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Awake at the Whisk: Garden Pizza

Friday, August 1, 2008


Garden Pizza

This pizza was created by my garden. I walked out, checked the plants, picked what was ripe, and started to cook. It’s inspiring to let the garden-fresh ingredients lead the way. As I follow, I am always delighted with the results. This recipe is rustic. I don’t really measure ingredients when I’m making pizza—I just throw together whatever looks good. It’s pizza. You know what you like. Just go for it until it feels right!

One eggplant, sliced about ½” thick
One zucchini, sliced about 1/2” thick
Salt & pepper to taste
One whole wheat pizza dough (I get mine at Trader Joe’s), cut in half
Ranch salad dressing, fat free
Fennel sprigs
One whole bulb roasted garlic (at least—you might want two)
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
Parmesan cheese (just enough to cover the pizza sparsely—this will allow it to get nice and bubbly like real Italian pizzas)
1 tablespoon blue cheese crumbles (too much, and it overpowers your pizza)
Red pepper flakes to taste
Peperoncini peppers, diced
Basil, roughly torn or cut in julienne

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Lay the eggplant and zucchini in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Roll out the pizza dough for one pizza crust. (I like my pizza thin and crispy, so one package of dough will yield two crusts for me.) Place it on a lightly greased baking pan (I use the metal kind with holes in the bottom that allow the heat to really crisp the bottom and top). Bake in the oven for about 6-8 minutes, or until crisp and beginning to brown. Remove from oven.

Spread enough Ranch dressing on the crust to lightly cover the surface. Cut the sprigs of fennel onto the dressing. Next, dot the entire surface with the roasted garlic and the sun dried tomatoes. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over this, followed by the blue cheese. Arrange the roasted eggplant and zucchini on top of the cheese. Finally, sprinkle red pepper flakes over the entire pie. Place it in the oven for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Allow the pizza to cool for at least 10 minutes. Add the peperoncini peppers and top with the basil. Serve and enjoy!
(Apologies for the yellowish tint to my photo. Dang those flourescent lightbulbs!)

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