Vegetarian Pizza

My own 2 recipes

June 2014 - Wendy made a great pizza the other day and that got me to thinking about trying my hand at it.

We ended up with two excellent vegetarian pizzas. The one without cheese is vegan / Mexican.

Vegetables release a lot of water when they cook. If you let them do that on top of your pizza then you'll have a soggy mess. We precook the vegetables to remove this water. I've also found that my oven doesn't get hot enough to really brown the vegetables on the pizza, so I roast them all ahead of time.

I wish those two photos were more clear, the pies were smokin' hot and the steam fuzzed up the images.

Prep time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 4 - each pizza

A. pizza dough 1 pound I bought frozen balls which had to defrost for 4 hours, but you can buy fresh dough at many stores (Trader Joe's has it) that just has to rise for an hour.

If you bought a frozen dough ball, then set it out five hours before dinner. If you have the fresh dough, then set it out an hour ahead. Follow the instructions that come with the dough to make it ready to use.

B. red bell pepper 1 Cut into 1 inch squares
broccoli florets 2 cups Bite sized
zucchini 2 small Cut into 0.25 inch rounds
  olive oil 0.25 cup  
  salt 2 teaspoons  

Turn on your oven broiler. Adjust one rack to the top most position.

Bring a quart of salted water to a boil.

Add the broccoli and cook for two minutes. Remove from water and drain well.

Add the zucchini to the boiling water and cook for one minute. Remove from water and drain well.

Prepare a cookie pan by covering the bottom with aluminum foil.

Toss the broccoli with olive oil and salt. Spread it out on the prepared cookie pan. Put in the broiler and set the timer for three minutes. Watch the broccoli closely, you don't want to burn it, just really brown it. When it is brown redistribute the broccoli and put it back in for another three minutes. When things are nicely browned, remove the broccoli from the pan and place it on a plate with double paper towels.

Do the same thing with the zucchini rounds. Brown them on both sides and place them on another plate. Blot the tops with more paper towels.

Now roast the red pepper chunks the same way.

C. brown mushrooms 0.25 pounds Thickly sliced.

Place the mushrooms in a microwave safe bowl and nuke 'em for about three minutes. You want them to turn brown and release a lot of their liquid.

When done, drain them and then blot them dry with paper towels.

D. Opt 1: fresh pesto sauce 10 ounces From your local market.
Opt 2: medium hot fresh salsa 2 cups  
Opt 2: diced tomatoes 12 ounce can Drained well.

If you're making pesto pizza then put the pesto in a sauce pan and heat but don't boil it.

For the Mexican vegan pizza heat the salsa in a pan until it just simmers. Then use a strainer to remove all the water from the salsa. Return it to the pan and add the drained tomatoes. Heat it through.

E. dough from above.  
  vegetables from above.  
  sauces from above  
olive oil 3 tablespoons  
garlic 3 cloves Minced.
  Mozzarella cheese 1 pound Low water variety. Sliced thickly.
  basil leaves, fresh bunch  

Set the oven to bake at 450.

Take the dough and pull it out to either a round or square, depending on the shape of the pan you're going to use. I prefer my double walled rectangular cookie sheet. This really browns the bottom of the pizza crust. Shaping the dough is a bit of an art, but just go slow and do the best you can; it doesn't have to be perfect to be delicious.

Rub some olive oil on your pan and place the dough on it.

Now spread your chosen sauce on the dough.

Add the vegetables.

Sprinkle with garlic.

Place some basil leaves on top.

Now put the Mozzarella slices on top of it all.

I like to drizzle a little olive oil over the cheese.

Pop it into the oven on the top rack and cook it for 20 minutes.

Remove the pizza and let it rest for a few minutes before you cut into it. Now enjoy the best homemade pizza you have ever made!