Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pizza with Sundried Tomatoes, Red Pepper & Corn

I make pizza year round. One of my favorites tops a delicious cornmeal crust with fresh corn cut off the cob, fresh tomatoes lightly marinated in olive oil, vinegar and garlic, mounds of fresh basil and a little buffalo mozzarella. Of course this only works at the height of summer when corn, tomatoes and basil are at their peak. Take a hot August night, throw the pizza dough on the grill, add the toppings and dinner is served. I decided I wanted to make a pizza with similar ingredients...but appropriate for the rest of the year. Introducing my "winter" pizza.

The pizza  is "sauce less"  just extra virgin olive oil.  I made it winter friendly by using  jarred red bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes, frozen corn, pickled garlic and fresh buffalo mozzarella. I use torn spinach leaves or similar mild tasting greens instead of the basil.  The most important tip is to use the best quality organic ingredients available. This is key since you are using jarred and frozen items. I love the cornmeal crust...wonderful texture with just a hint of sweetness from the honey.  Don't be intimidated by the thought of making homemade pizza dough. This recipe is simple and very forgiving.   Homemade, easy fresh. Pair with a green salad and dinner is served! 

Pizza with Sundried Tomatoes, Red Pepper & Corn
(makes 4 seven inch individual pizzas)

cornmeal pizza crust (recipe follows)
1 jar red bell pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch strips1 small jar sun dried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil, sliced into 1/2 inch strips (keep the oil)
1 package organic frozen corn, drained
pickled garlic (from your favorite olive bar)
fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into bite sized pieces
extra virgin olive oil
coarse grey salt
dried red pepper flakes
handful fresh spinach or basil, torn

cornmeal pizza crust

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
pinch sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 cup cornmeal, fine grind
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
extra virgin olive oil

coarse grind cornmeal for baking sheets

Add water to bowl of upright mixer and sprinkle yeast over top. Using the paddle attachment, mix until yeast has dissolved. Add salt, olive oil and honey and mix to combine. Add  flour and process just until incorporated. Add the cornmeal and process until incorporated. Process an additional minute until the dough has formed into a ball. Do not over mix. Remove dough from bowl,  form into 4 smooth balls of equal size and place in an oiled bowl. Turn balls a few times to ensure they are totally covered in oil, cover bowl with Saran wrap and place in a warm area. Allow to rise until doubled in size  45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough into free form circles. Each pizza crust should be about 1/2 inch thick. Place on pizza stone or baking sheet which has been lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with coarse cornmeal. (the cornmeal adds a delicious flavor and helps ensure the pizza dough will not stick to pan.) 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Drizzle pizza rounds with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with coarse grey salt.  Sprinkle marinated peppers, corn kernels, pickled garlic, sundried tomatoes and mozzarella over pizza....customize the amount of each topping to your liking. Drizzle oil from the sun dried tomatoes over pizza, including the "naked" crust edges. Use a pastry brush to cover the naked crust with oil. Place in preheated oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven and sprinkle red pepper flakes and spinach over top. Slice and serve immediately.

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It is "Pizza" week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite pizza recipe of your own? Please share in the comments section of this posts (links ok)

The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Pizza Crust and Homemade Pizza Sauce
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Easy Turkey Taco Pizza
Devour: Top 5 Pizzas Without Sauce
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
Weelicious: Pizza Balls
Dishin & Dishes: Iron Skillet Chicken Pesto Pizza
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomato, Red Pepper and Corn
Red or Green: Pizza with Green Chile, Chicken and Cheese (Gluten-Free)
Virtually Homemade: Individual Cheese Quesadilla Pizzas
Domesticate Me: Grilled Pita Pizza with Prosciutto, Chanterelles, Arugula and a Fried Egg
Food for 7 Stages of Life: No Yeast Pizza Dough
In Jennie's Kitchen: Easy, Homemade Pizza Dough
The Blue Apron Blog: Our Favorite Pizza Toppings
The Sensitive Epicure: Mini Deep Dish Polenta Pizzas (Gluten-Free)
FN Dish: Homemade Pizza Comfort by the Slice

napa farmhouse 1885

I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.

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