Monday, September 1, 2008

Summer Vegetable Pizza with Crispy Garlic

In an attempt to put the "diary" back into "Diary of an Iron Homemaker", I've challenged myself to blog, for better or worse, what we've had for dinner each day. English food writer Nigel Slater wrote an awesome cookbook The Kitchen Diaries in this same format. He is a big proponent of eating seasonally, growing your own food when possible, and cooking instinctively, often without a recipe. I tried to emulate some of these qualities in tonight's dinner, Summer Vegetable Pizza.
This pizza is a product of the generosity of friends and family who have shared their garden abundance with us.

The Crust
Resist the temptation to add more flour, as this dough can be wet, depending on how you measure your flour. After it rises it will be easier to handle. This recipe will make 2 smallish round pizzas or 1 jelly-roll pan size pizza.
3 cups flour
2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. warm water
2 1/2 t. instant yeast
1 T. olive oil
1 t. sugar
Chuck everything into your mixer and knead for about 5 minutes. You can add a little more water if you're concerned about a dry dough. Knead into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. Deflate gently and press into oiled jelly roll pan (or shape into rounds).
Top and bake at 450 for at 10-25 minutes, depending on the thinness of your crust and amount of toppings.

The Sauce
Normally for the sauce I prefer to use crushed, raw tomatoes (skinned & seeded), stir in some chopped garlic that has been sauteed in olive oil, add some salt, pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a some fresh herbs (basil, oregano) and chopped up. But today I wanted to save the beautiful Romas from my mom's garden for the topping, so I settled for a thin smear of bottled pasta sauce.

The Toppings
My pizza got chopped onion, chopped Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced green zucchini and yellow squash, green pepper, mushrooms, mozzerella, and parmesan. I didn't have any, but olives and artichoke hearts would have been good, too.

While the pizza was baking, I sauteed some thinly sliced some garlic and a chopped red chile pepper in olive oil until the garlic was crispy. When the pizza was done, I drizzled the garlic/chile mixture (oil included) over all the pizza. This, I think, was the best part and gave the pizza a really spicy kick and a nice texture with the crispy garlic. Oh yeah, I totally need to brush my teeth.


Missy and Jake said...

Cathy, I am so excited that you are back in the blogging world! We have missed you like crazy! Thanks for the idea-I actually think this is what I will do for dinner tonight! Keep em coming.

Jessica said...

Hey..I just decided to check your blog today...YEA! I am glad you are back. I look forward to seeing some good ideas. I am at a standstill as of late. My poor family. This looks yummy!

Holly Strong said...

YAY, I too am glad to see you blogging again. I need some tasty ideas. So, when are you inviting us ot the new house? LOL