Delicious, tender crust. A fresh pesto whipped up faster than you can say food processor. Fresh, in season vegetables, roasted to a caramelized perfection. Mozzarella tops it all off, and you have the most delectable veggie pizza.
This pizza is extremely easy to make. Choose your veggies--we like baby portobellos, red onion, sweet bell pepper, zucchini, summer squash, and of course, garlic. Wash them, roughly chop them, and toss them all on a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil, kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. In this batch, we also added some herbes de provence and dried basil from our garden last summer.
Also, we like to make a lot of the veggies--in this case, 2 baking sheets full. One large red onion, 2 smallish containers of sliced baby mushrooms, 2 zucchini, 2 summer squash, one red bell pepper, and 6-7 cloves of garlic, crushed, minced, or sliced, oh-and salt and pepper. (Would have been more peppers if we'd had more.) You can use them in a lot of different things, like wraps, sandwiches, as a burger topping, a side dish, or even in a soup. So it makes sense to roast extra while you're doing it anyway. One of my favorite ways to use them? Whole wheat naan-toasted, topped with your favorite hummus, and some of the roasted veggies (heated up or cool, your choice). Delicious lunch or easy, quick dinner.
Roasting them: My husband and I have two schools of thought on this. I like to roast them at 425 for about 30 minutes or so, stirring them around a couple of times. You can adjust cooking time to your liking. My husband likes to broil them, which works fine, but it's more labor intensive because you have to watch them. I'm far too lazy to do it his way.
So, if you're being lazy like me, and not standing over the veggies like a mom and her brand new baby, pull out your food processor. Whip up a generous handful of basil and 5-6 cloves of garlic. While those are whizzing around in there, drizzle in some olive oil until you have a nice little pesto-ey sauce. That's it--we don't add anything else for this, but if you feel the need, you can add in some parmesan and other pesto-like stuff.
Oooh, look at that garlicky basil-ly goodness!
Or, if you want to be super lazy (which is perfectly fine with me!), you can use some store bought pesto and loosen it up with some olive oil to make it saucy.
When your veggies are done, throw your pizza stone in the oven and crank that heat up! We cook at around 500 degrees. What? You don't have a pizza stone? Too expensive? Well, you could get your butt down to Home Depot (or something like it) and get some unglazed quarry tiles. They're cheap, and you can get a bunch to make a great pizza/bread baking surface. Unglazed, ok?
Yeah, we're veggies. We're roasted and we're beautiful. Don't be a hater!
Prepare your pizzas on your cornmeal dusted work surface (we use flat baking sheets with no edges). Get them sauced up, add your veggies and cheese. We used a rice mozzarella, and a dusting of parmesan. Slide the pizzas off of your work surface and on to the stone(s). Bake for 6-8 minutes and check their bottoms. We don't want soggy bottoms! Larger pizzas will obviously take more time, but we make personal size ones.
Dough? Well, we still haven't found the perfect homemade dough, so we buy balls from our local pizza joint. Dough balls, that is. hehe! They're absolutely perfect in taste, texture, and workability. So see? More laziness. Sometimes, lazy is good. In this case, it's real good.
That's it, I think! Super easy, and amazingly good. And don't feel limited to these ingredients. I'm sure you all have favorite veggies you'd like to include (or some you'd like to exclude), and some of you can't even think of pizza without tomato sauce. So have at it!
So what are you doing for Meatless Monday?