Tag Archives: pizza

Spinach and Artichoke Pizza

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This pizza was so good…

What’s that?  How good was it?

It was so good that I made it twice in two days.  I first made it on a  Friday night for a girl’s night in (side note:  it goes well with red wine).  I liked it so much that I made it again the next day so Brian could try it.

It was so tasty that I actually made it again a couple of weeks later so Mom could try it.  Yep – I’ve made this three times now!

I will admit that more than one person who ate this pizza said it was, and I quote, “The best pizza they had ever eaten.”  Now, I know that whatever you’re currently eating is always the best, so I take this with a  grain of salt.  That being said, I love compliments, so thank you!

My favorite part about making a mess of homemade pizza dough is that for a few days, I have quick easy meals that only take a few minutes and almost no effort to throw together.  Take this pizza, for example.  The only prep work I did for this pizza was to rough chop artichoke hearts and spinach, then pop the spinach in the microwave for a minute.  That’s it! Oh, I guess I grated the fontina cheese, too.  Still super easy!

Pizza toppings!  Roasted garlic sauce, artichoke hearts, spinach, three cheeses (fontina, asiago and mozz) and prosciutto.

Pizza toppings! Roasted garlic sauce, artichoke hearts, spinach, three cheeses (fontina, asiago and mozz) and prosciutto.

This stuff is awesome.  Really.

This stuff is awesome. Really.

Here’s the funny part – I’m calling it a Spinach and Artichoke Pizza, but this recipe started with the prosciutto.  I knew that my sister and my best friend were coming over, and they had been talking about prosciutto on pizza (Laura had tried my Butternut Squash and Prosciutto Pizza and was still talking about it).  So I started thinking about what I hadn’t put on a pizza yet that would go with prosciutto.

Of course!  Spinach and artichoke!  It makes a good dip, it goes well with cheese – done!

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I started with the garlic sauce, then the chopped marinated artichokes.  I added the slightly cooked spinach (I microwaved it for a minute – just enough to wilt it so it wasn’t raw tasting) and topped that with fontina, asiago and mozzarella cheese.  Fontina is one of Laura’s favorite cheeses, and it works well in a blend like this.  I added the prosciutto last, but you could totally leave that off and have a kick @ss veggie pizza.

As it cooked, it totally smelled just like good spinach and artichoke dip.  Yum!  The third time I made this pizza, I used baby spinach from the farmer’s market – super yum!  I’ll have to remember this when I get greens in my CSA share.  Maybe I’ll even try making my own roasted garlic spread – especially if the garlic I planted last fall does well!

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Rueben Pizza

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Three things.

First, I know that I have had a serious shortage of blog posts in the last couple weeks.  Sorry, all!  Work got crazy busy, and to be truthful, I wasn’t cooking anything all that exciting – I was too tired!  But now work has gone back to regular crazy so I’m back on my regular schedule.  I have a couple of things on tap for this week, so look out!

Second, Happy (belated) St. Patrick’s Day! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed all your favorite St. Patrick’s Day traditions (wearing green, eating green food, drinking green beer – the important stuff.)

Third, pizza.  Yes, again.  I have not yet gotten tired of pizza!  I think I’m more surprised at this than anyone. but I’m rolling with it.

Truthfully, I may have gone a little pizza crazy this weekend.  I almost hate to admit it, but here goes:  I made pizzas three days in a row.  Yep, you got that right – all weekend it was pizza, pizza, pizza!

Friday, I made a Spinach and Artichoke Pizza (pictures and recipe coming later this week) for my sister, Laura, and my best friend, Kara.  We hung out, ate pizza, drank wine – it was a lovely night.  I also tried a dessert pizza with Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam, chocolate chunks and marshmallows.  Not bad, but not as good as the Spinach and Artichoke main course.

As a matter of fact, the Spinach and Artichoke Pizza was so good that I made it again Saturday night so Brian could try it.  Yep, I’m not too proud to admit it – I ate it both nights.  (And I’d do it again! So there!)

But this post is about my St. Patrick’s Day pizza – corned beef and sauerkraut.  All the tasty ingredients of a Reuben sandwich – on a pizza.  And it was good!  Really good!

I’m going to tell you a secret.  I don’t like to talk about it, but St. Patrick’s Day is one holiday that I am not good at cooking for.  There.  I admitted it.  Whew, that feels better!  For the past several years on St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve made some kind of sauerkraut and pork crockpot dish in different variations.  Inevitably, Brian isn’t all that thrilled about it and I end up with a bunch of leftovers that no one wants to eat.  Not my finest moments.  But not this year, my friends!  This year, he ate three pieces of pizza – success!!!

I’m a huge fan of cold toppings on hot pizza (See my California Chicken Pizza for one example, or try a hot pepperoni pizza with cold, crisp banana peppers if you don’t believe me…yum!)  So for this Reuben Pizza, I decided to leave the Thousand Island Dressing off until the end for that hot/cold effect.

This pizza was simple, but had big flavors.  Deli sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, and good swiss cheese made up the bulk of this hearty pizza, which was then topped with good ol’ Thousand Island Dressing and served with a big @ss deli pickle.  Awesome!

Here's the deal.  This isn't the prettiest picture I've ever taken.  I need a squeeze bottle for decorating plates so I can feel like an Iron Chef!

Here’s the deal. This isn’t the prettiest picture I’ve ever taken. I need a squeeze bottle for decorating plates so I can feel like one of them thar’ fancy TV chefs.

Reuben Pizza

  • One 12 inch pizza crust, whatever your favorite recipe or kind of dough
  • 6 oz deli sliced corned beef, rough chopped
  • 4 oz swiss cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained well (nobody likes a soggy pizza)
  • garlic infused olive oil
  • Caraway seeds (about a teaspoon)
  • Thousand Island Dressing (for topping or dunking)
  • Pickles (Half-sour pickles would be great, but any good crispy deli pickle will do)

If you’re me, preheat your oven and pizza stone at the highest heat for at least 20 minutes.  (To be fair, my oven is old and takes awhile to get to temp.)  Prepare the pizza on a pizza peel for easy transfer to the pizza stone.  (Or use parchment paper and transfer pizza and parchment paper to the pizza stone – great tip, Kirsten!)

Brush the pizza dough with a small amount of garlic olive oil.  (Yes, you could use regular olive oil, but if I can add garlic to just about anything, you better believe I will!)  Top with corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese.  Sprinkle Caraway seeds over the top.  They’re pretty and they add that bit of rye taste that you expect with a Reuben.

Transfer to pizza stone and bake for 8-10 minutes.

When the pizza is done, remove from oven and let cool until the cheese sets.   Slice , top with the Thousand Island, serve and eat! I recommend alternating bites of pizza and pickle for the best balance of flavors.

Did you spice up the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal this year?   What’s your opinion of the contrasting hot/cold ingredients on pizza? 

Asparagus and Prosciutto Pizza

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It’s been a crazy, busy, fantastic week at work, so I am way behind on posting this pizza. 

I love asparagus. It’s pretty, it’s tasty, and it’s good for you.

I love pizza. Okay, I’ll be honest – I like pizza in general, but I love my homemade pizza!

So on Saturday night when I was trying to figure out what fun stuff I could put on a pizza, I thought about asparagus. I got hungry. Then I thought about bacon-wrapped asparagus. I don’t love bacon on pizza (it can be a little greasy), so I had an a-ha moment – prosciutto! I’ve had success with that on previous pizzas, so what the heck, right?  With that thought, I got hungrier. 🙂

And so was born my pizza homage to bacon-wrapped asparagus!

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I started with my standard pizza crust. First I added some garlic scape pesto (sadly, I think it was the last of my pesto from the freezer), then the asparagus. (I cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and popped them into the microwave for two minutes before putting them on the pizza.) I topped that with parmesean and mozzerella cheese, a little fresh ground black pepper and prosciutto.

It baked up beautifully! The asparagus was cooked perfectly and the cheese and prosciutto complemented it so well…yum!

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I’m having so much fun with pizzas since I learned how to make awesome pizza dough. What pizza will I create next? I can’t wait to find out!

This post is linked to What’s in the Box?  at In Her Chucks.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock…and Pizza

I wanted to post tonight for three reasons:  One, I was very proud of myself for repurposing yesterday’s leftovers.  I don’t do that often enough, so I felt the need to call attention to it.  B, I made a yummy pizza.  Three, because I made a pizza, I got to try out one of my Valentine’s Day presents.

What’s that you say?  What does a Valentine’s Day present have to do with pizza?  Patience, my friends.

Let me start by saying that my boyfriend is awesome.  We typically don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day; it’s just not that big of a deal.  But this year he got me a couple unexpected and fantastic presents.  Present number 1:  a pizza cutter.  And not just any pizza cutter!  I’ve never had a pizza cutter before, so it’s a cool gadget to have, especially now that I’m making some kick-ass pizzas.  But this pizza cutter is special.  This one looks like…drumroll please….the USS Enterprise.

So.  Freaking.  Cool.

So. Freaking. Cool.

And that brings me to my leftovers.  When I made the Pasta with Sausage and Spinach yesterday, I couldn’t help but think that the sausage mixture would be great on a pizza.  Conveniently, I also made pizza dough yesterday!  So tonight after work, it was super easy to throw together a pizza with the leftover sausage stuff and some mozzarella cheese.

Pizza is so pretty.

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And this particular pizza was hearty and delicious.  Plus, I got to use my pizza cutter!  Now it all starts to come together…

But wait!  I mentioned that I got a couple of fantastic Valentine’s Day presents!  What other fabulous item did I receive, you might ask?

This one:

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A Rock/Paper/Scissors/Lizard/Spock coffee mug.  (And…now the title of today’s blog post makes sense!)

If you do not watch The Big Bang Theory, or if you haven’t seen this episode, here’s a link to Sheldon explaining the rules of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock.  Enjoy. 

And in case you didn’t catch the rules (or you haven’t clicked on the link yet), here they are!

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My favorite is: Paper disproves Spock.

Yes, the font is a bit difficult to read in the picture – sorry about that!

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?  Or your best Valentine’s Day gift?  Any other Big Bang Theory fans out there?  (Yes, Mom, you made me start watching the show – thank you!!)

California Chicken Pizza

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Since my first pizza attempt turned out so well, I’ve gone a bit pizza crazy.  To be fair, the pizza dough recipe I used did make enough dough for at least four 12-inch pizzas.  And I have to use it, right?  Right.

Here are the toppings I put together for my California Chicken Pizza: garlic scape pesto I made this spring and froze, a tomato, mozzerella cheese, some thinly sliced red onion and some leftover chicken.  Plus, I sliced up an avacado and squeezed some fresh lime over the slices.

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The chicken/avacado/red onion combo always makes me think of California (hence the name), and I wanted something bright and summery tasting to offset the cold Ohio winter.

Before I shaped the dough, I sliced the tomato really thin and salted the slices.  I let them sit for a few minutes to draw out the moisture and patted them off with a paper towel.  Nobody likes a soggy pizza!

I started topping the pizza with the garlic scape pesto – so good!  Then the tomatoes, followed by cheese, chicken and onion. (No avacados yet – those are for later.)

I would be more specific if I could, but I really don’t measure anything when I’m putting it on a pizza.  I just pile it on until it looks right – pizza decorating is more of an art than a science., I guess.  🙂  I also thought I had taken a picture of the pizza before it went in the oven, but apparently not!  Next time.

It was a little easier to get the pizza from the pizza peel to the preheated pizza stone this time (but I still used a spatula for some help).  I love that the bottom crust of the pizza immediately starts to crisp up when it hits the pizza stone.

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I sliced it up and topped the slices with the fresh avacado with just a hint of lime – it was delicious!  It was light and summery and well… it just made me happy.  You can’t ask for anything more than that!

Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Pizza

Pizza and beer!

Pizza and beer!

First, I have to thank Kirsten at FarmFreshFeasts for this pizza inspiration.  Not only does she have some killer pizzas on her blog (like this one, and this one), she recently posted this recipe for Chicken Saltimbocca Stuffed With Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese.  The flavor combination of butternut squash, goat cheese and prosciutto just sounded fabulous!

So logically, I made it into a pizza!  Thanks, Kirsten!

Actually making the pizza was so easy I almost couldn’t believe it, although it did take some pre-planning.  I used a pizza dough recipe from the book Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish (I love, love, love this book!!).  It was an overnight recipe, so I actually started the pizza dough last night around 6 and let it proof all night.

I got up early this morning (5:50, if you must know) to divide the dough and shape it into balls.  The balls went on a cookie sheet and into the fridge to proof all day while I was at work.

I got better at shaping the dough as I went.  The first one was a little wonky.

I got better at shaping the dough as I went. The first one was a little wonky (bottom right). 

This was the first time I ever made pizza dough from scratch, so I was super excited.  When I got home from work, I immediately put the pizza stone in the oven and set the temp to as high as my oven would go (or 500 degrees).  The oven and the pizza stone preheated for about 40 minutes.  When I got the dough out of the fridge to shape it, I turned the oven to broil – in his book, Ken calls that “super heating” the pizza stone.  🙂

I assembled my pizza topping ingredients:  butternut squash that I had cooked earlier in the season and frozen (I moved it from freezer to fridge last night), goat cheese crumbles, shredded mozzarella (I love cheese), prosciutto and sage leaves.  Also black pepper, but it didn’t make it into the picture.

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One thing I learned right away.  It is apparently impossible for me to make homemade pizza dough without covering the kitchen in flour.  Whoops.

As per the instructions in the cookbook, I punched down the center of the dough, flipped it over and punched it down again.

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Then the cool part – I picked up the dough by the edge, and constantly turning it, just let gravity stretch it out to the right size and shape.  (I don’t have pictures of that because it took both hands and all my attention.)  I was so proud – no ripping or tearing, and it was actually vaguely round shaped!  Life is good.

I put the dough on a floured peel and proceeded to apply toppings.

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From the bottom up:  Butternut squash (not too thick), goat cheese crumbles, mozzarella, prosciutto, sage leaves, black pepper.  The sage leaves were little, so I just tore them in half and scattered them over everything else.

I turned the oven from broil back to bake (500 degrees) and it was go time.

Getting the pizza from the pizza peel to the pizza stone was the trickiest part.  I feel like there’s some kind of wrist flick that I have yet to master, but I did okay.  This was awesome though – the pizza stone was so hot that you could hear the sizzle as soon as the pizza dough touched it.  So cool!

I baked it for 8 minutes, then turned on the broiler for about 2 minutes to get the top all browned and yummy.

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It was fabulous.  The crust was tangy, crunchy on the bottom but chewy around the edge – everything I hoped it would be.  And the combo of the squash, goat cheese, prosciutto and sage – again, thanks Kirsten!  I ate two big pieces, and it took some serious willpower to stop there.

Be on the lookout for some more non-traditional pizzas in the next few days – I do still have pizza dough in the fridge!

Are you a pizza fan?  What are your favorite non-traditional pizza toppings? 

Ready for my close-up!

Ready for my close-up!