Anybody love veggies? Yes? Great. Anybody love pizza? Yes? Also great. Anybody love veggies on a pizza? Yes? FANTASTIC. Me too. Jimmie and I really enjoy making our own pizza. It’s kind of like a date night, because seriously, it’s a whole process. It takes forever, but it’s so worth it, because the pizza is delicious. And really, it’s fun. And plus, how many people do you know who actually make their own pizza, crust and sauce and everything? (Major cool points, right?) Our garden is producing, and I was really craving veggies, so on our most recent pizza night I decided to try a veggie pizza. OMG IT WAS AMAZING. Seriously. Life changing. And it’s beautiful. Drool. And…you guessed it. I’m sharing the recipe with you. So you can be a pizza goddess too. It starts with making the dough. You can do this ahead of time and freeze it, or you can do it the day of. We did it the day of, but usually we freeze it. If you freeze it, just know that you’re going to need to give it about a day in the fridge to thaw. I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures of the dough-making. Then, it was time to prep the veggies. (And I apologize – I’m now beginning to see why so many bloggers recommend a decent camera. I mean, my phone is awesome, but if I had a real camera and knew how to use it, these would be so much better.)
That’s a zucchini from my garden, and some broccoli from my garden. No, I didn’t grow the onion or the garlic. I ended up chopping up the broccoli stalks to put on the pizza too, because I hated to just ditch all that yumminess. And I actually tend to eat as much of the vegetable as I can, so…..
The garlic was actually for the sauce. I know it looks gross. Just trust me. I wasn’t feeling a red sauce, and I didn’t want a super-heavy Alfredo, so I improvised. It was kind of a mix between a garlic white base and an Alfredo, but nowhere near as heavy. I threw spinach in at the last minute, and it was definitely a good decision.
Yummm…This tastes like summer. Light and filling all at the same time. And satisfying, not only for dinner, but for the sheer fact that everything was made from scratch and there are things I grew on it. How fun is that? Ready for the recipe? Note: You need a pizza stone for this. If you don’t have one, check your local TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. We paid less than $10 for ours, and it came with a pizza cutter. It’s well worth the investment. Also, fellow cheapies…I mentioned this once before, but YES, you need the bread flour. Do not skimp and get the all-purpose. It won’t work. I know it’s expensive for flour. Take a deep breath, and think of all the yummy pizzas you’re going to make. We get at least 4 dough batches out of each bag. Just shell out the $6, k?
Garden Veggie Pizza
Making the Crust: (adapted from Annie’s Eats)
- Pour the ½ cup warm water into a large measuring cup or bowl, and sprinkle the yeast on top. Then pour the 1¼ cup room temperature water on top.
- Combine the bread flour and salt and mix briefly. Pour in the yeast-water mixture and olive oil. Mix until dough forms. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl (make sure the dough is coated). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise on the counter until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, divide the dough into two equal pieces. If you’re planning to freeze it, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, then place inside a freezer bag. Otherwise, let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes, until it can easily be rolled into a pizza shape.
I do all the mixing and kneading by hand, because I don’t have a stand mixer. Yeah, it’s messy. No, it’s not hard. It’s also a lot of fun. However, it takes my dough at least 30 minutes to relax. Is that because I do it by hand? I have no idea. You’ll know it’s ready when you can easily flatten it out and it doesn’t just spring back into a ball. This makes enough for two 10-12 inch or so pizzas. We usually split it even smaller, and make four mini pizzas because we like variety. Either way, we have pizza for days. Making the Sauce: 2 tbsp. butter 1 cup milk 2 tbsp. flour 2 cloves garlic 1 cup fresh spinach 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Whisk in flour and milk.
- Using a garlic press, mince garlic cloves and add to sauce mixture.
- Add spinach and cheese, and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
I shredded my spinach, but you could just throw it in. And of course, more cheese and garlic if you want it. This makes about 2 cups of sauce, if I had to guess (sorry, I didn’t measure it!). Also, it’s pretty goopy, and you want to use it quickly, or it’ll congeal. If it gets too thick in the saucepan, just add a little water to it. Everything Else: A handful of chopped broccoli A handful of sliced zucchini Some sliced onions A few fresh dill sprigs A sprinkle of black pepper A few gorgonzola crumbles Putting It All Together:
- Put your pizza stone in the oven.
- Turn the oven on to 500˚ F. Leave it alone for at least 30 minutes.
- Go get your dough.
- Dust a pastry mat with cornmeal and bread flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until about ¼ to ½ inch thick depending on your preference.
- Once you have your pizza flattened, transfer it to a piece of parchment or wax paper on top of a baking sheet. This will make it easier to put it into the oven.
- Top with the sauce. Spread it on as thick as you like.
- Top the sauce with veggies, dill, pepper, and gorgonzola crumbles.
- Transfer the pizza to the pizza stone, paper and all. Bake until crust is golden and veggies are cooked, about 10 minutes or so.
If you want, you can brush the edge of the crust with olive oil to give it that real pizza look. I didn’t. Also, transferring the pizza to the stone is kind of a two person job. Jimmie slides the oven rack with the stone on it out a little, I hold the baking sheet, and he pulls the pizza off the baking sheet onto the stone without getting burned. Then to get the pizza out it’s the same process in reverse. I suppose you could take the stone out, but we’ve never risked it. We just turn the oven off when we’re done and let the stone cool that way. And guys….500 degrees is HOT. Like, scorch your eyebrows off if you look at the pizza hot. I’d love to hear about it if you make this pizza – hope you like it as much as we did!!