Saturday, August 4, 2007

Pizza & A New Beginning

I love food, I love cooking. I love food blogs. This is my humble contribution. I can't guarantee frequent updates, but I'll do my best. What is beginning as one young woman's blog will hopefully morph into a group effort, updated by a club of young people like myself who are dedicated students by day and culinary crusaders by night.

Until then, here is a simple pizza recipe. I threw this together with my roommate Nena earlier this summer. I am shamed by the packaged pizza crust, but alas, we were low on time and couldn't wait for dough to rise. I imagine, however, that this would be divine with a crispy, wheat crust.

This pizza is topped with a slew of vegetables and crumbled feta cheese in lieu of mozzarella. Instead of a tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic, a few spices, and olive oil are drizzled on the crust and over the toppings. We opted to use some delicious olive oil infused with spices and peppers that Jesse procured for me in Greece. It suited the pizza well as it has a Mediterranean flair. Despite the store-bought crust, it was mouth-watering. Nena deserves most of the credit.

  • pizza crust
  • portobello mushrooms cut in 1/4" slices
  • 1/2 red bell pepper and 1/2 green, roasted (recipe follows)
  • small jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • several cloves garlic, minced
  • balsamic vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • dried herbs such as basil, oregano, and rosemary
Directions: Brush pizza crust/dough with olive oil. Sprinkle on garlic. Cover dough with a single layer of portobello mushroom slices. Add sliced peppers and chopped artichoke hearts. Lightly sprinkle dried herbs of choice (don't go crazy). Then add a healthy layer of feta crumbles. Drizzle the feta with balsamic vinegar and place in preheated 450 degree oven. If you are using a homemade crust, feel free to use a baking stone for crispness. Bake 15 minutes or until crust is done to your liking. Eat. Say, "Yum."
Roasting Peppers: Preheat your oven's broiler. Brush whole bell peppers in olive oil and place on baking sheet under broiler. Turn peppers during cooking to ensure that skin blisters and turns black on all sides. This can take up to 40 minutes, depending on your oven. When the skin has blackened, remove the peppers from the oven and place in a paper bag or large bowl with a lid for 15 minutes and seal shut (this will make the skins easier to remove). Peel the skins off the peppers and slice open. Remove seeds and veins. Peppers prepared this way can be frozen for future use.