Haunted by Pizza

June 2, 2009


Last weekend, while up on Lopez, my husband thought it would be nice to take a picnic to the beach.  I stopped in to a little prepared food store to get some things for us to eat.  It’s called Vita’s and it’s in the most adorable building I have ever seen.  We have bought wine there, but never food.  I got Randy a sandwich and got myself a hummus box and was appalled by the size of the offerings (tiny) and the prices (huge).  Clearly, this place exists for the tourists.

Miffed, we walked back across the street to get something from Holly B’s for the boys and there it was on the bakery counter.  The Mexican Pizza.  I had totally forgotten that Holly makes pizza and I had also forgotten the sheer deliciousness that is Holly’s Mexican pizza.  I couldn’t bring myself to shell out another $6 for lunch food (yes, the bakery is expensive too but it is worth every penny) so I went without the pizza.  But I did not stop thinking about it as I ate my stale pita bread and I have not stopped thinking about it since.

I have the Holly B’s cookbook and it includes the Mexican pizza recipe.  But when I went to look at it, I realized that it is kind of a gut bomb.  I mean, it’s totally and completely delicious but it’s pretty rich and filling.  Refried beans are slathered over pizza dough, canned tomatoes and chiles are thrown over the top, and the whole thing is drowned with a heavy dose of cheddar cheese.  I decided to make one from Annie Sommerville’s Everyday Greens instead.


This is no pizza “lite” but the ingredients are fresher and a little less heavy-handed.   It is still very topping heavy, but the toppings include chipotle purée spread over the dough, fresh corn and tomatillos and a scattering of black beans.  I opted to use a cotija cheese rather than the cheddar and Monterey jack called for in the recipe and that lightened it up just a bit more.  I also added avocado slices because it just seemed right.

A few notes about this recipe.  You will need chipotle puree which is simply canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce.  You should be able to find these in any grocery store on the aisle where Mexican food is.  You will just need to whiz up the contents in a blender or food processor (a mini food processor is perfect for this).  Whatever you don’t use can live in your refrigerator, covered, for up to a month.  If you like that smoky spicy flavor, you can add a bit to soups, rice, beans, etc.  Also, I streamlined a few steps here because Sommerville has a tendency to make you work harder and create more dirty dishes than is necessary in my humble opinion.  I forgive her everything because all the food in her books is incredible.


One Year Ago:  Deviled Eggs

Mexican Pizza with Corn, Tomatillos, and Chipotle Chiles
Adapted from Everyday Greens
Serves 4-6

By all means, make your own pizza dough if you have the time.  Yesterday I didn’t have the time so I used a good store bought dough.  I used a full 2 tablespoons of the chipotle purée and it was spicy.  We like things with heat here so it was fine for us, but if you are sensitive to spice, just use a bit of the purée.  Substitute 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of Monterey jack cheese mixed together for the Cotija if you prefer.  You can make this pizza with a pizza pan or even a cookie sheet instead of a stone.

One recipe Pizza Dough
1 1/2 tbsp. Chipotle Puree
1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/4 pound tomatillos, husked, and chopped into small pieces
2 ears of corn, shaved, about 2 cups of kernels
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained
Fine cornmeal for dusting
1 1/2 cups crumbled cotija cheese
1/2 a large avocado, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat it to 500°F.  Make sure it heats for at least 30 minutes.

Season the tomatillos with salt and pepper and set aside.  Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat.  Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom and add the onions.  Cook until tender and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove to a plate and set aside.  Add a little more oil to the pan followed by the corn.  Season the corn with salt and pepper and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Roll out the pizza dough and place it on a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the dough.  Spoon a little (or a lot!) of purée over the dough followed by a thin layer of cheese.  Next add the corn, onions, tomatillos, black beans, and the remaining cheese.

Bake the pizza in the oven until the crust is golden and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove it from the oven, lay the avocado slices on top and sprinkle with cilantro.


  1. I love this recipe! Avocado on pizza?! That’s a first for me, but it looks so delicious and summery! I like your choice of cheese, I find monterrey doesn’t “add” much to dishes, I don’t understand the fascination with this cheese :(

    Comment by Marta — June 2, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  2. I love avocado on Pizza, I first tasted avocado on Pizza when I was in South Africa. Since then, I am hooked! Yours look wonderful!

    Comment by elra — June 2, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

  3. That looks so good. I like how you’ve made it light and perfect for summer! Now where’s the closest beach?

    Comment by kickpleat — June 2, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

  4. Yummy! I just got back from Trader Joe’s with pizza fixings for some bar-b-que’d pizza tonight. Wish I’d seen this first, but I just might try it, as I actually have everything but the cilantro and avocado (do have guacamole, though…) Looks delicious and I love chipotles, this sounds like a great way to use it. Can’t wait to try it, thanks for the recipe and mouthwatering photos.

    Comment by Mara — June 2, 2009 @ 6:21 pm

  5. Yum. I’ve made version of Mexican pizza in the past, but had forgotten about it. And I know how it is to be haunted by something. Glad I’m not alone in that.

    Comment by The Leftoverist — June 2, 2009 @ 7:57 pm

  6. Who can resist a good pizza. You’re right that these toppings are lighter than the other pizza. You took nice photos.

    Comment by Hélène — June 2, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

  7. It looks so fresh and delicious with avocado and cilantro on top. The chipotle sounds fantastic and cotija is perfect–better than cheddar here. Great mix.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — June 2, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

  8. That pizza looks tasty! I am going to have to try a pizza with avocados on it.

    Comment by Kevin — June 2, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

  9. Try living close to NYC, then you will be haunted by pizza.
    I sometimes crave it and we have to drive into Manhattan for pie. Now that’s being haunted!
    Your pizza looks healthy and delicious!

    Comment by Stacey Snacks — June 3, 2009 @ 12:05 am

  10. Very creative and interesting…love the ingredients in your pizza. Looks delicious. Great pictures!

    Comment by Juliana — June 3, 2009 @ 4:40 am

  11. Yum I’d love a slice of that pizza. I’ve never thought to put avocado on pizza – brilliant!

    Comment by Ashley — June 3, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

  12. Wow, that looks fantastic. I especially love the addition of the chipotle puree and cilantro–those two ingredients alone make it sound delicious! what is cotija cheese, and where would I find it?

    Comment by HappyTummy — June 4, 2009 @ 2:08 am

  13. I like your version better. I’m salivating just thinking about all those flavors!

    Comment by Aimee — June 4, 2009 @ 3:04 am

  14. I left this window open in my browser for the length of the morning because it looks so absolutely delicious! The only problem is that it’s making me hungry!

    Comment by Cori — June 4, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

  15. […] And to finish up an amazing pizza from one of my latest blog finds – Dana Treat. I’d make this just for the avocado, red onion […]

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  19. Why is there not a link to pin this?!!! Please post a link to Pinterest so I can pin this recipe.

    Comment by Trish — September 18, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

  20. Hi Trish. I’m not a big Pinterest person, but I will check with my designer to see if we can install a “pin” button.

    Comment by dana — September 18, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

  21. […] with chipotle and freshened up with avocado, tomatillos and cilantro, Dana Treat’s Mexican Pizza with Corn, Tomatillos and Chipotle Chiles is every pizza lover’s decadent Mexican […]

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