This was a fun, fast, and easy pizza to make--and to eat. I'm sharing this today in part because while I find it pretty easy to throw together pizza dough most weeks due to near-constant practice, I know that making your own dough can seem very intimidating (pie crust intimidates me).
That's a big reason why I brain-dumped my Pizza Primer blog post, to demystify the whole thing. But I don't always make my own dough--or buy a ball of pre-made dough from the store. Some times I get pre-baked pizza crusts, like here or here.
And sometimes, I'm in the mood for pizza without all the pizza crust foolishness. Plenty of folks rave about naan or pita pizzas--they sound great to me, if only my kids would save me some naan. Milk and naan--they don't stick around in our house waiting to be consumed. Reminds me--I'm thinking the Indian-spiced slow cooker patty pan and beef dish to appear on Monday? Yes? No? Back to pizza . . . I like to experiment with different breads for our pizzas.
You know French bread pizzas? When I make them, from a loaf of day old French or Italian bread (I still call them all French bread pizzas after Stouffer's started the trend for me) they are usually too thick and too hard to bite after baking. I do love how easy it is to make them, though--no dough skills or extra time necessary--so I keep on trying. When I saw take & bake ciabatta bread marked down, I initially wasn't thinking pizza, but when a recent Friday afternoon loomed and I didn't have dough made, inspiration struck.
Using the par-baked bread means that the crust is just crisp enough when the toppings are warmed and the cheese is melted. This crust is an excellent vehicle for a wide range of toppings--but to keep it on the easy side, check your refrigerator. You've grilled veggies this summer, right? Got any leftovers?
I tossed my leftover veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, radish and red onion) with goat cheese, fresh parsley and a bit of cooked sausage and used that as one of my toppings. Just plain cheese on the other half for those in the household who aren't embracing the grilled veggie concept. Yet. I'm working on
I think this would make an excellent appetizer, or an excellent pizza for a party--you throw it together in minutes, shoot, it takes longer to preheat the oven--and each half can be its own blank canvas to decorate as you desire.
Grilled Veggie Ciabatta Pizza
1 Take and Bake style ciabatta loaf, unbaked (I used a La Brea Bakery Rustic Ciabatta)
1 cup chopped (leftover) grilled veggies (I used zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and radishes)
2 Tablespoons chopped onion (if you don't have any onion in your grilled veggie blend)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (the composting pigs love the stems)
1/4 cup cooked Italian sausage (optional, especially good to encourage hesitant grilled veg eaters)
1/2 cup pizza sauce of your choice (this is summertime, take it easy)
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
1/2 cup shredded cheese blend
pasta sprinkle, or any other Italian seasoning blend, to taste
Read the bag that your bread came in for what temperature to preheat the oven. Mine was 385 degrees Fahrenheit, so I preheated my oven and pizza stone to that temperature since for once I've got a digital oven. High falutin'. Slice the ciabatta loaf longways, as shown, and brush olive oil on the cut sides. In a medium bowl, combine grilled veggies, onion, parsley and optional sausage, if using. Set aside. Top ciabatta with pizza sauce, vegetable mixture, and cheeses. Shake pasta sprinkle or Italian herb blend over top. Bake according to the directions on the bread bag--I baked my pizzas for 8 minutes, directly on my pizza stone though a cookie sheet would be just fine. Cool a few minutes, then slice and serve. Good with a blueberry margarita, if you've got blueberries and margarita fixings and plenty of ice.
This pizza is joining the party at the From The Farm Blog Hop, the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Tasty Tuesdays, Mostly Homemade Mondays, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, What's Cookin' Wednesday, and What's In The Box.