Thursday, August 5, 2010

Frugal Recipe: Garden Pizza

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While I can't say I particularly enjoy the endless heat of summer, I do enjoy gardening and especially turning those literal fruits of my labors into delicious meals. This recipe is just that and I hope you try it.

This variation on pizza allows the vegetables to take center stage! My favorites are the tomatoes, but really you can pile anything you want on it: eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, cauliflower, etc. The sky's the limit. I prefer to only have 2-3 vegetables on the pizza at a time, but alter that to suit your tastes of course.

Garden Pizza

You'll need:
ingredients for pizza crust
olive oil, coarse salt
mozzarella cheese, or a cheese blend
about 1/2 cup of 2-3 different types of garden vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, mushrooms, bell pepper, etc.

I start out with homemade pizza crust, courtesy of Allrecipes.com. Jay's Signature pizza crust is our favorite. Thanks Jay, whoever you are!  If I'm just making one pizza, like I was here, then I halve his recipe and it works out perfectly. I generally start the crust at about 4pm as it has to sit for about an hour. If you're pressed for time, 30 minutes is just fine.

While the crust is rising, slice your vegetables and roast any vegetables but tomatoes. Tomatoes are already soft and will cook nicely in a short amount of time, but other vegetables need to be pre-cooked to soften them. Plus roasting them brings about a nice flavor to your pizza. I simply place the vegetables in a shallow pan, sprinkle some olive oil and coarse salt on top and broil for about 10-12 minutes, until some pieces are turning light brown.

When the vegetables are done, turn the oven down to 400 degrees.

Once the crust is ready, I roll it out or simply stretch it with my hands. I am a terrible pizza tosser and every time I attempt, bad things happen. But really, stretching and rolling it works well too. Once it's to your desired size, sprinkle a bit of cornmeal on your pizza stone or pan and lay the crust out on top. This prevents the pizza from sticking! Bake the plain crust for 10 minutes.

After the crust is done, you can now add your toppings! To allow the vegetables to really stand out, I don't use a traditional tomato sauce. Instead, I mix about 1-2 TBSP of olive oil, a dash of salt and a few dashes of Italian seasoning. Using the back of a spoon or a kitchen brush, cover the entire crust with the olive oil mixture.

Layer a bit of cheese, then add your vegetables, and end with another light layer of cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes on 400 degrees.

 Be sure to turn the oven light on to let little ones watch!
{My little guy here was particularly hungry that night! He ate two pieces all by himself!}

Cool, slice and enjoy! Top with fresh basil if you have any!

3 comments:

ShadowCase said...

This is a great recipe--I love it, and I know my family will too. We love pizza, and it's nice to have one that I can feel good about giving to my kids. Thanks for sharing it!

Suzanne said...

Oh yum! Is that a little fresh basil I see on top? I haven't even tasted it but I'm already in love. Thanks for sharing.

Jackee Ann said...

We made this last night, it was delicious! Thank you for the great idea on a way to eat more squash!

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