A Valentine's Pizza to Show Your Love (Vegan, Vegetarian, or Omnivores: Pizza Night!)Love. In what I hope is the middle of my life, my thoughts on Love are broader than they used to be. I've always told my kids there is no single person that is the one for each of them. I mean, if you happen to take a different path one day and not meet that person, well, what then? I think respect, courtesy, and communication are very important building blocks of love. (Yes, desire and other things are important too. On to food.)
|Vegetarian option on the left, omnivore option on the right.|
One of the ways I show my love for my family is by cooking for them. I'm not alone in this! I consider myself fortunate that I also like to cook and am curious about new foods/new recipes, but even if I were just making the same seven staple dinners each week I'd be putting love into each meal. In fact, when we moved into our home <and I had a Groupon to use> I had the Penzey's Spices slogan made into a wall decal over my kitchen window.
|My kids think the font I chose is a bit wonky, and run around saying "Book them tasty food!" Little darlings.|
Even though I feed a house of omnivores, this pizza is an expression of my love for anyone reading who lives with and cooks for those with different dietary habits. Like with the bus stop method of home schooling, this is the bus stop method of cooking. You can stop the pizza where it suits you or your family's dietary habits. This pizza works for vegans, vegetarians, or beet-curious carnivores.
|A mere 1/2 cup of finely shredded beets turns the dough shockingly pink. I like it.|
I freely admit that I made the beet crust purely so I could blog about it. [Having shredded beets put up in the freezer played no small part either.] I was was thinking it would be something neat for Valentine's day. Then I remembered the taste of the Beet and Horseradish muffins that will appear on this blog on a future Muffin Monday. Having had those muffins, I know that my mom was right and beets pair well with horseradish. Horseradish, in turn, pairs well with roast beef. So it wasn't a big jump to get a Roast Beef on a Beet Crust Pizza drizzled with Horseradish Cream. The trickier bit was the flavors in the middle, and I am grateful to the males in my household for that.
My spouse and son kept asking for another pizza with fresh mozzarella, and on the drive home from sled hockey practice one night my son and I created the layers of this pizza. In our heads, at least. Now that I know to keep an eye out for the upcoming sell-by dates and snap up balls of fresh mozzarella as they are marked down in the fancy cheese area of the grocery store, I am happy to oblige their desire for fresh cheese.Thus far we have a shockingly pink beet crust with bright white discs of cheese, and I thought roasted garlic oil would be an excellent sauce in between those layers. Conveniently, in my fruit and veg freezer, I had a lone packet of caramelized onions next to the roasted garlic so I grabbed that, too.
Here's how this shakes out.
A Valentine's day dish for the vegans you love:
Caramelized Onions and Roasted Garlic Oil on a Beet Crust FlatbreadA Valentine's day dish for the vegetarians you love:
Caramelized Onions, Fresh Mozzarella, and Roasted Garlic on a Beet Crust PizzaA Valentine's day dish for the omnivore or beet-curious carnivore you love:
Roast Beast Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Garlic on a Beet Crust, Drizzled with Horseradish CreamYikes. That sounds ambitious. Let's start with the basis of it all--the beet crust. I prefer making my crust a day or three before use--it stretches so nicely when it's not brand spanking new.
|Vegetarian option: roasted garlic, fresh mozzarella, caramelized onion.|
|The fixings for horseradish cream, and I tossed the roast beef in the leftover caramelized onion 'juice'.|
|Omnivore option: with and without the horseradish cream drizzle. Must work on drizzling skills.|
3/4 cup (180 ml) warm water
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1/2 cup shredded beets
1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) + 5 to 6 Tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove roasted garlic
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
8 ounces fresh mozzarella (I used 8 ounces over both the pizzas made from the single crust)2-3 Tablespoons, up to 1/2 cup caramelized onions
1/2 cup chopped roast beef (optional--I don't usually make roast beef, so I bought a thick cut carving board type lunchmeat and used some of the package)
Horseradish Cream (optional--but good to let it sit at least 30 minutes to an hour)
1 teaspoon Penzey's Powdered Horseradish
2 teaspoons water
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
pinch Kosher salt, few grinds of pepper
Refer to my Pizza Primer for a large collection of pizza-making hints and tips in one post. In the bowl of a stand mixer, soften the yeast in the water. Add shredded beets (thawed, if frozen), a cup of each of the flours, and salt. Mix on low speed. Drizzle in oil. Let mix until combined, a good 5 minutes. If the dough is sticky (when making crust including vegetables it's hard to gauge the wetness until it's in the bowl) add an additional tablespoon of flour and mix for a few minutes. Repeat as necessary until the dough forms a ball around the paddle. Remove dough into an oiled container and set aside. [You can refrigerate this up to 5 days or freeze it if you like.]
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a pizza stone--if you have one--in it. Note: If you're planning on adding roast beef and drizzling horseradish cream over top of your pizza, make the Horseradish Cream now: combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set it aside for the flavors to blend.
In a small bowl, smash the clove of roasted garlic into smithereens and stir in the oil. Set aside. I've always wondered what a smithereen is.
On an oiled piece of parchment, stretch out dough into a pretty pink circle or square. Or be really talented and make it into a heart, then share the photo on the FarmFreshFeasts FB page. Spread roasted garlic oil over crust.
Here's the first stop on the bus stop method of cooking: if you're feeding the vegans you love, top this crust with caramelized onions and a grind of pepper. Bake as directed below. If you're feeding vegetarians, continue reading.Top the roasted garlic oil with thin discs of fresh mozzarella.
Here's the second stop on the bus stop method of cooking: if you're feeding vegetarians you love, top the pizza with caramelized onions and a grind of pepper. Bake as directed below. If you're feeding beet-curious carnivores or omnivores, continue reading.Slide the crust, on parchment, onto the baking stone. Use a cookie sheet if you don't have a stone. Bake for 5-8 minutes, until crust is puffed (and if you have cheese it is oozy). Slide the crust off the parchment and bake directly on the stone or cookie sheet for another 3-5 minutes.
Here's the final stop on the bus stop method of cooking: if you're feeding omnivores or beet-curious carnivores, top the pizza with roast beef and drizzle the horseradish cream over top. Return to the oven for a minute or two to heat the top.Cool the pizza on a rack for a few minutes, then slice and serve.
This post has joined the Valentine's Day Party at Buns In My Oven, the FarmGirl Blog Fest at Let This Mind Be In You, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up at Gastronomical Sovereignty, at What's in the Box at In Her Chucks, Food On Friday (twice), Taste and Tell Thursdays, and Tasty Tuesdays. Check 'em out!
|I made this pizza, along with Sweet Corn and Blueberry waffles, for brunch. It's good on Friday nights, too!|