Veggie Pizza with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

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This. Sauce. Is. The. Bomb. We’ve had a jar of roasted peppers languishing in the back of the fridge for ages and now that they’ve all gone into this sauce I dreamt up, I’m itching to buy another jar to remake this pizza next week (and maybe every week thereafter).

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There are loads of ingredients for this recipe, but the important ones are the peppers, tomato paste, garlic, and oregano. That’s all you need for the roasted red pepper sauce.

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The sauce takes less than a minute to make and would be a great base for any pizza: it’s bright, tangy, and slightly smoky all at once.

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The key to a good vegetable pizza is roasting the toppings before they go on the pie. That way, they’re already soft and seasoned. Plus they lose a lot of excess water in the oven, which protects your pizza from a soggy bottom.

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Ready to assemble. You’ll see my mozzarella is a bit chunky. That’s because I fished it out of the freezer yesterday. You see, I happen to live with someone who is cheese-averse, but I love the stuff. Still, it’s hard to get through a pound of cheese alone before it spoils, so I keep it in the freezer. Not pretty when it defrosts, but it melts just fine.

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Speaking of the cheese-averse, can you tell which side of the pie is his? Ignore the sausage, people. Also, I have to confess I was a bit heavy-handed with the toppings. *shrugs*

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VEGGIE PIZZA WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE

pizza dough

for the sauce

5 large roasted red peppers

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 teaspoons of oregano

1 large clove of garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon of salt

toppings

1 cup of shredded mozarella cheese

4 large white mushrooms

1 small eggplant

1 small zucchini

1 large bunch of spinach

tomato slices

1/4 cup of diced red onion

feta cheese

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the sauce, blend ingredients with a hand blender (what I use) or in a food processor. The consistency will be fairly smooth, but feel free to leave a few chunks.

Chop the eggplant into 1/2″ cubes. Lay a half-sheet of paper towel on a baking sheet and place the eggplant pieces on top. Sprinkle with salt and let it sit while you chop the zucchini into 1/2″ chunks and cut the mushrooms into thick slices and lay everything out on the pan. Gather the eggplant in the paper towel and squeeze so that excess water comes out. Drizzle all of the vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until they are soft and beginning to brown. Transfer to a plate and wipe any liquid from the baking sheet.

Wilt the spinach in a sautee pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Squeeze out excess water and chop roughly.

With floured hands, pull and stretch the dough into a rectangle to fit the baking sheet. Build your pizza: sauce, mozzarella, zucchini, mushroom, eggplant, spinach, tomatoes, onions, and feta. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Cut into 12 squares and serve.

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