Americans usually think of pizza as being a crust topped by tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Often, of course, there are other ingredients but the sausage, mushrooms, eggplant, onions, anchovies etc. are optional. In truth a delicious pizza starts with a crust but after that the components can be many and varied.
In August most vegetable gardens are in full production mode and it’s the perfect time to make summer pizzas. That crust can be brushed with olive oil and topped with any number of garden harvests. Chard, summer squash, fresh tomatoes, herbs, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers for example.
If your garden produce is quickly cooked you can place it on the crust raw. Spinach, arugula, chard and herbs can all be mounded on whole or cut into ribbons and sprinkled on the pizza. Onions, potatoes, and summer squash can be sliced very thin with a mandolin and layered on the crust raw. Thicker slices are better pre-baked.
To make a Summer Garden Pizza go out to your vegetable plot and pick what’s in season. Either make a pizza dough or buy one at your local grocery store or favorite pizza parlor. (Most pizza places will sell you a ball of fresh dough.) Choose your favorite cheese and herbs, slice the veggies and you’re ready to make pizza.
After the dough is rolled out brush it with olive oil and sprinkle the area with the herbs of your choice. Oregano, thyme, and basil are favorites and chives, scallions or garlic chives are wonderful too. Arrange the veggies on next and top with the cheese. Be sure to try goat cheese or crumbled feta.
Bake the pizza in a pre-heated oven (375 degrees is what I use), your wood-fired outdoor pizza oven or a barbeque grill.
An unbeatable summer dinner? You can grow that!