Monday, January 24, 2011

Lazy Pizza

Sometimes it's not easy to think of a good title for a post.

Lazy Pizza?

Kinda lame.

I dunno. I almost called it "A Grate Dinner!"

Never mind.

The other night I was wanting some veggies, some warmth, some comfort, some intense flavors, so I turned to our favorite pizza-night recipe, and got busy grating and chopping.

Look at this yummyness... who cares about my inner voice(s), and cravings, when confronted with this delicacy of culinary delight?

If you happen to be headed to the market, you may want to add these to your list, or maybe you have some good stuff already waiting to be tossed together and baked golden and savory.

1. Ciabatta loaf, or any favorite loaf of bread. I like mine kinda of light, so I get more topping than bread.
2. Zucchini. I think one medium-small will do.
3. A small onion, or half an onion, or less... how much do you like onion?
4. Garlic. Lots.
5. Basil. Fresh.
6. Tomatoes... whichever look irresistible. I realize this recipe may be a cruel reminder to some, that in California we don't know winter from a day in July. Forgive me.
7. Olive Oil
8. Black pepper
9. Salt
10. Crushed red pepper
11. Cheese. I love Trader Giotto's bag of grated cheeses... Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina and Provolone. Mozzarella would work. Maybe even some Jack cheese. What do you like?

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

I grate the zucchini straight into a big mixing bowl. This entire recipe is about personal preferences. Choose your ratios to suit your tastes. I cook this way, which is why no one will ever ask me to write a cookbook.

After the basil is rinsed and patted dry, I pluck off leaves, stack them, then cut them into strips. I was going to say "Julienne," but that looks slightly narrower than what I do. Hey. Guess what? Slice the basil however you think is best. It will work. I know it.

Onion can get powerful, so I like to slice it thin Julienne the onion, and depending on how strong it seems, how badly I am crying, I add more or less.

I am sorry. These measurements are even more lame than the post's title.

Guess where I found these sweet, pretty little pearl tomatoes? I use whatever tomatoes are available, that look flavorful. And since the rest of the ingredients are so delicious, they can kind of cover for less than perfect tomatoes. Chop them up. Bite size. I like them small, so that the surface of the fruit gets some pepper, some olive oil... some sabor!

I like to start mixing the ingredients as this point. I have added a dash of black pepper, maybe some crushed red pepper, and I want to see how those red tomatoes are looking mixed in with the greens and whites. If I see a lot more green than red, then it makes me uneasy. It's like a disturbance in the force and I start chopping and adding more tomatoes. I cook this way, which is why no one will ever ask me to write a cookbook.

I *HEART* garlic. Sometimes I will mince it for this recipe, and then in the oven the little bits of garlic toast-up, and I love biting into the hot-sweet bite of garlicness. This time I wanted to get an infusion of garlic-love throughout my lazy pizza, so I crushed the garlic. And by "crush," I mean I really creamed it, smashing, and destroying it with the flat of a wide knife. And this is also when I introduced some salt to the mix. By sprinkling some kosher salt over the crushed garlic, then crushing it further with the flat side of a wide knife, the salt will release more garlic juice and flavor. It makes the salt flavorful and garlic intense, it promotes vim and vigor, and enhances sensations of contentment.

I feel better just thinking of it.

I heard the Packers are going to the SuperBowl. Huh... wonder what made me think of that?

Anyway. Get some cheese. I am lazy. And I keep grated cheese on hand, so I do not have to impede dinner progress any more than necessary. At this point in the process, four children are circling and eyeballing me. I could hear stomachs rumbling.

I added two handfuls of this grated cheese mix. I do not make this an oozy-gooey cheesy dish. I add enough for flavor and to kind of gently hold stuff together. And I also sprinkle a bit more once the toppings are on the bread, also to keep stuff in place. Again, do what you like. Make it yours. Your lazy pizza is going to be delicious.

The last thing I do is drizzle olive oil over everything in the big bowl. And by the way, if I wasn't clear... everything is in the big bowl. This is a lazy-big-bowl kind of recipe. Do not drown the ingredients in the olive oil, yet do not be stingy. Think of it like a lightly dressed salad at this point. Mix it well, so the smashed-crushed garlic does not clump into one unfortunate bite. Get all those tomatoes peppery and mingling with the zukes! It is a red-green-white party.

If Geoff walks through the kitchen at this point, he will start serving himself the pizza topping like salad. This happens to make me happy.

Split the loaf. This one was even a bit stale. It will be rescued, and have a new life as a toasted, tasty, lazy pizza.

The oven has been pre-heating, and it has reached 450˚ farenhiet farenheit fharenhight hot. In go the lazy pizzas, and even though I have them on a cookie sheet, I actually baked them on pizza stones that were sitting in the oven.

You may have guessed this already: I did not time this.

It started to smell crazy good, the children were insisting that they really were hungry... these were my done-ness indicators, and since the pizzas looked good enough to eat, I pulled them out of the oven.

So many possibilities... I would love this with some Kalamata olives sprinkled in the mix, and I would not turn away nicely roasted artichokes poking up from beneath the cheese.

Thank you.
Happy Monday.
Have a great week.
The End.


Miriam said...

That looks awfully good! Quick, tasty and good for you - I think it's about perfect!

nikkipolani said...

Hmmm, I was just thinking what I should make for dinner. This is inspiration, indeed! And I love the flexibility of lazy pizza. Well done, you.

ArtyZen said...

Nothing lazy here at all! What a wonderful idea - I can almost smell it and boy, is it good!

(my authenticating word was 'cater' for this post!)

Alison said...

Awesome possum! I think I just might try this...come July. :)

Miss Chef cooks like that, too. How much? "Some." How long? "'Til it's done." Ingredients, method, that's all we need in our home.

BTW, I think the basil-chopping word you're looking for is "chiffonade."

Julie said...

Mmmmm! That looks like mighty tasty eatin'!

judy in ky said...

You have it so good... green grass in January, and Trader Joe's. We have neither. I think I could round up most of those ingredients, though. Looks like it's worth a try!

Tracy said...

WOW--not that is a pizza! Thank you for sharing this great recipe with us, Natalie! We have to make this soon, as hubby & I love pizza--especially for a Saturday night treat. The getting of really good tomatoes here in Norway mid-winter, now that will be a challenge as all are imported now and tend to taste like water. I have to scroll up and look at those photos again. ;o) Happy Week to all of you (( HUGS))

Karla said...

Oh, yum! I love your bread loaf idea. I'm going to try this pizza!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Say *Cheese!*
I want a picture on my wall of all of you, and all your pizzas! Awesome Possum! lol!
If I could, I would get us all together on our green lawn, then *cater* to you with lazy pizzas!
Thank you friends! And please, if you make your own pizzas, let me know!

Liz Harrell said...

Nothing lazy about that! I'd just call it "Awesome." :) Looks delicious.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I think it's skipping the dough... it feels liberating and fast, if I am not rolling out dough!
Know what I mean?

the sleepy time gal said...

ohm my goodness! i'm reading your blog for the first time and am drooling at 10pm! looks incredible. thanks for sharing the steps.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Cooking Muse, I timed your lazy pizza (by making my own) and it may be that 25 minutes at 350 will work.

Tiglizzyclone said...

Shoot! We had pizza tonight... frozen, from a store. I am positive it didn't taste as good as yours!

It sure didn't look as good as yours. We will try this!

Jennifer said...

I can feel (and practically taste!) a new approach to Friday Pizza Nights at our house, although you're right about the fresh veg being a little tricky out here in the frozen tundra....

Marlini Ridlis Ismail said...

I just love those pizzas! Its so tempting and drooling! Thanks for sharing!

Oiyi said...

That Lazy Pizza is brilliant, my dear. You have inspired me.

Susan said...

OMG! That looks sooooo good! Like Italian salad on a thick, airy crust! My mouth is watering now; in fact, I'm drooling all over the keyboard. I just went to TJ's last week and spent many dollars, but I will have to go again Wednesday after I get my hair cut and get the ingredients for this. I haven't tried the quattro formaggio, but I love their mozzarella. Have you tried the asiago with rosemary and olive oil? It is to die for.

Emily Cole said...

Great - now my mouth is watering! YUMMMMYYYYYY!!! I wish I had time to tend to my garden this year! The lazy pizza looks gorgeous, and so flavorful!