Garden Vegetable Pizza Party!

I'd say I'm surprised that I haven't made pizza for you yet, but I'm not. And no, it's not because I'm some picky dietitian who thinks pizza is inherently unhealthy!

Pizza can have a lot of healthy attributes, like calcium from the cheese as well as various antioxidants if you add vegetables! Add a little lean protein and you have yourself a pretty balanced meal. Even more so if you make the pizza yourself to control the saltiness of the cheese and the quality of your ingredients. Most RDs I know crave pizza as much as anyone I know!

So yes, I DO crave pizza! A lot. But my reasoning for not sharing my favorite pizza recipe with you is because I'm stubborn. I have wanted to share my pizza dough recipe that I adapted from Jeff Varasano's famous New York Pizza for so long! But I haven't had time/focus to revive my sourdough starter. I think it's still alive anyway. Time will tell!

Until I revitalize my starter, you will have to make due with recipes using store-bought pizza dough! Just find some that's high quality and hits the spot, and you're good to go.

As for this recipe, it's deliciously flexible! I named it Garden Vegetable Pizza Party because you can literally take any edible ingredient growing in your garden (or seasonal produce from your farmers market), throw it on top of some grated fontina, and cook up an incredibly delicious pizza! If you have friends over for dinner who have specific pizza preferences, it's easy to meet them by just throwing whatever you want on their side of the pie. Sounds exciting for a summer dinner party, right?

Surprisingly, we don't have all of this produce growing in our garden right now! Our tomatoes are a little slow this season, but are about to explode (!) and we've only ever grown mushrooms from a Far West Fungi mushroom kit once. Even so, we used our own hot peppers, and hey, at some point, we could use the barley we're growing right now!

Okay, I might be nerding out too much now. So go ahead and enjoy this recipe. It's too much fun!

Garden Vegetable Pizza Party!

Time: 40 Minutes
Serves 4

2 (12 oz) pizza dough balls
12 oz fontina cheese, grated
1 roma tomato, thinly sliced
1 lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
3 small jalapeno peppers, sliced
4-6 birdseye chilies, chopped (optional)    

Preheat oven and pizza stone (if using) to 500F. 

Bring dough to room temperature by allowing to sit out for about 30 minutes, being careful to not let the dough over-rise.

On a floured surface, lightly dredge dough in flour. Gently stretch the dough out a little at a time, waiting about 10-15 seconds between each stretch. Form a crust around the rim of the dough if desired.

Lightly flour a pizza peel and carefully transfer dough. Quickly add the fontina, tomatoes, mushrooms, spring onions, and peppers. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer the dough to the pizza stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown in spots.

Transfer the pizza to a grill rack to cool. Drizzle pizza with olive oil, cut into slices, and serve immediately!  

If you enjoyed this recipe, you will love my recipes for Pierogies with Fried Sage and Butternut SquashFettuccine with Guanciale, and Surf & Turf Spaghetti!