Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ode to Tomato-less Pizza

I love pizza. My husband likes to say he fell in love with me when he watched me demolish half a large pizza in roughly ten minutes. I fell in love with him when he bought said pizza off a delivery guy on the street.

When I gave up tomatoes, my first order of business was to figure out how to eat pizza without them. Luckily, there are endless options, and they're becoming more popular with the general public. My two favorites are white pizza and pesto.

White pizza can be made with Alfredo sauce or by brushing olive oil on pizza crust and adding garlic and other herbs (such as oregano, Italian seasoning, or something like Penzeys Spices Pizza Seasoning). Typical toppings for white pizza are spinach and chicken, but I also like sausage or a variety of vegetables. Pesto is also an excellent alternative to tomato sauce. I love it with pepperoni; with chicken and goat cheese; or with spinach, olives, and feta. My latest favorite is a delicious meatless pizza with mixed mushrooms and olives (see recipe below).

It's not difficult to make your own pizza dough, but it's also a step I'm happy to skip. Of the grocery-store options, I prefer Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough. Organic grocery stores often sell good frozen pizza dough too, and it's even better to buy dough from your local pizza store.

Pesto Pizza with Mixed Mushrooms and Olives

Refrigerated or frozen, thawed pizza dough
Store-bought pesto sauce (approximately 4-5 T.)
Olive oil (1 T. plus extra for brushing)
8 oz. cremini (baby Portabello) mushrooms, sliced
6 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Small can sliced black olives, rinsed and drained
6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Heat large skillet over medium-high, and heat 1 T. olive oil. Saute mushrooms until softened, about eight minutes.
3. Brush pizza pan with olive oil, and spread dough into pan shape.
4. Bake dough for two minutes.
5. Spread a thin layer of pesto sauce on the dough. Top with black olives, cooked mushrooms, and cheese.
6. Bake until cheese is golden, about 15 minutes.

  • Oven temperature and cooking time can vary greatly depending on the dough, so follow the instructions on yours.
  • A little pesto goes a long way. Here is my pizza in stages:


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