with baguettes, cut-side up. Brush with a bit of cooking oil. Place sheet pan in the oven and bake just until baguettes are starting to toast on the top, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove sheet pan from oven and top baguettes with sauce and then mozzarella slices. Return pan to oven and continue baking until cheese is melted, ~8 minutes more.
- While pizzas bake, whisk together honey, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss lettuce, bell peppers and capers in dressing.
- Serve pizzas hot out of the oven with salad on the side. Enjoy!