Friday, September 14, 2012

Roasted Veggie Pizza

            I had all these lovely veggies in the fridge.  One of my favorite ways to eat vegetables is by roasting them.  One of my favorite foods is pizza.  So put one on top of the other and you get roasted veggie pizza.  There is no tomato sauce in this pizza.  I cover the crust with a basil pesto.  It is such a hearty dish, and so healthy, that you feel good about eating it.

           Making home made pizza isn't hard.  The key is the crust.  It is hard to get a pizzeria taste at home.  You can use a pizza stone of course.  A barbecue grill can work, so I am told.  It helps to use a double cook crust technique.  This is when you partially cook the dough on a baking sheet.  Then when it is partially cooked you can put your toppings on.  Then place it back in your oven, directly on the rack, or you can put it directly on the barbecue grill.

My pizza dough recipe actually came with my bread maker.  It makes a dough that is easy to work with, and most importantly it tastes great.

Ingredients for pesto
  1. 1 cup of packed basil
  2. 2 garlic cloves
  3. 1/3 Cup walnuts, or pine nuts
  4. 1/4 cup of olive oil
  5. 1/3 Cup parmesan cheese
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. 1/8 tsp pepper
This makes 1/2 Cup of pesto.

Place the basil, garlic, and walnuts in your food processor.  Process until these ingredients are blended.  You may have to scrape down the walls with a rubber spatula to make sure all the basil gets chopped.  Then add the oil, parmesan, salt, and pepper.  Process again until it's blended well.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Ingredients for cheese topping
  1. 3 oz. feta cheese
  2. large handful of mozzarella cheese
Ingredients for  roasted vegetables
  1. Vegetables of your choice.  I used yellow squash, zucchini, onion, and eggplant.
  2. olive oil for drizzling the vegetables
  3. salt to taste.  I used 1/2 tsp for my 4 vegetables
  4.  1/2 tsp dried oregano
  5. 1/2 tsp dried basil
Preheat your oven to 425F

To roast vegetables, simply chop them to desired size.  You don't want the pieces to be so large.  You want them manageable when you eat them.  Drizzle them in olive oil.  Top them with the spices.  Use your hand or a large spoon to toss all the vegetables so the oil and spices coat all the pieces.

Place them in the oven for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for pizza dough
  1. 1 cup of warm water
  2. 1 Tbl olive oil
  3. 3 3/4 Cups bread flour
  4. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 1/2 Tbl sugar
  6. 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
Place all the ingredients in a bread maker, or stand mixer with dough attachment.  Place the bread machine on dough cycle.  It should rise for at least 60 minutes.  In a stand mixer, it should knead for 15 minutes, then let rise for at least 60 minutes.

This was enough dough for 2 pizza's.

Prepare a pizza pan, or baking sheet by coating with non- stick spray.  Place your dough on the sheet and work the dough from the center and then out to the edges.  Give it time to rest.  It will form more easily if you let it rest as you push it to the edges you want it to have.  When it is formed brush with olive oil and let rest for 15 minutes.

Place the dough in a preheated 500F oven.  Let the dough cook for 5 minutes.  When it comes out the middle will have puffed up.  It will drop as it cools.

Spread the pesto on the pizza dough.  Then top it with the vegetables.  I also added sliced sun dried tomatoes.  Sprinkle the cheese on top.  You don't want too much cheese.  You want the veggies to stand out.

This is a heavy pizza, so you may want to slide it in the oven with it on a flat baking sheet.  You want the pizza crust crispy so you want to cook it on the rack.  Place foil on a lower rack in case of dripping.  Let it cook for no more than 10 minutes back in the 500F oven.

Slide it out of the oven with help again with a flat cookie sheet.  You can of course bake it on a cookie sheet or pizza pan or pizza stone.

This pizza is up to par with my favorite pizza from Pizzeria Uno.  Delicious and healthy and so pretty!

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