Motivation. Got some you want to lend me? I promise I’ll take good care of it and return it to you in perfect condition, with a slice or three of this Sourdough Vegetable Pizza with Roasted Garlic Chevre Cream Sauce.
I have lacked the M word for some time now, especially when it comes to cooking, baking, photo processing and writing – outside of my BBFL memory, which is therapeutic writing for me. Writing, cooking, baking and photographing pretty much sums up a food blog, huh? I’ve made promises to people that I’ve delayed and delayed and delayed.
It all started with everything that went on from late February through May. It continued with the crazy heat, making me not want to turn on the oven or do anything outside of lounging with a jar of peanut butter or nutella, something to dip in it, and the remote control; the AC on POLAR ICE.
Not a pretty picture.
Well..I’ve been tackling these promises one by one, and today is one I was very much looking forward to until the proverbial shit hit the fan, or, in my case..the AC.
Early last March, my friends Shelley of C Mom Cook,, and Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood, started a sourdough challenge called Sourdough Surprises after loving this Daring Bakers challenge. With their new pets in their refrigerators, they decided to continue to create all sorts of treats using it – from sourdough bagels, to sourdough pretzels, ad infinitum. I wanted in, and I discussed it with Shelley in a 2-hour-long conversation one lazy afternoon.
You remember Herbie, don’t you? Well..right before the first challenge, I killed him again. I put him in a turned off oven to sit, after feeding him, because he needed a boost before I extracted what I needed for the challenge.
Obviously, I forgot he was in the oven. No need to get into details; you know what happened. Herbie was literally baked. SO, I decided to gestate another Herbie. The new Herbie died because he wasn’t yet strong enough to miss a meal or two, and I forgot the meal or two. It was actually 10 meals, but who’s counting?
I think I might be a serial killer (cue dramatic music, then stop it and zoom in on my face); a sourdough serial killer.
Since I don’t have the motivation to build up another starter, and frankly, am not a fit sourdough mommy at this time, I was given a half cup by a friend who’s had her sourdough starter going for 2 years. She named him Butch. A little refreshing, and I was ready to turn Butch into pizza dough.
This month’s Sourdough Surprises challenge is pizza with a sourdough crust. I’m three days late. They’ve already moved on to pie for August, any kind of pie with a flaky, sourdough crust. If you want to join in the pizza dough challenge until the end of July, check it out and link it up HERE. To join in on the August pie challenge, click HERE for the instructions and the recipe.
Having said all that, I’m feasting the rainbow again and will continue to do so as much as I can this summer. To sum up this pizza pie, I took advantage of the summer bounty of vegetables, plus blue potatoes ( I could only find baby blues this time), which I just love, and created somewhat of a rainbow pizza on top of chevre with roasted garlic mashed in, and lots of fresh mooootz -ar- elll topped with some grated Grana Padano.
Three cheeses, roasted garlic, summer corn, basil, tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions and blue potatoes. Hot diggity! And, it’s vegetarian (well, dairy aka Lacto-ovo vegetarian).
OK, OK.OK. I have to admit something, although it’s pretty apparent in the photos. I forgot to add the tomatoes to the second pizza before I put it in the oven. The photo of the raw pizza with the tomatoes was eaten immediately because we were staaaarrrrving and didn’t want to wait for photos because it would get cold. Plus, I knew I’d be making another pizza for out of the oven photos with the second half of the dough, cheeses and veggies. Well, I forgot to add the dang tomatoes to that one, so I plopped them on the pizza after it came out of the oven.
This is why it looks more like a salad-ish pizza, than a cooked one.
You can use any kind of pizza crust you want, but of course I used the sourdough crust recipe that they provided, which is lovely. You can see the sourdough pizza linky round-up, HERE, and again, if you make a sourdough crust pizza before the end of July..link it up!
I wish I had been able to take photos of this pizza straight out of the oven so you could see all the hot gooey cheese dripping, but I couldn’t, so here’s a snippet of ‘now stagnant’ oozy, gooey cheese.
Although the photos show a thicker crust, I prefer a much thinner crust pizza, but I let this one do its bubbly, puffy crust thang because the dough tasted so unbelievably good. I wanted a thicker crust so I could enjoy more of it. You can roll it thinner if you prefer it that way, and yes, I really do taste dough for flavor before shaping and baking. Try it and you’ll see why!
ONE LAST IMPORTANT THING. After years of occasionally topping my pizzas and other baked Italian dishes with FRESH mozzarella cheese, I’m DONE. Fresh mozzarella is not meant to be melted, meaning it doesn’t remain ‘melty, stringy and gooey’ for more than a few minutes, and turns very rubbery when cooled down. Stick with the those store-bought packs of mozzarella (not the shredded..ever, shred it yourself). I use Polly-O; gooey, melty, stringy manna for days (well, at least 15 minutes). Save the fresh mozzarella for well, eating it FRESH. Yum.
That is all.
On another note, I want to thank a sweetheart of a girl and a fantastic baker, Uru (aka Chocolate Chip Uru), of Go Bake Yourself for two lovely awards she gave me – The Illuminating Blog Award and the Addictive Blog Award! I’m very flattered! Thank you, Uru!
Sourdough White Summer Vegetable Pizza
- I batch Sourdough Pizza Crust * or use any pizza dough you like.
- 6 ounces chevre or cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 head of garlic, roasted
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- mozzarella cheese..sliced, some shredded for topping (the amount depending on your stringy cheese preference)
- Grated Grana Padano or Asiago or Parm Reggiano etc..-whatever Italian hard cheese you like
- olive oil
- ½ pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or kept whole (I like the burst of small roasted tomatoes, so I kept them whole)
- 1 small or half a medium or large orange bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, ribs removed, and diced
- 1 small or half a medium or large green bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, ribs removed and diced
- Kernels from one ear of corn
- ½ a red onion, or one small red onion, diced
- about ¼ lb (4 oz) blue potatoes, steamed or boiled, peeled, and cubed
- Torn fresh basil
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the head into a bowl with the chevre or cream cheese. Mix together until somewhat smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside, covered.
- Preheat a pizza stone *** on the bottom rack of your oven at 500 degrees F for at least 20 minutes.
- Combine all the prepared vegetables in a bowl, and drizzle with a little olive oil..seasoning well with salt and pepper. Toss well.
- For one large pizza...press, roll, stretch and/or toss the dough to about a 12- 14 inch round. Place on a cornmeal or semolina coated pizza peel. Spread a thin layer of the roasted garlic cheese on the crust. Lay slices of mozzarella over the roasted garlic cheese..covering all the dough within ½ inch of the rim. Spoon the remainder of the roasted garlic cheese on top of the mozzarella cheese, then grab handfuls (with your impeccably clean and sterile hands) of the vegetables and scatter them evenly over the cheese.
- Shred some of the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle it on top of the vegetables, along with the grana padano or any Italian hard cheese you prefer.
- Quickly slide the pizza on the hot baking stone in one quick motion (it's in the wrist), and shut the oven door. Bake for about 8 -10 minutes for a large pizza..6- 8 minutes for the mediums, and 5 - 6 minutes for the small pizzas.
- Top pizza(s) with fresh, torn basil (if using) and lightly season with salt and fresh black pepper before serving.
** You will have leftover vegetables, especially if you make just one large pizza. Either make more pizza dough for another pizza, or make a vinaigrette and enjoy this as a cold summer vegetable medley.
*** You can stretch the dough on and bake this pizza on a greased and cornmeal or semolina coated sheet pan, if you don't have a pizza/bread stone. You just won't get the uber, crispy, crust a stone gives you.
I’m submitting this pizza to Yeastspotting, a weekly bread baking showcase hosted by the uber talented Susan of Wild Yeast.