I love to make veggie pizza in the summer time. All the great fresh organic produce make pizza a delicious meal packed with vitamins and minerals. I usually make it all from scratch, but lately our family has fallen in love with Vicolo Organic Corn Meal Pizza Crusts.
Vicolo is a local San Francisco company, so I don’t know how wide their distribution is, but what a treat. They also have crusts made with spelt flour for those who have problems with wheat.
If I have big luscious heirloom tomatoes on hand, I make those into a fresh tomato sauce, or I just use the canned San Marzano Cento tomatoes. My favorite cheese to use is fresh mozzarella. But a combination is always great, and I’m sure you can make something wonderful with whatever cheese appeals to you.
I love to use pineapple as a pizza topping. Caramelized onions are another winner. Other toppings I use are assorted olives from the Whole Foods olive bar, broiled or grilled eggplant and zucchini, roasted red peppers, mushrooms and whatever else looks good at the farmers market.
Another great combination we made a while back was fresh dough topped with salted roasted garlic as the sauce, pears and slices of Brie cheese. Very decadent and best served as an appetizer. It was absolutely delicious, but pretty heavy, so you only want a few bites.
Pizza wants to be baked at a very high temperature for a short time, so the crust doesn’t dry out, but the cheese melts nicely. Since I usually bake pizza at 425 degrees for say, 10 minutes, I prefer to have the veggies cooked the way I like them, before they go on the pizza. There is a big difference in texture and flavor, but you should experiment, yourself.
Once the crust is a little golden and the cheese is melted, put it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to finish it and the cheese will get all caramelizy. You won’t believe how good home made pizza can be. Just be sure not to walk away from anything in the broiler or IT WILL BURN.
Fresh herbs are always a plus and of course basil and pizza get along very nicely. I always put it on after the pizza is cooked so you get that bright green flavor, color, and fragrance.
If you prepare and put out all of the ingredients, assembling individual pizzas is a fun activity with the kids or for a party. It’s so great to be able to use just the toppings you enjoy and have control over the quantities and sources. Pizza doesn’t have to be junk food, and I’m sure kids of all ages will enjoy preparing it as well.