Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Pizza of Beauty

As a cyclist, I am always looking for tasty, healthy and nutritious foods, and have in the past posted a few recipes.  The one for Bircher-muesli, Food of the Gods, was a particular success, although people liked the Bell Pepper and Chili Soup too.  I suspect that Fabian Cancellara was raised on Bircher-muesli and who are we to question the results?

Since my weekend cycling plans came to naught due to a) the cold weather on Saturday and b) the wind (up to 48 km/h) on Sunday, I turned my attention to food yet again.  Last week we picked up a Mediterranean Pizza at the local branch of a national chain of pizzerias.  It was pretty good, but there was a great deal too much cheese on it and it was also fairly expensive.

Convinced I could do better on my own, I bought a couple of pizza bases ($2.99 the pair, including some tomato sauce) and decided to see if I could match the flavour of the chain's pizza.  Here is the Mediterranean Pizza that resulted:

The first pizza was such a success that by popular demand I made a second one almost immediately after.  Even if you can't cook, this is amazingly easy to make, and here is what I used:

Prepared pizza base with tomato sauce (it is actually easy to make your own pizza dough, but I took a short cut here);
Fresh broccoli florets;
1/4 of a fresh zucchini, chopped coarsely;
Mozzarella cheese, shredded;
Feta cheese, crumbled;
Sliced black olives;
Sun-dried tomatoes;
Red onion. one thick slice chopped finely.

Put the broccoli and zucchini in boiling water for few moments to blanch them; drain them.
Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl, cover them with boiling water to soften and drain after two minutes.  Chop them up.
Sprinkle the pizza base with the Mozzarella, covering evenly.  Add onion, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Feta pieces, zucchini and broccoli, arranging them in a pleasing manner.

Place the pizza in a pre-heated 380F oven for around 14-15 minutes, or until the pizza base has turned golden.  I prefer a thin crust but a thick crust may need longer.  Keep your eye on the pizza since nobody likes black, crisp ones.

Take the pizza out, slice it up and serve with a really nice beer or wine.

By picking up the ingredients on a regular shopping trip, I probably spent less time preparing the pizza than it would have taken me to drive to the pizzeria.  My pizza has far more generous toppings and is much fresher-tasting than the presumably-frozen one.  I also calculate that the total cost of the two large pizzas came to just over $14, with excellent ingredients, compared to the $20 (plus driving) that I paid for a single pizza (admittedly slightly larger than each of my own) at the store.

In These Troubled Economic Times (ITET), we have an obligation to make our own excellent pizzas and support deserving breweries as well.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

Lily on the Road said...

Yummmy and thanks for the recipes...

What do you mean you didn't get out this weekend?...even I was out Saturday and Sunday...albeit blustery (to say the least), it wasn't too bad. HA! did I just say that? I was hanging on for dear life.