I thought about this Roasted Vegetable Pizza for weeks before I actually made it. I loosely based it on a Stouffer's French Bread Pizza that I love but have always had trouble finding. This was so much better.
Basically I diced up a pile of veggies (zucchini, carrots, onions, red and yellow peppers), simply roasted them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and some fresh thyme. Once tender and slightly caramelized, they became the topping for my pizza. An awesome use for those baggies of leftover vegetables sitting in your refrigerator!
My success to failure ratio with homemade pizza crust is about fifty-fifty. To keep things simple and stress-free, I picked up a ball of fresh pizza dough at the market. For some reason I thought I could channel a Neapolitan pizza maker and stretch and toss my dough into a perfectly round, paper-thin crust. Not so much. I ended up with an abstract art project reject in shape, but achieved the level of thinness I was going for. I heat my pizza stone in the oven to get it blazing hot before putting the dough on it. This allows the crust to start cooking right away and get a nice crunch.
Half a ball of fresh mozzarella was sitting in the cheese drawer (yes, I have an entire drawer to store cheese in my fridge). The thin slices I laid across the top melded perfectly with the veggies. I loved how some of the vegetables hid under the cheese while other patches stood out. I rubbed the high-quality Tuscan olive oil that I reserve for special dishes such as this onto the crust to create the 'sauce'. Lastly, I added a few chopped up sun-dried tomatoes to punch up the flavor even more.
This was one of my favorite pizzas to date. It was bright in appearance and in flavor. The fact that I was getting a serving of veggies was a bonus! Perfect on a hot summer day!
Roasted Vegetable Pizza
about 2 cups diced vegetables (zucchini, onions, squash, tomatoes, carrots, peppers)
2 Tbsp olive oil
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
5-6 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped (optional)
3-4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place diced vegetables on cookie sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss mixture to coat vegetables. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until vegetables are soft and just starting to caramelize.
While vegetables are roasting, place pizza pan in oven.
Remove pizza pan and drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil. This will help prevent the crust from sticking as well as adding flavor. Stretch or roll out dough to desired shape and thickness. Place on pizza stone, being careful as the stone will be very hot.
Brush, or rub in with your fingers, the remaining high quality extra-virgin olive oil. Spread vegetables and sun-dried tomatoes evenly across the crust. Add cheese and basil. Bake pizza for about 10 - 15 minutes, until crust is golden brown on the bottom and edges, and cheese is melted.
Slice and serve!