We’ve posted about pizza before, but this summer it seems the subject of original pizzas hasn’t gone away from the Reel Chow kitchen. The discussion keeps returning to my desire to make entire pies from scratch—including dough—but creating delicious gourmet fare you’d never find at pizzerias across the United States.
The trend in pizza for several years has been toward the more exotic. Spicy and previously untapped vegetables and lots of chicken are just three of the movements we’ve seen gaining ground. The buzz is only getting louder, and we’re not immune to it. Both Ron and I grew up with traditional pizza ingredients and we were on opposite sides of the nation. Things were bound to change for the old neighborhood classic.
Here’s my the first of what I hope to many original pizza recipes to be let out from our kitchen. It’s called Vegetable Pizza Without Marinara. This dish obviously features a non-marinara sauce, but also no baked mozzarella cheese, making it a dairy-free for our lactose intolerant readers. I sprinkled some feta on one of the pizzas after it was done, which proved to be wonderfully complimentary.
The sauce of this pie was made of red onion, Spanish onion, and balsamic vinegar. The first step is to saute the onions, softening them with a little olive oil and sea salt. Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce, so it thickens and the onions take on the full flavor.
- 4 fresh tomatoes, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 spanish onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of light extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
serving size: 2 small pizzas
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 1 2/3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
- ¾ teaspoons table salt
- ¾ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
First step is to make the dough. Getting dough just right can be tricky. Don’t be worried. If it’s too sticky, it means there’s too much liquid. You can fix this by adding a little extra flour until it becomes the consistency it should be. After you make your own dough a few times, you’ll get the hang of it.
We used our 14-cup Cuisinart food processor and followed the dough recipe on their Web site. If you don’t have a food processor, you can buy pre-made dough at the supermarket or find other dough recipes online.
In a 2-cup liquid measure, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Insert metal blade in work bowl and add flour and salt.
With machine running, pour liquid through small feed tube as fast as the flour absorbs it. Process until dough cleans sides of work bowl and forms a ball. Then process for thirty seconds to knead dough. Dough may be slightly sticky.
Coat dough evenly with olive oil; transfer to a plastic food storage bag and seal the top. Let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
While the dough is resting for 45 minutes, make the sauce. Thinly slice the red onion and Spanish onion. In a medium size pan over medium-low heat, add one tablespoon of light extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the sliced onions with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Saute the onions for about 8-10 minutes or until soft.
Add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Let the balsamic vinegar reduce and thicken, about four minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Next, slice the tomatoes and garlic.
When the onion mixture has cooled down, add it to a blender or small food processor and puree for 30 seconds.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place dough on a lightly-floured surface and punch down. Roll into desired crust sizes and place on baking pans lightly sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray.
Spread the onion mixture onto the dough and top with sliced garlic and tomatoes. Lightly drizzle olive oil over the top and bake for ten minutes on center of rack, or until the edge of the pizza turns golden brown.
Top with optional feta cheese, if you wish, and enjoy!
We loved not only the taste of these pizzas—with and without the feta—but the artisanal quality of their looks. Original dishes are not only judged by taste and mouthfeel, but presentation. The irregular shapes of our pies and the very slightly uneven dough thickness made our pies seem like something you’d be offered one evening in a Tuscan home. Try this dish in your own home for family and friends.