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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Homemade Pizza (Summer Vegetables and Chorizo) and a Spicy Pizza Sauce Recipe

It took me just one visit to the farmer’s market a couple of days ago to realize the fact that we haven’t been using enough summer veggies in our dishes lately. Sure, we had broccoli and shrimps and rice and coconut, all nice and delicious, but where is the summer? With that in mind, I went on a shopping spree in the farmer’s market (believe it or not, this thing happens a lot more often that you might think) and bought a rather large quantity of veggies (tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, cucumbers, peppers) and spices, all fresh (oregano, coriander, lemon thyme, parsley, sage, chili). 

This situation, if we can call it like that, raised another question: how to cook all these delicious, fresh, fragrant and healthy veggies? In the end, I opted for making some homemade pizza, for which I also used some nice and spicy chorizo. Now, this post isn’t much about some incredible recipe or some high-tech cooking stuff, but instead I just wanted to tell you guys to enjoy summer and all it has to offer in all the markets. The fresh vegetables, greens and spices that you can get your hands on should not be missed, because in the kitchen, this is what summer is all about.

For our pizzas I bought the fresh made dough from a local pizza place (browse around the pizzerias near you, there are bound to be ones that sell the dough). They way I give that lump of dough the round shape is by flattening it with a rolling pin and turning it 90 degrees after each passing of the pin. In the end , if you have the skills, feel free to use your hand to throw it spinning in the air, it will help evening it and give it a nice round shape. 

Next, with a pastry brush or just your finger, just slightly glaze the pizza with some olive oil. After this , spread some tomato paste (not juice, not passata, use some more concentrated stuff) on top -  I like to use plain stuff in this phase, without any condiments or other flavors except of the tomato paste itself. Place the chorizo (or the meat of your liking). 

Next stage, veggie time. Go nuts. Honestly. Tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, eggplants, olives, maybe broccoli,  ruccola, oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, even sage. Quick note here, because I feel like I have to mention this: I managed to get my hands on some delicious purple-black cherry tomatoes that were just amazing on top of this pizza. For the cheese, I used some mozzarella (not the kind you see in the supermarkets packed for pizza, use the real thing)  that I ripped or cut into pieces that in put on top of the veggies and spices. You can put the cheese under the vegetables, your choice here really.

Pop the pizza in the oven; the cooking time will depend largely on the thickness of the dough. I made 3 pizzas, 2 of which had a thicker base and took around 16-18 minutes, the lighter one took only 12. 

For the sauce, I say... put that ketchup away (catchy, isn’t it?). Use about 250 grams of fresh tomato juice (cut the tomatoes in half and use a grater to obtain the juice), and the mix of fresh condiments of your choosing. I opted for some oregano, lemon thyme, sage and parsley, next to some garlic, chili (a variety of Scotch bonnet was used), salt and pepper. 

You can either finely chop everything and not bother with the greens or leave them whole and remove them from the sauce once it is done (that’s how I did it). Boil this whole magic combo on medium heat until it reaches a sauce, not too thick, not too runny, consistency. Use this on top of your home made pizza for wonderful results.

About the results of the vegetable shopping spree, what can I say? You know when you eat something and you get that feeling that you need to say it out loud how good it is, but you don’t wanna stop eating either, and result is just some weird satisfaction noise? Ever been in that situation? No? Then you need to try this pizza. If not for the taste, then for the life experience.   


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