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Monday
Jul272009

Meatless Monday: Roasted Veggie Pizza with Pesto

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.

And hey--it's Meatless Monday! Who's in?

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?

 

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Reader Comments (39)

Your photos make me salivate! YUM!! I'm going to run home, throw some ingredients together in my breadmaker to make dough, and whip together some pizzas tonight! Thanks for the great idea for Meatless Monday...

July 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Thanks so much, Jess! Now I'm kinda jealous that you're having pizza and I'm not, hehe!

July 27, 2009 | Registered CommenterElle

I had a pizza just like this one over the weekend and it was SO expensive!! I need to try making it on my own. Yours looks amazing.

July 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersharon

Sharon, it's so easy to do at home! We also had one at a restaurant that inspired us to make this one. We've made it two weekends in a row now, hehe. Thanks for stopping by! Off to see what you've been up to...

July 27, 2009 | Registered CommenterElle

Looking GOOD Elle! I'm an easy sell where pesto's involved!

July 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMushroom Channel

Thanks, Jessica! I'm just wishing I didn't have the last two pieces for lunch. Would really love them right now. hehe!

July 27, 2009 | Registered CommenterElle

I have witnessed even the die hard carnivores here in cattle country drooling over Roasted Veggie Pizza. It is always a winner. Love your addition of pesto. Can't wait to try that next time. Yum!

July 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSB's Bea

Thank you, Bea!

July 27, 2009 | Registered CommenterElle

That pizza looks amazing. I am going to have to try pesto instead of red sauce.

July 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRex

Thanks so much, Rex! I'm usually more of a fan of pizza with red sauce, but the fresh flavors of this one just seem to scream out for fresh pesto.

July 27, 2009 | Registered CommenterElle

I had the most amazing brick oven pizza at a farmers market a few weeks back. Fresh mozzarella, dill and thin slices of yellow squash. I'm hoping to try and get close to it at home because it was fantastic! I will definitely be trying the roasted veggie pizza soon. I just got a pizza stone second hand (still new for $8!) that came with no instructions so I am going to try it out soon. I hope one day I can find a good dough recipe!

July 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterApril in CT

That's a great price for a stone! You don't really need instructions, just be sure to preheat it at at least 475, if not 500, for about 30 minutes. You want it good and hot before you cook on it. And I'm sure you already know, but let it cool down in the oven.

So good to hear from you, April! I hope you're enjoying your summer. :)

July 27, 2009 | Registered CommenterElle

Your photos are fantastic. When I grow up I want to take photograghs like you. I can even smell it. Yum.... We do meatless often, I guess I "oops"ed today. Although with the coconut brown rice pilaf, artichoke, and parsnips, I could of left out the chicken tenders. I'm still learning. Now I have high standards to shoot for. I can't wait for pizza night!!

July 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLyndsey

Love me some roasted veggies & homemade pizza so that is just fantastic!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkat

I do meatless everyday:) Love this pizza!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

Lyndsey--thanks so much for the kind words! Your dinner sounds fantastic, especially the coconut rice!

Kat and Maria--thanks, ladies!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElle

I have been obsessed with making pizza lately. I think I made it 4 times in the last 2 weeks. After discovering grilled pizza though, I can't make it any other way. It's super easy, and the crust turns out perfect every time. Can't wait to try it with some pesto mixed in.

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Lemons

Trader Joe's sells a decent pizza dough. I've been making dough in my bread machine and it's delicious, the dough is very easy to work with. I make it both on the grill and in the oven. Your Raw Zucchini Pasta looks awesome, I'm going to try that next.

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

Thank you, Meg!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Mmmm...veggie pizza is the best! Love your pesto sauce!!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Thanks, Melissa!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElle

I've tried a kabilllion pizza dough recipes.....but this is the one I swear by. I double it and then use two cups of whole wheat flour and four cups of regular flour. I do hope you'll try it.


http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mjw/recipes/pie/pizza/pizza-dough-4.html

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

I will try it, Elissa--thank you!

July 28, 2009 | Registered CommenterElle

We are also a meatless monday family--we had bean stuffed cabbage this week, but pizza is a common meatless monday (tuesday, wednesday meal) because it is my 2 year olds favorite.

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermaybelles mom

oh dear, this must be one of the best ways to enjoy Meatless dishes! Loving the home-baked crust and fresh pesto and roasted veggies! Stellar combo!

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSophia

love the photos! i'm saving up for a camera. we love homemade pizza - although the children in the family arn't big fans of pesto. For meatless monday? - although it was on saturday - i did a mango and yam curry.

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngeli

Looks incrEDIBLE!

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDamjana

I'm in Elle.

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBellini Valli

Fabulous pizza the crust is so golden and crisp!

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeena

Love this! I really like the idea of roasting extra veggies, too--I usually have a large vat of homemade hummus in the fridge, so your wrap suggestion is perfect. And, not being a vegan (or even a vegetarian) myself, I can certainly forgive you a sprinkling of Parm!

July 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

Alright you have convinced me I am going to start participating in meatless mondays too. Love this idea!!

I am a huge fan of the broiler or grill but yeah definitely requires more hands on. However, it goes well with my ADD and lack of patience because if they are in the oven I tend to forget unless something beeps at me.

Have you tried the pizza dough from Bread Baker's Apprentice (I feel like a freaking pusher for any recipe for this book)? Although I have realized nothing is lazy friendly from that book so nevermind buy away!

July 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

good golly, elle, that's a fabulous pizza! i, too, am all for roasting--i've burned way too many things attempting to use the broiler. wouldn't miss the meat for a second with this--bravo!

August 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergrace

Jeez. I have been such a lousy blogging buddy I completely missed out on your big make over. Nice job! And the post is superb -- it's always great to hear about how others whip up a great pizza. I get a bit lazy when it comes to pesto and I don't know why. My little herb box doesn't quite produce enough basil to do much of anything with. But those pizzas are gorgeous -- loaded, delicious and healthy!

August 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkellypea

I love the pesto y sauce for pizza...I have to much basil in my garden right now.

For the person who said they wanted to start making pizzas...if you don't have time to make your own dough you can get it from the grocery freezer section (Acme has it here). I keep dough in my freezer and pull one out in the morning and it is ready to roll at night...costs about $1.79...not as good as homemade but good in a pinch and much better than bought pizzas! and a whole lot less money.

August 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLola

This looks so good! I think even my carnivorous husband would like this one. :-)

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterteresa

That is SO my kind of pizza. I love this. Perfect summer dinner.

July 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAggie

Yum! I just made BBQ'd pizzas last night with BBQ sauce instead of tomato or pesto....but pesto sounds darned tasty! Love love love it.

my stomach is now growling. Looks wonderful!

I love meatless pizzas more than those with red sauce and meat and your pesto version is like mine. Doggone pine nuts way too pricey to get included and I hardly miss them anymore. I throw together other herbs too...love lemon thyme with the basil.

Great yummy photos Elle!

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