Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gourmet Veggie Pizza

I call this Gourmet pizza because it sounds better than Veggie Lover's or a Simply Veggie Pizza. There is no real recipe for this: I use whatever cheese and vegetables I have at hand any given day. I made this one with the following ingredients:
Red Onion
Red bell pepper
Yellow bell pepper
Green bell pepper
Jalapeno pepper
Fresh Mozzarella (although I wont recommend fresh)
Feta cheese
Parmesan cheese
Mild Cheddar
Pizza base (you can make your own)
Ragu Pizza Sauce
Olive oil
I cut all veggies into 1/2 inch strips except for jalapeno peppers and mushrooms that I cut in slices. I brushed the base with olive oil, applied the pizza sauce generously and sprinkled mozzarella cheese all over. Since I used 'fresh' mozzarella, I had to cut it into tiny bits. Fresh mozzarella generally comes in small balls or a big lump of cheese in brine. Since I did not have regular mozzarella that I could grate, I just cut it up as well as I could. I added all the veggies except jalapenos on top of the cheese (the quantities really depend on how loaded you want your pizza to be). For the topping, I added grated mild cheddar, Parmesan and Feta cheese. I had the 'topping' cheese 20% or less of mozzarella to ensure that the strong flavor of the specialty cheese did not overtake the pizza flavor. In the end, I laid the cut jalapeno pepper slices (that I had dipped in olive oil) on top of the pizza and baked at 425 degF for 8-10 minutes (the oven was preheated to 450 degF before I started making the pizza). In the end, I set the oven to 'broil' for a few minutes to get a crisp pizza. Of course, I overdid it and my pizza got really crisp as is evident in the picture and you can choose not to broil at all.

My two cents: I have been experimenting with different types of cheese and I know the combo I like best. To find out what works for you, I would recommend adding a different cheese to mozzarella (keeping the quantity less than 20% of the base mozzarella) every time you make pizza. You may begin mixing them up as you start discovering the tastes that tick your palate.

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