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By Jorj Morgan
Vegetable pizzas are a perfect dish to serve for friends and family. Much better than take-out, this pizza comes from your oven, bubbly hot and fragrant. The extra bonus is that you don't have to tip the delivery dude!
You can purchase bread-like crust from the grocery store, or make a yeast crust from scratch. However, my favorite veggie pizzas are made with frozen pastry dough. It is usually packaged with two sheets to a box and you need one sheet per pizza. Defrost the dough according to the directions on the package. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thickness. Since the dough is rectangular, it is easy to roll it out to the size of a jellyroll pan or to place on a cookie-baking sheet. But, you can roll the dough to fit a round pizza pan if you prefer. Place the dough in the bottom of the pan and crimp the edges to make a crust.
Mozzarella cheese is the glue that binds all of the other pizza toppings to the crust. Be sure to toss a generous layer of Mozzarella cheese on top of the dough. You may want to add a sprinkle of dried herbs like basil or oregano on top of the cheese. The flavor of the herbs is infused into the cheese as it melts.
My favorite pizza topping is a combination of sun dried tomatoes (I use the ones packed in oil) and goat cheese. Scatter sun-dried tomato halves over the cheese. Place the basil leaves around the tomatoes. Crumble (or spread) the goat cheese on top of the basil leaves. Place thin sliced red onion rings over the basil and tomatoes. Drizzle the pizza with some of the reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Top with the shredded Parmesan cheese.
Don't be shy about creating your own favorite pizza using whatever you have on hand in your pantry, or by harvesting the freshest vegetable in you garden. Remember to always start by layering the pizza dough with mozzarella (or other easily melted cheese) to secure the other toppings. Here are a few suggestions:
Pizza Sauce, Pepperoni, & Green Peppers
Sliced Tomatoes, Black Olives & Feta Cheese
Roasted Eggplant, Crumbled Bacon, & Blue Cheese
Crumbled Browned Ground Turkey, Jack Cheese & Jalapeno Peppers
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the pizza into the oven and bake for about 12 minutes. The crust edge will be puffed and golden brown. The cheese is melted and bubbling. Let the pizza rest for a minute or two before cutting
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