We have a new favorite casual dining restaurant, called Newk’s Express Café, here in Mississippi. Although it’s missing the bakery, this is the closest we have come so far to finding a menu similar to having lunch or dinner at Panera Bread (the nearest Panera to us now is 170 miles away!) Most of Newk’s locations are home to the southern states, with the funny exception of one in my hometown of Grand Rapids, MI. It’s brand new…so Michigan friends, check it out!
The menu at Newk’s includes sandwiches, fresh salads, soups and individual pizzas…along with dessert cakes that I actually haven’t tried yet! We eat there nearly every Sunday for lunch, because it’s literally right across the street from our church. Recently, my go-to menu item is their BBQ Chicken Pizza, but Ben has been a sucker for their Mediterranean Pizza and asked me to recreate it at home.
After reviewing the ingredients on their website, I just went to town and threw them all on my favorite pizza crust. I did take note at how much of each ingredient I used, so I could jot down some sort of recipe for you. There are many variations of Mediterranean Pizzas, so if one of these toppings doesn’t seem to suit your taste, leave it off! Or, add another that you might think will complete it for you. For us, this was the perfect combination of salty, spicy, tangy and cheesy all at once.
Please note, the crust is not a copycat of Newk’s pizza crust. I like the pizza crust we typically use, so went with that. Also, the size of this pizza is much larger than the individual portion served at Newk’s. I was glad to have Ben out of town the next day, so I had the leftovers all to myself!
The winner of the giveaway for Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible is, Sue, who said: “Oh my gosh, what a choice. I guess it has to be a dessert for me – pecan pie! love it. As well as Mississippi pie also, I’ll surely be trying your rendition.” Sue, congratulations and check your email!
- 1 batch pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
- Olive oil
- Garlic Salt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 6 oz grilled chicken breast strips, chopped
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced
- 6 to 8 pepperocini's from the jar, sliced
- 1/4 cup canned quartered artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half, lengthwise
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. (A lesser temperature will work, as well, with just a little longer cooking time.)
Roll dough out to form a large round. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt, to taste. Spread half of the mozzarella evenly over the top, then add the rest of the toppings, ending with the other half of the mozzarella, then the feta cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is baked through and golden brown.