Tag Archives: homemade pizza

roasted red pepper & chicken pizza

1 Mar

My latest pizza inspiration is probably the essence of pizza- it was simply made from what I had in the frig. The sauce was roasted bell peppers (various stages of green to red), pureed with basil, oregano, roasted garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and enough water to make it go. After saucing the pizza, I added chicken chunks (leftovers), Gorgonzola, and Parmesan. I wanted fresh goat cheese instead of Gorgonzola, but that’s what was available, and I wasn’t driving way out of my way for one ingredient. The other twist on this pizza was a thin crust, rather than my usual thick crust. Same recipe, just divided into four sections (not two) and rolled thin with a rolling pin.

breakfast the next day

Enjoy!

Last of the Summer Pizza

29 Nov

I know Thanksgiving is over, but this is Savannah, and next to the squash and greens, we still have some summer veggies at the Forsyth Farmer’s Market. Kyle is leaving for his job abroad in a few hours, so last night I made him his favorite food, pizza.

The inspiration for this recipe came from white pizza. But I usually find white pizza to be a little boring without some kind of fabulous cheese or super ripe, juicy tomatoes. So this is the recipe I developed: Homemade pizza dough topped with a roasted eggplant puree, mozzarella, carmelized onions, red peppers, and parmesan cheese.

To start, cube up one large or two medium eggplants (more if you are using the small Japanese eggplants). Toss these with lots of balsamic and red wine vinegar, so there is a thin pool in the bottom of your oven-safe baking dish. Sprinkle on olive oil, oregano, rosemary, pepper, and lots of salt. The salt is necessary to draw moisture out of the eggplant. Trust me- forget the salt and you will just have withered, dried eggplant.

Raw eggplant, cubed and seasoned, is ready for the oven

While the eggplant roasts in an 400 degree oven, begin the dough. I developed this pizza dough to have a healthier crust with less white flour. The recipe originally was found in Vogue magazine (love Jeffery Steingarten’s articles). The recipe was from Otto, one of Mario Battali’s restaurants, but it  has been transformed so it is nearly unrecognizable from the original.

Warm up a 12 ounces of beer and add two packets of yeast, a tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon of olive oil, and a tablespoon or two of gluten. Stir in 2 cups of white flour and two cups of whole wheat flour. I like King Arthur’s white whole wheat- it is truly worth the extra dollar or two. Knead the dough for approximately 5 minutes, or until your frustrations are lessened. Divide the dough in two and oil the outside to prevent a crust from forming. Place each on a plate and let them rise at room temperature until doubled in size, or until the eggplant is finished roasting.

caramelized onions and bell pepper

Next chop onion and bell pepper. I like red peppers with this recipe, but they weren’t available this week at the market. Let the onions start to caramelize then add the pepper. How long you sauté the onion and pepper entirely depends on your taste. I like to start them after I finish the dough and let them slowly cook until it is time to assemble. You might not want to cook them at all.

Once the eggplant mixture is throughly roasted and very soft, it will look like this:

roasted eggplant

Carefully put the very hot roasted eggplant into the food processor with enough water to make the processor work. You are essentially making the Middle Eastern spread, babaganoush without the tahini. Blend until smooth.

If you are using a pizza stone, spread cornmeal on your peel (the huge, flat wooden spatula used to transfer the pizza into the oven). Spread one of the pizza doughs on the cornmeal and top with pureed eggplant, mozzarella, onions and peppers, parmesan cheese, and even sliced ripe tomatoes if you have them. I added kalamata olives to my half this time- it was a great addition. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 13 minutes.

The finished pizza!

Let the pizza cool for a few minutes. I usually let the pizza sit while I bake the second pizza. Once the second pizza is done, the first is easily cut and won’t fall apart or burn tongues. Figure on one of these pizzas feeding two hungry adults.

closeup of eggplant pizza

One final caveat- this is not a recipe for fresh mozzarella. Use the cheap, supermarket brand. The fresh mozzarella has too much moisture, and as you can see in the picture, the cheese has overflowed the stone.

Enjoy!

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