Not quite vegan pizza
This pizza works with just about any vegetable that is wearing out its welcome in your fridge or windowsill. The idea is to make a thick sauce from caramelized vegetables and onions with tomato paste, and to use no cheese save parmesan or pecorino. We happened to have a few green peppers, some cherry tomatoes and a bit of kale. Caramelized peppers are mushy and sweet, not too different from fire roasted peppers (but less work, I say). They melt in the mouth, and are a nice sweet balance to the acidity of tomatoes.
Makes a 12 inch pizza with a very thin crust — good for 1-2 people.
.5 bag Trader Joe’s pizza dough (I liked the herbed one. Any is fine)
2 whole bell peppers, any color, washed and sliced in skinny strips, with seeds removed
1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
15 cherry tomatoes, washed, dried and halved or quartered
3 oz tomato paste (half a can in most common size)
.5 cup dark leafy greens, washed, dried and shredded
pecorino or parmesan
white wine vinegar
hot pepper flakes
Caramelize onions and peppers. Heat iron skillet on medium flame, without oil. Add onions and peppers, spread evenly and cover.
Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring only once or twice. Now raise flame to medium, and add oil, salt, pepper, oregano and hot pepper flakes. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Finally, add tomatoes and a few dashes of vinegar and let cook 5 minutes more.
Thin tomato paste with a small amount of water and stir into vegetables, until well coated. Lower flame and let cook a few minutes more. Turn off sauce when it begins to stick to bottom of pan.
Leave dough out of fridge for about 20 minutes before rolling. Toss kale in a bowl with lemon juice and set aside.
Preheat oven to 450. If using a pizza stone, make sure you put in a cold oven before preheating. Otherwise, it’s fine to use a cookie sheet topped with foil — just leave it out when preheating.
Roll out dough on a table dusted with cornmeal. Dust sheet or stone with cornmeal — this is especially important on the sheet, as without cornmeal your dough will stick (badly) to foil.
Using a wooden pizza tray, drop pizza on sheet or stone and bake. Check on pizza after 6-8 minutes — you want it to be lightly brown, with room to cook a few more minutes.
Remove pizza and top generously with sauce and grated pecorino. Bake for about 5 more minutes until sauce is hot to touch. Add kale and bake for about 3 more minutes, until kale is just starting to brown.
Serve pizza piping hot. Extra pecorino, a dash of lemon juice and salt and pepper are all nice toppings.