We celebrated a birthday this weekend with children and adult guests, and we knew pizza would be appreciated. What a simple, delicious use of market veggies this time of year! It's quick to prepare, quick to cook in the heat - and we even used local goat cheese for our very local pizza.
1 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cups warm water
1 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
About 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
A sprinkling of olive oil
Four-six ounces of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 or 2 large ripe red tomatoes, sliced
1 green bell pepper,sliced
1 or 2 jalapenos, minced
A dozen whole basil leaves
5 ounces goat cheese
greek olives, opt.
a sprinkle of dried oregano if you have it
Measure 1 cups of flour into mixing bowl. Mix in yeast, salt, and sugar. Add water and olive oil and whisk together thoroughly. Add remaining flour one-half cup at a time, switching whisk for a wooden spoon as the dough thicken. Finally, abandon the spoon and use your hands, adding just enough flour to keep the dough from becoming sticky. Knead for 8-10 minutes and set aside.
Slice tomatoes and peppers, mince jalapenos, and separate leaves from basil stems. Preheat oven to 450. Oil pan (cookie sheet, jelly roll pan, official pizza pan, etc. - I used a 14" round pizza pan) and then roll out the dough to fit. Sprinkle dough very lightly with olive oil and spread over the crust with your flat hand. Lightly spread the pizza sauce on top. Arrange tomato slices, peppers, basil, and olives (and whatever else you've got). Flatten pinches of goat cheese over the veggies. Bake for 10-15 minutes on the middle rack.
One of the beauties of pizza is that you can top it with what you've got - add eggplant in the summer, squash in the spring, cherry tomatoes if you've got them, rosemary instead of basil... Leave off the spaghetti sauce for a more adult version. Leave off the jalapenos for the kids. Use local cheeses if you can, and vary them; there's no law that says it must be mozzarella. I'm impressed that so many cultures have some type of flat bread and veggie dish - from matzo and charoset, to pita and falafel, to tortilla and refries, to nan and lentils. Enjoy making your own Gainesville version!