Pizza is a staple in our house. I remember when my daughter, Sia was about two years and change- she was quite picky. She had no problem eating mushy food and didn’t want any texture at all. I slowly got her into the habit of eating adult food- pizza played a big roll in the process. We ran into our neighbors with their daughters around that time at a local pizzeria. Sia saw them eating pizza with olives- and that is what started her love of pizza- with olives! She must have eaten cups and cups of olives in the last four years. The people working at the place knew as soon as we walked in- a slice of olive pizza for Sia with a cup of olives on the side. I even looked up the nutritional value for olives- not too much. Since then, she has graduated to mushroom pizza. She loves it! She is very particular about the mushrooms though- turns out some places use canned mushrooms and they taste very different than the fresh ones. Well, she only likes the fresh ones- so we stick to our favorite pizzeria, Arturos.
I am always trying to make things she likes at home healthier so I don’t feel guilty about giving them to her more often. We have tried many different ways of making pizza at home over the years but nothing has been very delicious and authentic. What I like about making pizza at home is that I can control all the ingredients. I use my basic marinara sauce for the pizza sauce. I usually buy low-fat mozzarella cheese- although in this case I couldn’t find any so I used full fat- but I didn’t use too much of it.
I was making two pizzas that day- a plain one for the kids and a white one with spinach for the adults. I made the marinara sauce the morning of and kept it aside. I bought shredded low moisture mozzarella cheese to make my life easier. The plain one was quite simple to put together. I did add some olive oil to the crust before cooking it on the grill. The oil gives the dough a nice sheen and a crusty top. For the white one I mixed ricotta cheese with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. I added garlic powder and salt to season the cheese sauce. I sautéed frozen, chopped spinach with fresh garlic for extra flavor. Both adults and kids enjoyed the pizzas. I made a nectarine salad for the adults- the recipe will be up tomorrow. I served the apricot kuchen as dessert and of course some wine- we ended up opening two bottles!
To read more about pizza making at home, please read my post in New York Times blog, The Local. It will be out Wednesday, June 24th.
- 1 store bough pizza crust
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup home-made marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
- 1 pizza pan
Preheat the outside grill.
Preheat oven on the broiler setting.
Spread the pizza crust evenly into the pizza pan. With a brush, spread the olive oil on to the crust. Poke some holes with a fork- so the pizza dough doesn’t bubble up while cooking. Place the pizza in the grill and cover. Cook for 5-6 minutes- depending on how hot the grill is. Take the pan out once the bottom is golden brown.
Spread the marinara sauce on the partly cooked pizza crust. Next, add the cheese and place under the broiler. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes- keep a close eye, making sure the pizza doesn’t burn- unless you like it well done like us. Take out and cut into wedges to serve.
White Pizza- view the picture on: The Local tomorrow!
- 1 store bought pizza crust
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- ½ cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Mix the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and salt. Keep aside.
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
In a wide frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add the spinach and cook on high heat for 5-6 minutes, making sure all the moisture is cooked off. Add the salt and garlic. Mix well and check for seasonings. Keep aside.
Spread the pizza dough into a pizza pan. With a brush, spread the olive oil on to the crust. Poke some holes with a fork- so the pizza dough doesn’t bubble up while cooking. Place the pizza in the grill and cover. Cook for 5-6 minutes- depending on how hot the grill is. Take the pan out once the bottom is golden brown.
Spread the ricotta cheese on the partly cooked pizza crust. Add the cooked spinach, spreading it evenly.
Broil for 3 to 5 minutes- keep a close eye, making sure the pizza doesn’t burn. Take out and cut into wedges to serve.