Monday, January 18, 2010
Pesto and Zuchinni Pizza with Multigrain Crust
Mmm pizza...it CAN be healthy! I am so glad, because I could never have given it up.
In the interest of doing a little diet re-modelling, I've been reading about the Mediterranean diet and it's health benefits. One thing I have decided to do for myself is eat less red meat and more fish...thus my 2010 Fish Challenge! My idea is to eat vegetarian or pescetarian two days out of each week. This will be quite a feat, for a person who loves meat as much as I do. But,I loves me a good challenge!
This pizza, therefore, is representing What's for Eats on Day 1 of the challenge. All the toppings are vegetarian, and yum-yum delicious! While I do love a good pita pizza, sometimes I want a real homemade thin, crispy crust. This one is made from multigrain flour, besides being more whole grain it gives the crust a little extra crackle to bite into. The cheese is minimal, using a good sharp Swiss and Parmesan to supplement the melty mozza gives it a nice flavour. This recipe makes one big gorgeous serving, or two servings for people with delicate appetites ;).
Pesto and Zucchini Pizza with Multigrain Crust
1/2C multigrain flour (lightly spooned into a measuring cup, or weigh out 60g)
2T all-purpose flour
1/4C hot tap water (depending on how hot your water gets...should feel very warm but not too hot to hold your finger in for a few seconds)
1/2 tsp quick-rise yeast
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp pesto
1 Tbsp pizza sauce
30g low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated
15g Swiss cheese, finely grated
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
zucchini, thinly sliced
mushroom, thinly sliced
sun dried tomato, sliced
black cured olives, sliced
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, water, and sugar and allow to sit in a warm place for 10 minutes. You are probably thinking, hey you don't need to bloom quick-rise yeast, but I like to do it anyway....it aids rising and also it's a good way to make sure my yeast is still active. Sometimes it gets lazy, you know. After it has proven itself as rise-worthy (I have pretty low standards, really, just a bit of puffing and she's good to go), throw in half of the multigrain flour and salt. It should make a pretty wet dough. Add in the second half of the flour a bit at a time,as you may not need it all. The dough should not get too dry, you want it sticky and soft. Turn it out onto a clean surface and knead, using the 2 Tbsp of extra flour to keep it from sticking everywhere. When it feels smooth and elastic, roll it into a little ball and oil it up along with the bowl, then put it back in and cover with plastic wrap.Allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until you you are famished, whichever comes first.
Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with cooking spray and plop your dough-ball onto it. Using your hands or a rolling-pin, spread the dough to a desired flatness, mine gets to be about 9"x5" or so. Don't worry if it's not round, it's a proven fact that irregular-shaped pizzas taste better.
Spread on the pesto and pizza sauce (for pizza sauce I just use a spoon of tomato paste thinned with a bit of water and seasoned with salt, pepper, cayenne, and Italian herbs), then let the dough rest and re-rise for 10 minutes before putting the rest of the toppings on.
Preheat your oven to 450F. Top the pizza with half the cheeses, then dot with zucchini rounds, mushrooms, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. I also would have put some veggie pepperoni if I had any. Top with the rest of the cheese, and slide your masterpiece into the oven (middle rack is best). After 10 minutes, you should see the bottom of the crust browning, at this point switch the oven to broil and brown the cheese a bit, WATCH IT as it takes just moments and you don't want to burn your dinner after all this!
When it's ready to come out, slide it off the pan and onto a wooden board or paper bag to cool for a few minutes. Then cut it up and enjoy pizza night!
Nutritional values: Entire recipe is 524 calories,22.6g of fat, 26.6g protein, 59.2g carbs, 9.3g fibre, 735mg sodium.