Pizza Party

I love winter vacation. So, so, so, so, very much.

It’s the break we all need in the middle of February to escape from all the craziness and pressure of school.  If you’re lucky, it’s a chance to get away somewhere warm for a couple days and bring back a little “summer” tan. If you’re super lucky, it’s an opportunity to do lots and lots and lots of cooking.

So far, I’ve made chocolate chip cookies with my brother, some very weird zucchini bread, kale-garlic pasta, and thin crust pizza for lunch today.

I love this recipe for so many reasons. I live close-ish to New York, and I’ve inherited the thin crust pizza preference. Plus, with thin crust, you don’t have to wait hours upon hours for the dough to rise. Once you’re done kneading, the pizza can go right into the oven. Bam, you’re done.

The best part? Playing with pizza toppings. I know I sound a little bit like a 5 year old, but there are so many fun ways to top pizzas. Today I switched up my standard zucchini and caramelized onions by adding some thin apple slices. The apple gave the pizza an unexpected sweet crunch that was super tasty.

I also made a regular cheese pizza for the less adventurous eaters in my house. It looks much simpler, but it was just as delicious!

Here are a few more funky pizza ideas to get you going:

Italian – Tomato slices, pesto, and roasted garlic

Grilled Veggie – Grilled eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers

Dessert Pizza – Nutella spread (instead of tomato sauce), marshamallows, peanut butter chips, and crumbled graham crackers

Basically, if your brain comes up with it, it can go onto a pizza. No wonder pizza is so many people’s favorite food!

Zucchini, Caramelized Onion, and Apple Pizza

Crust Recipe from The Kitchn

Makes 2 Medium Sized Pizzas

For the crust:

3/4 cups of water

1/2 teaspoon of active-dry yeast

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, heat the water until it feels barely lukewarm when you test it with your finger (if the water is so hot that you can’t leave your finger in it, wait for it to cool down). Add the yeast to the water and use a fork or whisk to stir it into the water. Set this aside for a few minutes and allow the yeast to dissolve.

Measure out the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and combine.

Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the water-yeast mixture. Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to combine everything together.

When it comes together into a cohesive ball (see image below), turn it out onto the counter along with any extra flour in the bowl that hasn’t yet gotten worked in. Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic to the touch–about five minutes.The dough should still feel moist.

Divide the dough in two. Tear off two pieces of parchment paper roughly 12-inches wide. Work one piece of the dough in your hands and form it into a large disk. Lay the disk of dough on the parchment paper. Working from the middle of the dough outwards, use the heel of your hand or a rolling pin to gently press the dough outward until it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick or less.

Now, make your toppings. You’ll need:

1/2 zucchini, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons of water

1/2 onion, thinly chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of brown sugar

1/2 apple, thinly sliced

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

For the zucchini, place the slices in a bowl with the water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 1 minutes to steam. Remove plastic and set aside.

For the onions, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and the brown sugar. Cook until the onions are soft and golden brown.

Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce into the center of each pizza and use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the edges. Add all of your toppings, but not the cheese.

Place the pizza (still on the parchment) onto a baking tray, and then place in the oven. Bake for about 5 minutes and then rotate the pizza. Bake for another 3 minutes, and then sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake for another 2-3 minutes until the edges are golden brown and crispy.

Remove your pizza from oven and let it cool. Repeat with the second pizza.

Cut into eigths with a pizza cutter, then serve. Enjoy!

I think I’m on a savory kick…this could be interesting!

xoxo

Deanna

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