Pizza Love

We love pizza at our home - right from the little one to the grown ups of the house-hold, everyone is a pizza fan. 

But, we don't like the heavy cheese version where all you really taste is cheese and a meat topping. We like our pizza to be lightly dressed in cheese, we like to change up the cheeses we add, we like to taste the crust just as much as the pizza, we love to load it up with vegetables and we love to experiment with unusual toppings!
Veggie and Persimmon topping

So as you can guess, we make our pizza at home to satisfy all these requirements :). But really, pizza making can be a weeknight dinner thing with just a few tips and tricks.

Veggie with Mushroom & Olives
We buy pizza dough from Trader Joe's - they carry 3 varieties, plain white, whole-wheat and herb. The herb is my favorite - you taste the rosemary or the thyme when you bite into the crispy crust - so yummy!

You take the dough out about 15 mins before you have to form a crust and use generous amount of dusting flour and olive oil to roll the dough using hands as thick or as thin as you want. All of our pizzas are thin crust - we get about two medium sized pizzas from one dough packet.

This is embarrasing to admit but dozens of pizzas later, I still don't have the hang of rolling a perfect round base - it tends to be a map of the world base, but it tastes just the same, so who is looking :)

Tomato sauce also can be home-made and quickly. Just chop 2 tomatoes, saute in olive oil with crushed garlic and pinch of chilli flakes. Add salt, pinch of sugar (very important!) and a dash of good balsamic vinegar. Let it cook uncovered for 5-10mins while you prep the veggies.

We like to change up cheese - sometimes it's mozzaerlla, sometimes parmesean but quite often it's goat cheese - which adds such a nice tanginess to pizza, though it doesn't really melt so if you want melted cheese stay with parmesan or mozzarella.

Veggie with Figs!
Our usual toppings are mushrooms, red peppers, onions, tomato slices and then we add the mystery topping ingredient!

My daughter has the honor to choose one ingredient from fridge and let me just say that she makes some bold choices :)  but I am so glad we do this as every now and then one of the topping choice just sticks as winner -- she usually ends up choosing fruit, so thinly sliced apples or figs, halved grapes, sliced parsiman go great. Same with thinly chopped spinach ribbons. Just experiment with toppings, it's so much fun!

Veggie with Eggplant topping
Pizza stone is a great investment if you cook pizza often - I can never get the same crust as I get with the pizza stone. I have this but a cheaper model will be just fine too.

It takes me about 20 mins of prep time and then 20 mins of unattended baking time (at 420F) and dinner is served.