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  • Ultimate Veggie Pizza (Gluten Free)

    Monday, April 29, 2013

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    Admit it. Getting a really good veggie pizza is a challenge. Roughly equal to finding a great pair of white jeans…

    Homemade pizza is, admittedly, not one of my go-to meals. I find working with the dough as frustrating as an episode of The Bachelor and the vegetables often make the finished product as soggy as a tissue half-way into an episode of aforementioned ‘reality’ show. There are, in fact, about 100 other things I’d rather tackle than pizza. Organizing the basement, sorting socks…attempting to walk in sky-high pumps. Well, until now. 

    First, I decided to work with a store-bought dough mix. I imagine that many of you will consider this cheating, but don’t judge. The trick to cooking more healthy food at home is finding ways to make it easier and repeatable…something that you’d be willing to do over and over. Most people don’t have the hour or so it takes to make and rise a homemade dough. And with so many really great mixes and ready-made doughs on the market, you can spend the time you save preparing the veggies that will help create the ultimate veggie pizza. Some of my favorite pizza mixes and pre-made doughs are Trader Joes (not Gluten Free), Bob’s Red Mill (Gluten Free), and King Arthur Flour (Gluten Free).

    Now that you have the makings for a great crust, on to the toppings. For this recipe, I used a favorite jarred pizza sauce. I like mine a touch on the acidic-sweet side, and Treader Joe’s jarred sauce fits the bill. Because I sauteed all of the veggies prior to topping the pizza, which made them rich and flavorful, I chose to use freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (and not a lot of it).  It also lends a really pleasant nuttiness to the finished pizza, which helps it earn its “Ultimate” title. Feel free to experiment with the veggies and cheese to the seasons and your taste. Just remember to cook the veggies until they are nearly done before topping the pizza. This is the secret to a satisfying and delicious veggie pizza that doesn’t get soggy…even the leftovers.

    Ultimate Veggie Pizza

    Ultimate Veggie Pizza (Gluten Free)
    Total prep & cooking time: about 30 minutes
    Serves: 6 (with a side salad) 
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees 
    Tools: 1 large cast iron or non-stick skillet, a large bowl, 1 12″ x 17″ rimmed baking sheet

    4 TBSP. olive oil, divided
    1 Small Sweet Vidalia onion, cut in half then into thin half-moon slices
    1 Bunch of red kale, washed well and chopped
    1 1/2 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped coarsely
    1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped into large chunks
    3 large cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
    Your favorite pre-made or homemade pizza crust-gluten free or regular (I like my crust to be thin and crispy. If you prefer a thicker crust, plan on using 2 mixes or prepared dough packages)
    Your favorite pizza sauce
    1 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    1. Set a large bowl next to the stove to collect the veggies as you cook them

    2. Heat 2 TBSP. olive oil over medium-low heat in a large cast iron skillet or non-stick saute pan. Add the sliced onion and saute until it just stats to caramelize, about 10 minutes  

    3. Add the sliced garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, don’t let the garlic brown. Remove from pan and place in the bowl. Return the pan to the heat

    4. Add the chopped kale to the pan and saute just until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Place in the bowl with the onion and garlic

    5. Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan and saute until all of the moisture is removed, about 7 or 8 minutes. Add to the bowl with the other veggies

    6. Add the chopped red pepper to the pan and saute just until tender, about 4 minutes. Add to the bowl with other veggies.

    7. Sprinkle the veggies with a generous pinch of salt and toss. Set aside. 

    8. Pour the remaining 2 TBSP olive oil into the rimmed baking sheet. Using your fingers, spread the oil evenly all over the bottom and sided of the pan

    9. Roll out dough to roughly the size and shape of the pan. Once you place it in the pan, you can use your hands to spread it evenly and create the crust (an easier method is to place the dough in the center of the pan and just (patiently) press with your fingers and palm of you hands from the center out)

     10. Top the crust with the sauce and veggies and cook in the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges start to brown

    11. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes until the cheese is melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving

    ©2013 Kindred-Kitchen / Nancy Granada

    Ultimate Veggie Pizza (Gluten Free)

    Ultimate Veggie Pizza (Gluten Free)

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