Pizza and salad is one of my all time favorite meals. A pile of greens plus cheese and carbs is the perfect equation for a healthy dinner, right? After a late Saturday night (and maybe one too many shots of tequila), Kelsey and I were both lacking inspiration for cooking dinner on Sunday night. Kelsey suggested pizza as a fallback and our dinner ended up being something that I would have happily paid for in a restaurant but made at home for a third of the price…so more money for tequila shots?
The key to good homemade pizza (and most food) is quality ingredients. Don’t expect to be impressed by a grocery store crust with jarred marinara sauce and Kraft mozzerella. Do yourself a favor and start with your own pizza dough. It takes a little planning but the recipe at the end of the post makes two crusts so you can save one in the freezer for a quick weeknight dinner. It comes together with ten minutes of active time and either 3 hours on the counter or 2-3 days in the fridge.
Start with a standard Margherita pizza and add prosciutto and balsamic reduction– how bad could that be? (trademark Ina Garten) You could go all out and make your own reduction, but I took a little help from Trader Joe. With a glass of wine and a pats win (ouch), this WOULD have been a perfect dinner. Good thing hockey is back! I see many nights of Bruins wins with homemade pizza ahead.
Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (adapted from the Pioneer Woman http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/02/my-favorite-pizza/) makes 2 crusts
- 1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
- 1 cup All-purpose Flour
- 3 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon sea Salt
- 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Sprinkle yeast over the top of 1.5 cups warm (not hot!) water and allow to sit until foamy (about 5 minutes)
2. Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl.
3. With the mixer on low speed (or stirring by hand), slowly drizzle in olive oil.
4. Add yeast-water mixture to mixer. The dough will be sticky.
5. Brush the inside of a clean large bowl with olive oil. Form the dough into a ball and place in the olive oil-coated bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until roughly doubled in size (about 1.5 hours) then punch down and allow to rise again. The dough can also be stored in the fridge for a slow rise for 24-72 hours before using.
Roll out pizza crust and freeze so that you can assemble a pizza and bake directly in the oven for a quick week night dinner.
For the pizza:
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 ball fresh mozzerella, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh basil (about 1 ounce) with about half chiffonaded
2-3 slices of prosciutto, torn into pieces
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4t olive oil, divided
oregano (fresh or dried)
salt and pepper
To assemble the pizza:
Preheat the oven to 450˙. Roll out dough until it is roughly 9×13 inches and place onto a 9×13” rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 1T olive oil over the dough and add the minced garlic, then the tomato slices, followed by prosciutto, basil (and fresh oregano if using), and mozzarella. Drizzle remaining 1t olive oil over mozzarella and top with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and dried oregano if using. Bake for 15 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheesy is bubbling. Top slices with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and chiffonaded basil.