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How to Make a Veggie Pizza Even Meat-Lovers Will Devour

Veggie Pizza with basil

Greg Dupree

Pizza, everyone’s favorite fun food, is even better when it’s made with the season’s tastiest veggies. Think: hearty greens, beets, squash, and sweet potatoes. “The beauty of making a vegetable pizza is that there’s no right or wrong — pretty much anything you love goes, and you can make it really exciting,” says Emily Hyland, of Pizza Loves Emily in New York and Emmy Squared.

Her No. 1 rule: Experiment by prepping veggies in different ways for a variety of tastes and textures. Read on for Hyland’s creative ideas for perking up your veggie pizza, plus her tips on baking the best crust. (Related: These Healthy Pizza Recipes Will Convince You to Skip Takeout for Good)

Start Off with the Best Crust

  1. Buy uncooked dough at your favorite pizza place. Most of them will sell it to you — just ask.

  2. Use a pizza stone, the back of a pre-heated baking sheet, or a pan that conducts heat well, like a cast-iron skillet, to cook your pizza. This will give the crust crispiness and some char too, says Hyland.

  3. A hot oven creates the best crust. Bake your pizza at 500°F, or as close as you can get to it.

(Going low-carb? Stick with this pizza crust recipe instead.)

Get Creative with Veggies

Nothing is off-limits when it comes to prepping veggies for pie, says Hyland. Start with the methods below, then play around. For the ultimate experience, combine all three ideas on one veggie pizza.

Keep them crunchy.

Roasting hearty vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, beets, and squash before putting them on your pizza deepens their flavor and gives them a pleasant chewiness, says Hyland.

Turn them into a sauce.

Puree steamed, roasted, or sautéed vegetables, and spread across your pizza for all-over flavor. Try butternut squash with sage, mushrooms with truffle oil, or a punchy red pepper puree.

Pickle them.

Balance the rich, creamy notes of a cheesy pizza with the acidity from pickled vegetables, says Hyland. Some good options: pickled jalapeños, onions, Calabrian chiles, cauliflower, and kimchi.

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Go for leafy greens.

“Greens on top of pizza elevates the eating experience, lending a textural contrast between the cool leaves and warm crust,” says Hyland. She likes hearty varieties like kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and a crunchy slaw. Add a zesty pop from vinaigrette, and dig in.

Load Up On Toppings

These ingredients will take your veggie pizza in a bold new direction. Experiment with a few of them, or layer on a bunch for even more goodness.

  • Fresh herbs: Scatter leafy-green herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, oregano, thyme, and tarragon over your sauce.

  • Cheese: What’s a pizza without it? Use mozzarella, pecorino, ricotta, Havarti, smoked Gouda — whatever you like.

  • Pesto: Blend herbs with olive oil and nuts like pistachios, almonds, or hazelnuts to make a pesto, and spoon on top of the veggie pizza before cooking it. (You can use up your leftover sauce by making the TikTok-approved pesto eggs.)

  • Chiles: Infuse olive oil with Calabrian chiles, and drizzle on your veggie pizza.

  • Squash: Make a creamy puree with it, and use as a sauce.

  • Kimchi: It delivers spicy, tangy flavors and texture.

  • Crunchy vegetables: Cauliflower and broccoli are great roasted until just crisp-tender.

  • Olives: A handful of green Castelvetrano and kalamata olives adds saltiness and a pleasantly briny flavor.

  • Salsa: Use it as a sauce for a Mexican-style pizza.

  • Honey: It’s the ideal drizzle for veggie pizza, boosting the flavor of the pie with its sweetness and depth, says Hyland. (BTW, pizza isn’t the only way you can use honey in your cooking.)

  • Jalapeños: Like it hot? Slice jalapeños thinly, and sprinkle over pizza.

  • Beets: Shave them, layer them on pizza, drizzle with flavored oil, and bake.

  • Red onions: Pickle them to add some notes of acidity.

  • Dried herbs and spices: Oregano is a classic; try Aleppo pepper or chile flakes for a little heat.

  • Mushroom Truffle Cream Sauce: Puree mushrooms with truffle oil, and dollop on pizza.

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