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If you’re going to put vegetables on your pizza, don’t you at least want to have a little *fun* with it? Yes! You do!
We’ve been playing around with some vegetarian (actually vegan because they are all cheese-free) pizzas in the last few weeks and we’ve decided that there’s nothing more boring than a pizza with just a few vegetables plopped on top. Think about it this way – pizza dough is your canvas and you are the artist. There are millions of ways to make your pizza more interesting – perhaps even more beautiful – and at the very least a conversation starter.
First we used the mandoline slicer with four different colored carrots to create a woven “plaid” effect. The idea is to get long slices that are just thin enough to give you some flexibility to “weave” them – just as you would strips of pie dough for a pizza crust.
Hint: Remember that you’re going to see some “shrinkage” when the vegetables are baked, but if you keep the weave nice and tight it will stay in place.
Our next experiment was inspired by some beautiful baby radishes we found at the farmers’ market. We used the same mandoline slicer to slice them paper-thin. We then laid them out into a herringbone-style pattern to decorate a heart-shaped pizza. Again, make sure you account for some “shrinkage” because the radishes have a high water content.
Another day, we were fortunate to get our hands on some beautiful golden beets. Their brilliant yellow hue is just about the closest thing you could ask for in winter sunshine on a plate. We used the mandoline slicer to cut the beets into thin disc shapes, and then we arranged them in a circular pattern on a pizza crust.
For this one – and for all of them – it helps to drizzle some olive oil on top of the vegetables. The olive oil allows the vegetables to roast without burning while the pizza cooks at a high (usually about 450 degrees) temperature in your oven. Before serving, we sprinkled some kosher salt on top to add a little kick.
Last but not least, we realized that when you slice zucchini in the spiral slicer, you always get one really long noodle. So we took that noodle (OK, it took more than a few super-long ones) and turned it into a massive spiral design to decorate a pizza.
Hint: Don’t use too much sauce, and once you’ve laid the zucchini noodle down try not to move it too much or it will drag the sauce around.
If you want vegan pizzas, you can keep these pizzas as we made them without cheese. Of course, if you want to go the traditional cheese route, you can always add the cheese on top (or add vegan cheese if that’s your preference). Now grab those veggies and start having some fun!
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