Friday, August 12, 2011

Foodie Friday - Roasted Vegetable (or Chicken) Pizza...aka Date Night Pizza

Once in a while Noah will spend the night at a friend's house, his cousin's house or with Grandma. As soon as we know we have the house to ourselves for the evening and we've decided we will stay in, we think of Date Night Pizza! Translated, that means David and I stay home, watch a really loud movie and make homemade pizza together. And drink wine.

So, here's how we make it.... get a really good frozen pizza dough that you can roll out. Central Market and Whole Foods sell their own bakery brands in the frozen pizza case. We also like Il Fornaio a lot. Hey, for $2.00 it's really good and worth the non-trouble of making your own, which is also fun, but that's like Date DAY material. Moving on....

Get several fresh veggies to roast. For the pizza pictured we used eggplant (peeled and chunked), zucchini (sliced into half circles), yellow and orange cherry tomatoes (sliced in 1/2 lengthwise), and fresh garlic (chopped). Toss all of the veggies in a big baking dish with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Don't overdo it on the oil or your veggies will just be mushy. Bake at 400° until the veggies start to brown. The brown is what makes it goooooood. When they are done, set them aside. You can also roast some boneless chicken breasts in the same way, browning and then shredding or slicing when done.

Next, make your sauce....yes, make. It's so easy, simple and yum. Just get some really good tomato sauce. I like the Cento brand for all things canned tomato because it's all got a richer flavor than others. Yeah, it's a little pricier, but like 50 cents higher...not a big difference. So mix a small can of tomato paste with a little extra virgin olive oil, some kosher salt, fresh pepper, and about one teaspoon of dried Italian seasonings. Whisk it all together and if it's not "spreadable," add more evoo. Prepare your pizza dough, spread the sauce over the dough (use a rubber spatula), then toss your roasted veggies and/or chicken on top. I also threw on a few fresh basil leaves, but didn't roast those with the veggies. part...... slice some fresh mozzarella cheese and lay the slices on the top, just randomly placed all over the pizza. Trust me on this...don't use the shredded bag 'o cheese. Buy that fresh ball of homemade mozzarella and slice it up. Our local grocery store makes it's own and you can find the fresh stuff in the gourmet cheese section, usually by the deli meats.

Bake the pizza according to the crust package instructions, being careful not to burn it. (because the cheese gets weird, too) Let it sit for a minute or two before cutting. Yum...and don't forget the wine. :) What do you put on your homemade pizza?

Happy Date Night!

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