Sometimes I impress myself. I think I’ve rounded the corner of effortlessly combining multiple recipes that create something special. Well, I probably shouldn’t be too bold here because the recipes I combine aren’t all that difficult. But still, when I compare what I was doing a year ago to what I’m doing today, I have to admit that I’ve improved.
A year ago, I didn’t know how to cook. I followed recipes and had no idea if they would work out at the end or not. Now, as I read through things, I can discern whether or not they’ll lead me to success. For example, Laura and I found a few recipes last week that we intended to prepare. At first glance, they looked fine because they offered multiple great looking photos. Upon further review, I noticed that some ingredients were missing and the actual preparation methods were flawed. I picked up on this from all my recent practice in the kitchen. In the past, I would have plowed through each and every recipe I found that appealed to me. When it failed, I’d probably be standing in the kitchen, looking around for someone to blame. It’s nice to avoid that sort of mess.
But let’s be clear – I don’t know how to cook. That takes a lifetime of practice and an understanding of theory. What I’ve been doing for the past year barely scratches the surface. It does look good though. I can’t deny that. Take a look at the picture below. Now that’s a pizza!
The pizza recipe I’d like to share with you today is a combination of recipes from a few sources. First, the dough needs to be made. Instead of purchasing dough from the supermarket, I decided to go ahead with one I’ve already tested. You can find those instructions here. I used it to make this pizza. It’s a wonderful dough that simply works. Nuff said.
The other two parts come from Martha Stewart’s website. The first one is for roasted fall vegetables and the second is for the pizza itself. Both of these are quick and easy to put together, so if you’re in the mood for a truly legit pizza, read on.
Makes: 1 Awesome Pizza
For the Dough
Makes: 1 1/2 Pounds of Pizza Dough
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Bread Flour
2 Teaspoons Honey
3/4 Teaspoon Instant Yeast
1 1/4 Cups Cold Water
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 3/4 Teaspoons Salt
Please follow these instructions to prepare the dough. Be aware that it takes 24 hours to make this dough, so plan accordingly.
For the Vegetables
1 Medium/Small Butternut Squash, Peeled, Seeded & Cut into 1 Inch Pieces
2 Pounds Red New Potatoes, Washed & Quartered
1 Large Red Onion, Trimmed, Peeled & Quartered
4 Medium Sized Carrots, Peeled, Halved & Cut into 1 Inch Pieces
3 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
3 Tablespoons Regular Olive Oil
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
For the Pizza
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
8 Ounces Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Tablespoon Dried Rosemary Leaves
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
When roasting the vegetables, you should have enough to fill one fairly large baking sheet. As they cook, they’ll reduce in size. The goal here is to make enough to almost fill the surface of a 16 inch pizza. If you’d like to make extra, go for it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making more than enough for leftovers.
Prepare the Dough
After following the dough recipe I shared, remove the dough from the large bowl it’s currently in, shape it into a ball and place it on a well oiled pizza baking sheet. In my case, I used my Lodge cast iron tray, which was perfect for this.
Let it sit for about an hour to give it time to warm up to room temperature.
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and move one of the racks to the center position.
Prepare the Vegetables
After prepping all the veggies, spread them out on an oiled baking sheet.
Lightly drizzle some more olive oil over them and then sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper over everything. When that’s finished and when the oven is to temperature, add the baking sheet to the center rack. Let bake for about 45 minutes, rotating the tray and flipping the veggies about half way through.
Everything should have a nice caramelization on a side or two. This is where much of the flavor is derived.
Make the Pizza
When the dough has warmed up some, begin pressing it into the pizza tray with your fingertips. Continue working towards the outer edge until the dough is fairly flat and it reaches the edges.
Remember, the tray is oiled, so the dough should move without resistance. If you need to, sprinkle some flour on the surface of the dough so your fingers don’t stick to it.
Next, spread half of the shredded mozzarella cheese across the surface of the dough.
Then, spread the roasted vegetables on top of the cheese.
After that, add a few dollops of ricotta cheese to the vegetables. Make sure to not go too close to the edges. The cheese will flatten during cooking and you don’t want it to run off the edge of the tray.
Finally, spread the remaining mozzarella cheese across everything on the tray, sprinkle the rosemary and drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil on top of that and add some salt and pepper as well.
Increase the temperature of the oven to 475 degrees and place the pizza inside. Let cook between 20 and 25 minutes or until the edges of the dough turn golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. When finished, remove the tray from the oven and turn off heat.
The Final Pizza
After cooling for a few minutes, cut some slices and serve. This is one wonderful vegetarian pizza. Enjoy!