We seem to be swimming in vegetables lately. Farmers at the market have been gifting us with wonderful stuff each week after the market and our own little garden is beginning to produce. We've been serving squash, beans, onions, peppers, tomatoes, okra daily, and each week's particular combination determines what our weekly cafe soup will be (something a la squash this week for sure!). Within the last 24 hours we've also used them on pizza and in veggie pockets. The dough is the same for either one - and the veggies were the same too, although with very different results.
Last night's pizza consisted of different combinations of "veggie pizza:" Basil and Tomato, Squash and Pepper, Onion and Pepper, and All of the Above. Bella!
The veggie pockets were born out of desire to share lunch more often with hungry folks - without the environmental impact of dishes to wash or to dispose of. We've had quite a few different combos so far, including Greens and Beans (collards and kidneys seasoned with red pepper and vinegar), Cheesy Rice and Greens (Rice, colby-jack cheese, and swiss chards [the bright lights variety is so colorful and pretty] seasoned with salt and pepper), and today's Peppery Squash and Rice (yellow squash, zucchini, banana peppers, mozzarella, and onions seasoned with ground chipotle, oregano and basil).
One of the pleasures of both dishes is the art of combining ingredients for both taste and beauty. Most of our folks like spicy food, and the spicy saltiness combines well with a slightly sweeter bread dough (I double the sugar in the bread/pizza dough recipe). And the beauty of various colors together creates a healthier mix for the veggie pocket as well. I added peppers today just to get a little more green in there, and it tasted great. If I had had some red pepper flakes I would have added those instead of the ground pepper for the same reason. If you like to play with food, this is an ideal venue for having at it.
The other pleasure is that they lend themselves so well to group preparation. The recipes and technique are simple, so it's a nice mindless activity to include a child or friend in. Last night Riley assisted John with the bread kneading and cheese grating. This morning, several people stopped what they were doing to come roll out some rounds for the veggie pockets. The extra help hurried the process along at the end (I was running late), and it was fun.
Here are the recipes:
Basic bread dough (two large pizzas or about 32 veggie pockets [you can freeze them])
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups water
Enough white dough to make a stiff dough
Mix whole wheat flour, salt, yeast, and sugar together. Add water and stir together with a whisk. Add white flour until stiff dough forms. Knead for about 10 minutes.
Roll dough out into two (or more if your pans are small) disks and place on oiled pans. Cover with marinara sauce, then grated mozzarella, then sliced veggies. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (watch it carefully).
Double the sugar in the bread dough recipe. Divide dough into approximately 30 pieces (more or less), shape dough into disks 4-6 inches across. Place sauteed vegetable/grated cheese/bean mixture in center of disk leaving about 1/2 inch on the edges. Fold dough over and seal with fingers. Bake on oiled baking sheets in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.