Monday, February 4, 2013

Homemade Pizza with Lemon-Thyme Olive Oil

Everyone loves pizza. You can't escape the little spell that melty cheese puts on you. Even vegans can't escape, trust me I have seen and tried plenty of vegan pizza's.

Pizza gets a bad rap because it's known to be pretty unhealthy for you. The only way to avoid this catch-22 situation is to make your own. Another benefit is that it's a lot cheaper than going out or ordering in. 

The other day I was having one of those days where pizza was calling my name. It wouldn't leave me alone! My original intent was to avoid the cheese and make a vegan pizza with hummus, somehow between deciding I want pizza and my trip to the store that intention disappeared. I decided some fresh mozzarella cheese would make much happier than hummus that day. I also wasn't really in the mood for tomato sauce - I know this is sounding weirder and weirder considering this post is dedicated to pizza but totally defying all the pizza rules. Instead I got creative, and honestly, I don't think I am ever going back to tomato sauce again. I found some frozen pizza dough that was only $1.50, so naturally I stocked up. 

I had a little bit of a brain fade with the frozen pizza dough. Wanting pizza that night, I forgot that when things are frozen you have to defrost them. It is recommended you defrost the dough in the fridge overnight. I decided to cheat,  and began scouring the internet for a quick way to defrost pizza dough. A lot of sites recommended throwing the dough in the microwave, but that didn't sit well with me. I decided to out the packaged dough in a hot water bath. The package had a lot of air in it so I had to put a pan on top of the packaged dough to be able to submerge it appropriately. This process took about 30 minutes. The middle of the dough wasn't exactly defrosted all the way but it worked out. 

Homemade Pizza 
lemon-thyme sauce
  • 1 package Il Fornaio frozen wheat pizza dough 
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • dried thyme
  • squeeze of lemon
Pre-heat the oven to 450. 

While the dough is defrosting, mince one clove (or two if you want more) of garlic. Combine with olive oil, thyme and a squeeze of lemon. Let marinate while prepping everything else. The lemon is the secret key ingredient here. Just writing about this makes me want to make another pizza with this "sauce."

When the dough is defrosted, roll it out on a floured surface to about 12 inches. Put the dough on a lightly oiled pan and cover it with the lemon-thyme olive oil goodness and layer on your toppings. I chose artichokes, black olives and spinach, along with my fresh mozzarella. 

Put the pizza in the oven for about 12 minutes, or until the edges are brown and the cheese is melted. 
Voila - easy and so delicious. 

I honestly don't know if I will ever order pizza from a restaurant again. This was the cheapest, most delicious pizza I have ever had. I probably spent less than $5 on the whole thing. Obviously the mozzarella was the most expensive ingredient but that was for the whole package, so I am not sure what the actual calculation might be. 

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