Monday, January 30, 2012
Broiled Vegetable Pizza Sauce...
Everyone it seems love pizza, and I am certainly no exception. There’s just something so overwhelmingly satisfying and comforting about it. It’s become something of an ingrained cultural ritual for most people. We eat it at parties, and family gatherings. We pick it up when we get off work late, or grab a slice to eat on the go at lunch. It was a favorite childhood food for most of us enjoyed at all the best occasions and celebrations. We eat it when we have late night cravings and enjoy it cold the next day for breakfast - or at least I do - Then there are some days where you just want some of that greasy oozy-gooey goodness.
These days I don’t eat as much pizza as I used to. Partly because I don’t consider it to be a particularly healthful food, - not the way most restaurants make it anyway - but also because I’m just the type of person that enjoys constantly engaging in new culinary experiences. As much as I love it I couldn’t eat pizza all the time, and I’ve never been the kind of person who only ate one kind of pizza and that was it. I find that very boring. Not to mention limiting. I prefer to constantly change things up. I despise limitations. I relish freedom and choice, and am always looking for ways to fully take advantage of both, especially in the kitchen. So these days when I do eat pizza I take great pleasure in making my own. I love coming up with new combinations of ingredients and seeing how they work together.
My favorite kinds of pizza are the kind absolutely loaded up with veggies, I also appreciate creative sauces. Classic marinara is fine, and certainly has it’s place, but I like my pizza sauce to have a little more pizzaz. I love pesto on pizza, I also love a good garlic cream sauce on pizza, roasted tomato sauces are good too, as is a good sweet and smokey barbeque sauce. So the last time I decided to whip up a few of my own pizza creations I thought why not try my hand at making a nice delicious pizza sauce?
The following recipe is what I came up with after a little bit of thought. I love broiled veggies so much, and thought they'd be wonderful blended into a sauce, lending it a sweet yet robust flavor. I was very happy with the finished product, and the great thing about it is that while there are several steps involved it is very easy. This sauce recipe makes enough for at least 3 14 inch pizzas with still a bit leftover. A great idea for the remaining sauce If you don’t want to freeze it is to heat a bit in the microwave and then drizzle it over the finished pizza. Or heat some to use as a dipping sauce. Super tasty! Another nice thing about this sauce is that it’s very versatile. You can literally pile any kind of veggies you like on top of it and it’ll go remarkably well. I used sweet potatoes and beets sliced thin on one pizza. Tomatoes, zucchini and asparagus on one, and spinach, onions, and peppers on another. Experiment and see what you like best.
Broiled Vegetable Pizza Sauce
3 Medium Sized Tomatoes on the Vine (it’s okay if they’re a bit overripe)
½ a large Vedalia Onion (or other sweet onion)
1 Large Red Pepper
6-8 cloves garlic
1 tsp Agave nectar (or to taste)
1 tsp lime juice
Fresh parsley, oregano, and basil to taste
Sea salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Set Broiler to high.
- Slice tomatoes, and red pepper in half and lay on a lightly greased broiler pan. Slice your onion half in half again and place it on the broiler pan along with the other vegetables.
- Broil vegetables until skins are blackened. You don’t want them to be entirely black and burnt, just charred a bit. Remove from oven, place onto plate or into bowl and stick in the freezer for a quick cold shock, about five minutes.
- While vegetables are in the broiler, brown garlic cloves in a dry skillet over medium heat. about five or so minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove vegetables from freezer, skins should easily peel away from the tomatoes and pepper. Discard, along with the outermost layer of onion. Place vegetables into a highspeed blender. If there is juice remaining on the plate or in the bowl you used to hold the vegetables when putting them in the freezer pour that into the blender as well..
- Add garlic and herbs, agave, and lime juice. Blend on high until everything is combined and smooth. Add a little sea salt and black pepper.
- Next spread a generous amount of sauce onto your prepared pizza dough. Everyone likes a different amount of sauce so that is up to you. I personally like very saucy pizza, since I don’t eat cheese on my pizza the extra sauce gives it that extra oomph. Make sure to spread the sauce evenly then assemble your pizza toppings as you like and bake according to recipe directions.
So there you have it, a quick and easy pizza sauce that’s delicious and gives you the added satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself from scratch. Nothing better then that.
And incase you are curious about the pizza I have pictured here, it’s a very simple concoction that was absolutely heavenly. I used Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s pizza crust recipe from "The Vegan Table" topped it with my Broiled Vegetable sauce, then arranged thinly sliced tomato, and zucchini on top. Added sauteed red peppers, and red onions then finished it off with some shaved asparagus, some chopped green onion and some freshly cracked black pepper. Delicious!
Also my apologies for not actually taking a picture of the sauce on it’s own, that was very neglectful on my part.
*** Note - While my sauce is gluten-free, soy-free and oil-free. My pizza was not gluten-free or oil-free. I always brush my crust with a bit of olive oil before baking to get it a bit crispy, you don't have to. Also it is very easy to make gluten-free pizza and you can even buy pre-made gluten-free crusts or pre-made gluten-free pizza dough mix at many grocery and health food store chains. ***