Posts tagged ‘Pizza’

May 29, 2011

Ratatouille Pizza

I did get an inspiration for that last ball of dough that I still had in the freezer. Best part is, I had all the ingredients I needed in my fridge!

I had bought aubergines and zucchinis for my vegetarian lasagna rolls (this is coming soon, by the way!) but, luckily, I had bought way too much. I sometimes get carried away, like that. I guess I haven’t adjusted to cooking for one or two just yet… I’m still in “cooking for an entire family” mode in my mind!

So anyway, I decided that I would try and make a beautifully layered ratatouille right on a pizza dough. I started by cutting all my vegetables real thin. I tried a mandolin for the aubergines, but that didn’t work very well. A knife does a much better job. The mandolin tends to just shred the delicate flesh of the aubergines.

The zucchinis, however, cooperated beautifully with the mandolin’s blade. As for the tomato, well, I didn’t even try that! A serrated knife was the tool of choice for that one.

So I sliced all my veggies as thin as I possibly could, and then I layered them in a circle, starting with the aubergines, then tomatoes and finally, the zucchinis. Since their circle ended up in being rather small compared to the others, I thought these poor guys didn’t get enough stage… so I went back and inserted one zucchini slice between each aubergine slice. What a great decision that was! It made the pizza look even prettier!

See?

Seriously, this has got to be one of the prettiest pizzas I have seen so far! And it was pretty darn good too if you ask me! The only thing that I would maybe change if I did it again (which I most probably will!) is to remove the seeds from the tomatoes, as they did leak a little more than I would’ve liked them to and the dough ended up being a little soggy in the middle by the time I got to the 3rd slice.

Wait, 3rd slice, you say??? Does that mean you ate the whole thing???

Why, yes, I did! I know, that’s a whopping amount of calories to eat in one go, but I figure an entire pizza like that still has less calories than half of one of the standard stuff from the pizzeria. Plus, it has all sorts of things that are actually good for me. So yes, I do splurge when I have a beautiful, home made, healthy pizza and eat the whole thing to myself most of the time. Hey, it’s not like I do it every day!

So there, I said it. Confession made. I feel so much better now! 😉

DOUGH

“SAUCE”

TOPPINGS

  • ½ eggplant, in very thin slices
  • ½ zucchini, in very thin slices
  • 1 tomato, in very thin slices
  • Salt, pepper and za’atar, to taste
  • 2 tbsp red onions, finely chopped
  • 100g low fat Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 25g goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 500F.
  • Roll or stretch dough into 10-12 inch disc and lay on a baking sheet. Spread fermented garlic flowers (crushed garlic would do the trick) and sprinkle generously with za’atar.
  • Top with mozzarella cheese, followed by aubergine slices, tomato and zucchini, then sprinkle red onion. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and more za’atar.
  • Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and starts to colour on the edge.
  • Take out of the oven, sprinkle goat cheese and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes, just to soften goat cheese
  • Take pizza out of the oven and sprinkle fresh parsley.

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May 15, 2011

Chicken, Goat Cheeses and Roasted Bell Pepper Pizza

I finally got to have that pizza I’d been dreaming about for weeks! I was about time, too. I had been craving it big time since Easter… You see, we had this huge cheese platter on that day day and of course, there was a lot of leftover, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of the best stuff that was in there. In the lot was a very decent size piece of Paillot de Chèvre and when I took it, I knew precisely what I was going to use it for. THIS VERY PIZZA!! Well, minus the roasted bell peppers, I actually got that inspiration only a few hours before I made the actual pizza. I didn’t really want any tomato sauce on it (for some reason, you might have noticed that I am not a big fan of tomato sauce on pizza…) so I decided to make a quick sauce out of half a roasted red bell pepper. What a great decision that was. The flavour combination worked perfectly.

This one might have been a little labour intensive, but very well worth it. The good thing is, I had some dough in the freezer from last time, and it passed the freezer test with flying colours! That’s one less thing I had to worry about. All I had to do was take the dough out of the freezer 2 days prior and take it out of the fridge 2 hours before I was ready to use it. It was FANTASTIC. Just as good as the first time… I am in love with that dough, I tell you. This is now my official pizza dough recipe.

The toppings were a little time consuming… I had to cook the chicken and mushrooms ahead of time, as well as roast the bell pepper, but it didn’t take all that long. Plus, making pizza I find is so much fun, the entire family gets involved, and everyone gets to top their pizza with whatever ingredients their heart desire (if you happen to have them on hand, of course!)

I’m already looking forward to the next pizza night. I’ll let you guys in on a little secret: I still have one dough ball in my freezer! That means I can have pizza anytime I want, even on a weeknight!!! I know, I know… that dough might very well be ready, but it still has to thaw!

Allright then, anytime I want that is at least 2 days away…

All I need is an inspiration!

DOUGH

¼ Whole wheat pizza crust recipe

SAUCE

  • ½ roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 kalamata olives
  • Splash white wine vinegar
  • Splash olive oil
  • Pinch salt & pepper

TOPPINGS

  • 150g sliced mushrooms (cooked)
  • 100g low fat mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 120g chicken breast meat, in chunks (cooked)
  • ½ roasted red bell pepper, sliced
  • 6 kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomatoes, chopped

ADD-ONS (AFTER PIZZA IS OUT OF THE OVEN)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 500F.
  • Roast bell pepper over an open flame until skin is good and charred. Transfer roasted pepper to a covered container or closed plastic bag. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Remove skin, cut pepper in half and discard seeds and stem.
  • Put half the pepper in a food processor (magic bullet type) with kalamata olives, garlic clove, splash vinegar, splash olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Puree until smooth.
  • Cook mushrooms (use salt and pepper to taste) in a large skillet over high heat until nice and golden. Set aside.
  • In same skillet, cook chicken pieces (sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and oregano to taste) until nice and golden on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  • Roll dough into 10-12 inch disc and lay on a baking sheet. Spread roasted bell pepper sauce.
  • Top with cooked mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, cooked chicken, roasted pepper slices, kalamata olives and chopped sundried tomatoes.
  • Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and starts to colour on the edge.
  • As soon as your pizza comes out of the oven, add your goat cheese slices and raw goat cheese crumbles and sprinkle arugula leaves.

April 11, 2011

Red Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Pizza

I saw my brother last Friday and he gave me the most awesome birthday present : this absolutely gorgeous olive oil and this superb white wine vinegar.


The timing was absolutely perfect, for I had pizza on the menu for the week-end, which I was planning on topping with a handful of arugula slightly dressed with… olive oil, lemon zest and vinegar!

Another fairly good timing was my stumbling upon this recipe. I was happy with my usual pizza dough, but not ecstatic. I mean it was good, but a little too doughy for my taste. I wanted something with a little more crisp and crunch. Now this new one really delivers! While not perfect as is, it’s still a major improvement! Now I have a serious base to work with.

It does require a little bit of work, well, no, not work… prep and thinking ahead of time. I had to get that one started when I got home in the middle of the night on Saturday. I had my mind set on giving it a try that week-end and it was the only way this was going to happen… I refused to wait for the next pizza.

Thank goodness it doesn’t take that long to get the dough started. Not being familiar with the recipe, however, resulted in a lot of questioning and hesitation. For instance, I expected the soaker to be a lot looser than it actually is. But alas, both the soaker and the biga looked exactly the same when done. The only way I could think of to be certain I would be able to tell them apart the next day was to remember that I had put the biga in a bigga’ bowl. Yeah, I know…  go easy on me, please… middle of the night, remember?

Also, the recipe doesn’t say to let the dough rise after forming the tight little balls. I thought it very odd and decided to let mine rise for about an hour and a half, and I am sure it could’ve used another half hour.

All this work resulted in a light and crispy pizza dough. I was fairly impressed, especially since it’s made entirely from whole wheat flour and doesn’t call for the addition of gluten flour.

As for the toppings I chose to use? Oh my YUM! Even better than the apple version I did not so long ago. This was by far my ultimate favourite pizza ever! (I know, I know, I say that every time…) The addition of arugula, with the hint of lemon and the freshly grated nutmeg. OH! I can’t even find the words. Don’t they say a picture is worth a thousand of those? Well, here goes…

For each pizza, you will need:

  • ¼ Whole wheat pizza crust recipe
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • Sprinkle Himalayan rock salt
  • Generous sprinkle freshly cracked black pepper
  • Generous sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg
  • 50g mozzarella, grated
  • 1-2 red pears, thinly sliced (a mandolin comes in handy)
  • 20g blue cheese, crumbled
  • 30g walnuts, chopped
  • Handful arugula
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp white wine vinegar
  • Pinch lemon zest
  • Pinch Himalayan rock salt
  • Pinch freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 500F.
  • Brush the dough with olive oil, sprinkle salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Top with mozzarella cheese, red pear slices, half the blue cheese and half the walnuts then cook in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix the oil, vinegar, lemon zest, salt an pepper. Whisk until combined.
  • As soon as your pizza comes out of the oven, sprinkle the rest of the chopped walnuts and blue cheese crumbles. Mix the arugula with the dressing, toss to combine and mound in the center of your pizza.