My partner for this month's Secret Recipe Club is Josefine of The Smoothie Lover. I was immediately impressed with the gorgeous photography on her website, and it kind of made me want to make everything! I was seriously tempted by her many varieties of granola, honey-fig scones, ricotta-asparagus quiche, and pumpkin-ginger soup. Um, is anyone else hungry?
Eventually I settled on one of Josefine's pizza recipes. This one swaps the usual tomato sauce for a puree of roasted red peppers and fresh basil -- it's so simple yet full of flavor, and it makes for a great twist on your typical sauce. Thin slices of fresh mozzarella top the sauce, and they bubble up so beautifully in the oven. Then everything gets topped off with more fresh basil and very lightly dressed greens. You can use whatever greens you like here -- Josefine suggests arugula, which would be really tasty; I had a mix of mesclun and baby spinach in the fridge, which was also delicious. The greens wilt ever so slightly on the hot pizza so that you get your main dish and salad all in one! The flavors here are killer -- I will definitely be making this one again for a future pizza night!
Serves 2-4, depending on your appetite!
1 pound whole wheat pizza dough
8-10 ounce jar roasted red peppers
8 leaves fresh basil, plus more to top the pizza
Salt and pepper
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, preferably buffalo if you can get your hands on it
Salad greens (i.e. bably spinach, arugula, etc.)
A drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray or grease with oil.
2. Press the pizza dough out as thin as you like it. Pre-bake for about 5 minutes or so, until the top surface of the dough is dry.
3. Puree the peppers and basil along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. I used an immersion blender, but a regular blender or food processor will work as well.
4. Spread the sauce over the pizza dough in a thin layer.
5. Thinly slice the mozzarella and spread over the red pepper sauce.
6. Bake until the crust is nicely browned and the cheese is melted. Timing will depend on how thick you made your crust.
7. Meanwhile, thinly slice more fresh basil and set aside. Toss the salad greens with a little balsamic vinaigrette.
8. When the pizza comes out of the oven, sprinkle with the fresh basil and salad greens.