Regardless, last night we made ratatouille pizza, topped with luscious roasted tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and cremini mushrooms. Oh, and loads and loads of garlic; that goes without saying. I diced and danced to All Songs Considered Listener's Countdown (best podcast ever) and put Matt in charge of the crust because he's much more precise than me about things: he's the better baker, so I rightfully acknowledge he was the guy to deal with the exact measurements and directions for this finicky yeast crust. He didn't disappoint, and sniffed upnosed at my veggies saying, "Pizza is all about the crust; the rest doesn't really matter." What can I say: he's been in a bit of a persnickety mood lately.
The crust recipe was found on All Recipes, and I swiped the pizza recipe from Vegetarian Times. However, the original recipe didn't call for mushrooms or peppers, and that was simply uncalled for. I won't lie and say this is a regular pizza: it's not greasy and dripping with cheese, but if you're looking for a healthier alternative, or a Crohn's-friendly alternative (I mean this loosely: if you minus the tomatoes and some of the veggies) then go for it: it's delish. Oh, and the vegetables definitely make this dish. (Imagine me saying that with an upturned nose.)
Rustic Ratatouille Pizza with Homemade Crust
Ingredients for Crust:
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
- Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes (or use the bread hook on your Kitchenaid). Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled. (We chose to do one thick crust.)
- Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust. When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan.
Ingredients for Topping:
- 1 28-oz. can peeled whole tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 small eggplant, quartered and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (2 cups)
- 2 small zucchinis, sliced into rounds (2 cups)
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
- 10 baby portobella or cremini mushrooms, diced
- 1 1/2 cups of diced bell peppers (I used tri-colored baby bell peppers)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced plus 4-5 whole cloves to roast
- 2 Tbs. herbes de Provence
- 1 Tb. oregano
- 1 Tb. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup prepared marinara sauce
- 2-3 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup black olives or capers, optional
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Drain tomatoes, and discard liquid. Halve each tomato lengthwise. Toss together all veggies and herbs, and oil.
3. Roast vegetables 25 minutes, or until beginning to brown, tossing every 5 to 10 minutes. Cool 5 to 10 minutes, or store in refrigerator up to 3 days. (This recipe makes leftovers: I think they would be suburb with crackers or folded into an omlette.)
4. Spread crust with sauce, and top with vegetables and cheese. Sprinkle with olives or capers, if using.
5. Place on middle rack in oven, and preheat oven to 425°F with pizza in oven. Bake about 20 minutes, or until done.
I really think vegetables have to be the envy of every other food group: look how gorgeous they are.