Pizza: Four Ways (and some more ways)

Show me a person who doesn’t like pizza and I’ll show you a liar.  Pizza is the perfect party pleaser because everyone loves a slice once in awhile a day.  There are trillions of topping combinations and with a little planning, it’s relatively quick and easy to throw together.  Pizza is also the perfect party food because you don’t need utensils or even a plate.  With all that in mind, we decided to throw a little pizza picnic in Saxis, Virginia this past week.  If you’re entertaining for the fourth of July, you may want to give one or four of these pizzas a try!

Start with a cold hors d’oeuvre pizza with lime crema, avocado, cilantro and grilled corn.  Next serve a classic margarita pizza with roasted tomatoes and then bring out the caesar salad pizza (inspired by this idea) and lastly the pesto, pea, parm and artichoke pizza.  We used this recipe for the dough, which we originally read about in this article.

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Crema, Cado & Corn Pizza:

  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves (divided)
  • 3 Tbsp diced red onion
  • 1/2 Serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • To grill the corn, soak one ear in cold water for 15 minutes.  Husk the corn, but leave the outer leaves attached.  Brush on a thin coat of olive oil and sprinkle of salt.  Grill for 15 minutes over medium low heat.  Once cooled, cut the kernels off of the cob.
  • To prepare the lime crema, in a small bowl, combine the greek yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, red onion, Serrano pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. Chill until ready to use.
  • Bake the crust until it is light brown (my crust could have used a little more time) then allow it to cool to room temperature.  Spread on a liberal layer of lime crema.  Add freshly sliced avocado, chopped cilantro and grilled corn.  Best if served cold and immediately after it’s prepared.

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Margarita Pizza:

  • 1/4-1/2 cup of pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup (or more) freshly grated mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 big tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Drizzle a little olive oil in a glass baking dish.  Slice two big tomatoes and arrange them in one layer in the glass dish.  Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for thirty minutes at 375°.
  • Roll out the pizza crust and top it with your favorite pizza sauce (mine is my mom’s!) and add the mozzarella cheese. Top with roasted tomato slices and basil leaves.  Bake until the cheese turns a bubbly golden brown.  I love the combination of sweet roasted tomatoes and bubbly brown parmesan!  Allow the pizza to cool for five minutes before serving.

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Caesar Salad Pizza:

  • 1 romaine heart
  • 12 anchovy fillets packed in oil (divided)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (divided)
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt (if needed)
  • Add 6 anchovy fillets, 3 small crushed garlic cloves, 2 large egg yolks, 2 tbsp + 2tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp dijon to a blender.  Pulse until mixed.  Adding drop by drop to start, gradually blend in 2 tablespoons olive oil, then 1/2 cup vegetable oil; pulse until dressing is thick and glossy. Finally, add in 1/4 cup of finely grated Parmesan. Season with freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of salt and more lemon juice, if desired. Can be made 1 day ahead.
  • Cut romaine heart directly down the center, leaving the stem intact. Brush with olive oil and place on a grill for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  • Roll out the crust, add a liberal layer of caesar dressing, sprinkle on parmesan cheese and add six remaining anchovy fillets.  Bake until the crust is golden brown.  Let cool for two minutes and top with shredded grilled romaine lettuce and serve.

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Pesto, Pea, Parmesan and Artichoke Pizza:

  • 1/3 cup of marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup of peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan + 1/3 cup thinly shaved parmesan
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 2 cups basil leaves, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/2 cup olive oil and salt and pepper to a blender.  Pulse until smooth.  Add more olive oil, salt and pepper if needed.  Pesto should be thick, but pourable.
  • Spread a liberal layer of pesto on the rolled out pizza dough.  Sprinkle on some shaved parmesan (set a few slices aside), peas (thaw first if using frozen) and artichoke hearts and bake until golden brown. Top with remaining raw parmesan and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve immediately.

Tips:

  • Preheat your oven on the highest temperature for an hour before baking the crust.  It makes all the difference.
  • Also preheat your grill for 5 or 10 minutes before grilling corn, lettuce and whatever else!
  • Grab all your ingredients and place them on the counter before starting.  These four recipes offer a lot of variation so there are lots of ingredients, but they’re really pretty simple to throw together!

 

We tripled the dough recipe so we came up with even more combinations.  Some of our other favorites were the pesto, parmesan and roasted tomato pie or a pie topped with caesar dressing and artichoke hearts. Enjoy!

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5 thoughts on “Pizza: Four Ways (and some more ways)

  1. All those combinations look SO DELICIOUS, I can’t wait to try the caeser salad pizza. Next time you should try grilling the whole pizza, we put our dough on the grill for about 5-8 minutes, then bring it back inside and load it up with toppings and return to the grill until everything is all melty and yummy looking. We do this often in the summer cause it’s way too hot to heat up the oven 🙂

    • I want to try grilling the whole pizza! I failed at my first attempt (last summer) so I didn’t want to chance it since I had lots of mouths to feed. Maybe you can teach me?!

      • Fur suuuure!! You must have been having an off day, cause grilling pizza is really the easiest! Next time you’re up here we’ll grill some up 🙂

  2. Seeing this post was a treat! My stomach is already craving with the Margarita version, but I’m so ready to take in a slice of any of those! You’re right. Everybody loves pizza. Thanks for the recipes! 🙂

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