Roasted Summer Veggie Pizza

My husband and I moved to California from Chicago a little over three years ago and if you know anything about Chicago pizza, they’re deep dish is to. die. for. This is probably why pizza is a regular occurrence in our house. I would say we eat pizza at least once a week, if not more, and it’s something I love making for others.  However, we have yet to find a place out here that really compares but that’s probably much better for our waistlines.  It’s also given me the chance to create my own because, as I’ve discovered, pizza is a fabulous vehicle to experiment with toppings.  This one was inspired by the beautiful, buttery farmers’ market yellow squash I had sitting on my counter and the fresh basil pesto I had just made.  Roasting is always my first instinct when it comes to veggies and here it does not disappoint.  I threw the squash, tomatoes, corn and peppers in the oven until there were crispy, charred bits around the edges.  The caramelized onions add a touch of sweetness while the creamy ricotta adds a bit of decadence.  So, so good.

Normally I would feel like I was cheating if I didn’t make my own dough as well, however with this pizza, both the pesto and ricotta are homemade so a store-bought crust didn’t seem so bad.  I’m also sure the twang of goat cheese would work nicely here but oddly enough, I didn’t have any in my refrigerator.  Use whatever summer vegetables you have on hand and don’t be shy about piling on the toppings!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • Pizza Dough {I used the multigrain pizza dough from Whole Foods}
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels shucked from the cob
  • 1-2 zucchini and/or summer squash, diced
  • blend of Roma and grape tomatoes, halved and/or quartered
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup basil pesto {or more if you really like pesto}
  • Ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line three baking sheets with foil.  Make sure dough is at room temperature, as it is easier to roll out.

Place squash and peppers on the same {largest} baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss a couple times to distribute evenly.  Tomatoes go on the second baking sheet and drizzle those with olive oil as well, season with salt and pepper and toss as well.  Finally, toss the kernels with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

I roasted the squash and pepper for about 20-25 minutes, until browned on the edges.  Roast the tomatoes for slightly less time, about 10-15 minutes, until wilted and shrunken.  Place the baking sheet with the corn under the broiler for about 5-7 minutes, until they are a bit brown and crispy.  Once all the vegetables are roasted, increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees, making sure the pizza stone is on the middle rack.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare to caramelize the onion.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, add onions and toss to coat.  Cook, stirring frequently until onions are soft and golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.  Remove from heat once done.

On a floured surface, roll out dough to about a 10-11 inch disk.  Cover the pizza peel in a light dusting of cornmeal before placing dough on it; that way it’s much easier to slide into the oven.  Time to top the pizza!  Spread pesto first, then top with the veggies and then add dollops of ricotta all over the top.

Bake for 10-12 minutes and let rest for a minute or two after it’s done before slicing.

Nothing says summer like pizza and beer!

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Roasted Summer Veggie Pizza

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