Sunday, August 12, 2012

Two Great Pizzas

The trouble with loading up on fresh veggies at the farmer's market is that we bring them home to our own sporadic harvest and suddenly have more veggies than we know what to do with. Stir fries, pasta sauces, etc., etc. Or better yet, pizza!

We made two (about two ago, of course), but only one is truly a garden pizza. We started with our bread machine's 2-lb. pizza dough recipe, substituting wheat flour for half white flour. Our garden pizza would be loaded with toppings, so we used a larger portion of the dough to make a thick crust for that one; and the other pizza, more like an appetizer pizza, got the remaining dough for a thin, crispy crust.

Garden Fresh Pizza

Thick crust:
2/3 of a 2-lb. wheat pizza dough

Hand-toss or roll out the dough out into a circle and place on a hot pizza stone.

Ranch sauce:
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise, depending on much sauce you want
1/2 packet ranch dressing mix
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

Mix the three ingredients together and spread onto the rolled-out dough, already on the hot pizza stone.

Grated Parmesan cheese
Turnip greens
Kohlrabi, chopped
Asparagus, chopped
Broccoli stem and florets, chopped
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Tomato, sliced

Load the toppings onto the pizza, preferably in the order listed, and in whatever amounts you like. Really, almost any garden veggie will do. In fact, because this was two weeks ago, I might be forgetting one of the toppings we used. Keep in mind that some veggies, like kohlrabi and broccoli, need to be chopped up into smaller pieces so they can cook through somewhat during the pizza-baking time, otherwise they'll still be too raw and crunchy (a little crunch isn't bad) while the rest of the pizza is already done.

Bake the pizza in a hot oven for at least 10 minutes, until the crust is baked through. (425 degrees is good to give the thick layer of veggies time to get tender without cooking the crust too fast. Higher temperatures work well if you have fewer toppings and want the crust a little crunchy.)

Bacon-Onion-Goat Cheese Thin-Crust Pizza

1/3 of a 2-lb. wheat pizza dough

Roll out into a thin rectangle or oval on a baking sheet. There is no sauce for this pizza; just spread a little olive oil over the crust. Using a fork, poke holes all over the crust to help prevent air bubbles from forming during the baking. Bake the crust in a hot oven (we did 425 because the other pizza was going at the same time) for a few minutes so it starts to bake through and will be crispy by the time your pizza's done later (the toppings won't need much bake time).

Three slices of bacon
Half a large sweet onion
4 oz. goat cheese
Balsamic vinegar

Cook the bacon almost to your desired crispiness (it will crisp up a little more during pizza-baking). Set it aside so it can cool enough to be handled. Meanwhile, slice the onion into thin rings and cook it in the bacon grease until soft, brown and nearly caramelized. Now, put the cooked onion on the pizza crust. Crumble, break, or chop the cooked and cooled bacon into small bite-size pieces and sprinkle it all over the pizza. Lastly, crumble the goat cheese (or pinch off pieces if it's really soft) into bite-size (or smaller) chunks and distribute it evenly over the pizza.  Bake for another 8 minutes or so, until the crust is baked to your desired crispiness and the cheese is melty. Before cutting and serving, drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the pizza. So good.

NOTE: We put almost all of our pizzas under the broiler for a minute or so after they're baked through but before serving. This browns the cheese just a little bit, which looks and tastes extra delicious.

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