Monday, March 31, 2008

very veg pizza

i recently discovered a new use for the moonblush tomatoes that i mentioned in my sweet and savory spaghetti post; pizza. i love pizza, but i hate it when the sauce is too thick and takes away from the toppings.
here, i've given you a basic whole wheat crust (because if you are going to have pizza, you might as well make it as healthy as you can) and i've topped it with my favorite veg. feel free to improvise on the veg, but by adding in the moonblush tomatoes (or the quick roasted, which are mentioned in the same post) you get an amazingly slow roasted flavor in almost no time.

whole wheat crust ingredients:
1 package instant yeast

1 cup warm water

2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (i use arnold's)

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

4* tablespoons olive oil (you will need a little more to coat the dough while it rises)

whole wheat crust directions:

mix yeast in water and allow about five minutes to dissolve and begin to foam. once the yeast is ready mix it in with the rest of the ingredients and turn dough out of bowl. knead for several minutes until very smooth (or until your wrist hurts from your carpal tunnel) and then place in a clean bowl that has been coated with olive oil. coat the top of the dough with a liberal glug of olive oil, and cover with a clean dish towel and set on the back burner of the stove (or a warm place.)

once the dough has risen for about 15 minutes, remove it from the bowl and carefully begin to stretch it out. you need to get it large enough to cover a rimmed baking sheet (which you won't need to oil if you coated the dough well enough) in a thin layer with the edges folded up to make a crust. get the dough as thin as you can because it tastes best that way. set aside. preheat oven to 425 degrees.

toppings ingredients:
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 large red pepper, thinly sliced

6 oz. container of cremini (or baby bella) mushrooms, sliced

1 batch of moonblush tomatoes (or quick roast tomatoes)

2 cups of low moisture mozzarella

3 to 4 oz. of herb and garlic goat cheese

olive oil

salt and pepper

toppings instructions:

in a large pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add the onions and a few pinches of salt (the salt will draw out the liquid from the onions, helping them to break down, it tastes good.) allow the onions to cook slowly until they are very soft and transparent, about 10 to 15 minutes. once they are soft, add in the red peppers and allow them to get soft, about 5 minutes. once the peppers are soft, add in the mushrooms and cook until they start to give off their juices, about 5 minutes. turn off the heat.


layer the crust with the tomatoes and then add on all of the healthy veg in an even layer. sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese and then add the goat cheese in an even layer, breaking it up as you go into small pieces.
bake until the crust begins to brown and the cheese is melted.

we vary this pizza a lot, usually though i make it with just onions and red peppers. it's always a hit and something i feel good about serving to the people i love. this would taste equally good with tons of feel free to make it less veggie friendly.
i will post other variations soon, including barbeque chicken pizza, cheeseburger pizza and shrimp florentine pizza. stay tuned!

*i've updated the recipe to read 4 tablespoons of olive oil as it produces a better result.

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