Can I just tell you?

I love pizza. I love the greasy, cheesy, salty deliciousness. However, when I make pizza at home I do try to lower the calorie count, and I like to add in a serving of vegetables or two. It makes me feel better about myself.

However, I will not sacrifice flavor.

And with this recipe I believe I have obtained the keys to flavor town.

And it all starts here:

Garlic.

Oh, garlic. How I love thee.

I love thee so much that some days I walk around smelling like a giant meatball from cooking with garlic the night before. Gross, I know. But so worth it.

Raw garlic is potent and very strong in flavor.

BUT. ROASTED GARLIC. Roasted garlic will change your life. I’m not even kidding.

You need it for this pizza (only 3-4 cloves), but I strongly suggest you do a couple of heads because you can put it on AN-Y-THING (think crusty bread, vegetables, on a sandwich).

Preheat your oven to 350. I just used my toaster oven because it is still too hot to have the whole giant oven on for 45 minutes.

Chop the top off of the whole head of garlic.

Put each head on their own little foil pan. Edges folded up so garlic juice doesn’t drip and burn all over the bottom of your oven thus stinking up your entire house.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle on a little salt.

Now, into the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

The garlic should be lightly browned and softened.

Oh. My. Garlic.

Yes.

Yes.

Forever Yes.

Ok, set that aside and lets start our pizza. Oven at 400 degrees.

Throw some cornmeal on the counter.

Roll out your pizza dough. I’m not insane, so I buy my pizza dough. Trader Joes has a good version for $.99. That seems WAY easier than making my own.

I like lots ‘o cornmeal on both sides. However, if you don’t groove on the cornmeal, you do need some at least on the side that goes on the pan. Well, I guess you only need it if you desire to get your cooked pizza off of the pan.

I use the Pampered Chef pizza stone because it keeps the pizza hot forever after it comes out of the oven.

Put your crust on the stone or on your pan (or if you are feeling crazy, on the grill!). Drizzle on some olive oil and spread it around.

This step is critical for delicious crust. I highly encourage you to generously cover the whole crust.

Sprinkle on salt (go lighter here), pepper, red pepper flake, and some parmesan cheese.

I find a crispy crust a necessity for a good pizza. So, I throw this in the oven for 10 minutes or so. After a minute or two it starts to smell really good, and I start to get a little drooley.

Now, for our veggie topping. I would like to state that for this pizza I opened the fridge and just pulled out what looked good to me that night (and what needed to be used before it went bad).

In a skillet, toss in a little extra virgin olive oil. I cooked up one half of a HUGE zucchini and one portobello mushroom.

After they were browned up a bit (and some of their moisture released), I threw in a few handfuls of chopped fresh spinach.

Let it cook down a bit. Put a little salt on the veggies. And turn off the heat.

So, about now, we should pull out the crust.

I would like to note that my main man never eats the pizza crust. However, he told me after this pizza that the crust made his life.

Ok, he didn’t use that exact phrase, but you get the idea.

Now, guess what time it is?

Lets take a few cloves of this roasted garlic deliciousness and spread them right on the crust.

I could eat the crust plain. Just like this. Forever and ever.

For the sake of the recipe, however, I will not.

Now pile on your cooked veggies.

I will warn you that the zucchini is pretty earthy. If you don’t like zucchini, I wouldn’t put it on the pizza. I happen to rather love it, so for me it works.

Obviously, put whatever YOU love on the pizza. This is simply what I love. This recipe can be whatever you want it to be. Don’t let the recipe be The Man, and don’t let The Man hold you down.

So, on top of the cooked veggies I added chopped green olives (LOVE), 1/2 chopped green pepper, 2 very small chopped white onions, and a ripe chopped (and de-seeded) summer tomato.

Ok, so roasted garlic was Key to Delicious Pizza tip #1.

Here is Key to Delicious Pizza tip #2: Fontina Cheese.

You know I love cheese. And fontina is perfect on a veggie pizza. I used a mild one from Trader Joes. Fontina can be a stinkier cheese, but I highly recommend you seek out a milder version. It may just change your life. If you can’t find it, you can use mozzarella. I guess.

Now, into the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is ooey gooey.

Ok, I have to go.

I must eat this. Now.

Sweet Mother of Pearl.

Happy eating,

Leah

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