Michelle over at Momma's Pixie Dreams who owns three of the cutest little girls ever, asked for a vegetarian theme. She's the hostess with the mostest this week so make sure you go love on her afta afta (best Mr. Miagi impression).
When I said it was vegetarian week to BDC, Kamden overheard me and almost had a melt down. He was devastated and thought I meant we weren't eating meat all week. I told the little carnivore to calm down, it was just one day. Then he found out I was making pizza and he was completely fine with vegetarian after that.
It's funny, he doesn't realize how often we actually do go meatless. I make a lot of pasta dishes. A LOT. Actually, it's kind of ridiculous how much pasta we eat. Anycarbs, unless I make meatballs, or meat gravy (red sauce with meat), it's almost always a vegetarian meal.
That just goes to show you how well I hide the veggies much they pay attention.
So....PIZZA PIE al la vegetarian!
Pizza at home is soooooooo much better than delivery. Plus, you control what goes into the sauce. Now you can certainly buy pre-made sauce. I really don't take any issue with it. BUT....READ THE LABELS!
Big caution here. Make sure, especially if you are going vegetarian, that there isn't meat in the sauce. Even if it doesn't say meat sauce on the front. READ THE LABEL. There are some really great all natural sauces out there with no preservatives. No citric acid. No from concentrate. No MEAT.
Easy as Pie Dough:
1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups of all purpose flour
In a mixer, or large bowl add warm water, sugar, salt and package of yeast. Let the yeast foam. Takes about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer on low and add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Start adding the flour slowly a cup at a time. When all flour has been incorporated turn the mixer on medium and let the mixer knead the dough for 5-6 minutes. (If all the flour doesn't incorporate, drizzle the extra Tablespoon of olive oil in.)
If you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, simply incorporate all the ingredients as discussed above with clean hands and knead the dough for about five minutes on a clean floured surface.
Add a couple of drizzles of olive oil around a clean deep bowl and add your dough ball to the bowl. Make sure to coat all of the dough turning over once and then cover with a clean dish towel. Allow the dough to rise for an hour or so until it doubles in size.
Now, I made two different pizzas. One with a basil pesto for the sauce and the other with a sun-dried tomato pesto.
I made a fresh basil pesto but used a jarred sun-dried tomato pesto that I purchased at a specialty shop. However, making a fresh one would be just as simple. You could certainly also use a jarred pizza sauce that I talked about above.
Now, lots of people think they don't like pesto because all they have tried is some canned nastiness from the store. While there are plenty of fresh pestos available out there, that stuff in a jar that looks...um...brown? YUCK!
Fresh Basil Pesto:
1 handful (bunch) Italian Flatleaf Parsley
2 handfuls (bunches) Fresh Basil
3 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 lemon juiced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (again no green can!)
1/2 pecans (I use them because I like them. Substitute walnuts or pine nuts if you like.)
1/2 cup olive oil
Throw all the ingredients except the olive oil into the food processor. Pulse a few times. Turn the processor on and drizzle olive oil in until the pesto is creamy.
This pesto freezes great. You can freeze it for up to 3 months. It is great on pastas. Boiled or roasted potatoes. In salads, on panini sandwiches.
Assembling your pizzas.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. I made a round pizza and a sheet pan pizza. I always line the counter top with wax paper and flour that. That way there is no flour clean up. Just fold the wax paper up and throw it away.
Sprinkle the pizza pan or sheet pan with corn meal so your dough doesn't stick.
Press the dough out to the sides. Dimple the center of the dough with your finger tips.
Drizzle the dough with olive oil and spread over the entire surface with a pastry brush.
Add three heaping spoonfuls of the pesto to the pizza dough.
I sprinkle with a little Parmesan and then add the toppings.
For the basil pesto pizza, I spread several teaspoons of ricotta cheese. Then top with a mix of Smoked Provolone and Mozzarella.
For the sun-dried tomato pesto, I chopped a seeded large tomato, 1/4 of a medium red onion and stirred in a heaping tablespoon of the basil pesto to make a bruschetta topping. Top with the same mix of Provolone and Mozzarella.
Bake in a 500 degree screaming hot oven for 10-15 minutes. Your oven may be different then mine. Keep an eye on the pizza. The oven is HOT! (If you have a pizza stone, cook the pizza as you normally would on your preheated stone.
That's it. Slice and serve. I promise, you will not miss the meat.
The Smack Talker
I'm a fast talkin', smack talkin', food lovin', recipe writin', ADHD sufferin', joke tellin', wit swappin', SNARKTASTIC mommy of five. I married Prince Charming who just so happens to be a Star Wars geek, and we are living happily ever after. I tend to over share, lose my cool and make rash generalizations. I'm teaching my kids to love everyone and appreciate all things. Did I mention I love FOOD?