Back from a short trip to Arizona, I wanted pizza. Maybe it was the lazy sunny days, but I didn't feel like cooking. Here are just a few treasures in Arizona.
On the last day two hummingbirds flew down by our feet. I was so shocked I didn't think to snap a picture of them, but I did get this one:
So bright even the dogs wear shades in Arizona.
Who wants to cook?
I didn't want to go to a lot of trouble but I had a craving for pizza. Delancey is too far away and probably beyond my budget. I didn't want to go to the trouble of making a crust. I've had my share of kitchen nightmares with a too soggy or burned crust, so I decided to get something at least semi pre-made. And as for the topping I needed to take more photos of roasted vegetables for an article I worked on for this magazine.
Roasting makes vegetables more tasty, even tasteless winter tomatoes have flavor when roasted.
I used Roma for this recipe. They are not on the dirty dozen list, but if you prefer organic, don't let that stop you.
I've never made a kale pizza before, but that's what I wanted. I was sure it wasn't anything I'd invented (nothing is really new, not even in the kitchen) and I found a kale pizza recipe at Vegetarian Times with sweet potatoes and goat cheese, but seriously when does goat cheese not taste like the barn? I'd go for an almond cheese instead. Some people felt the need to add bacon to kale pizza and one celebrity chef, the skinny Italian, added meatballs. So you see why I created my own recipe.
Pizza is meant to be the lazy chef's dinner. Pizza and a movie, right? Keep it simple so everyone can enjoy it.
Mushrooms are always on my weekly shopping list. Shiitake mushrooms are great for boosting the immune system and they're perfect on pizza.
Add more toppings if you want, but it was perfect with just these three. And we had enough tomatoes so we can make a pasta dinner tonight.
Add a little garlic to the oil, and after 30 minutes of cooking plenty of moisture was released from the tomatoes. My Cooking Assistant likes to inspect all cooking processes. The only problem is, he is sometimes inclined to sample the goods.
What happens in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen.
The house was filled with that amazing roasted garlic scent. See the little chunks below.
Here's the recipe:
Roasted Tomato, Kale and Mushroom Pizza
(1 15-inch pizza)
8 to 10 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 or 3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup grated almond cheese or use your favorite pizza cheese
1 frozen or packaged pizza dough, stretched to a 15-inch pizza pan
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced and stems removed, if they are large
1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and sliced
1/2 to 1 cup chopped kalamata olives
Crushed red peppers
Preheat oven to 350F. Place tomatoes cut side down on a parchment-lined pan. Press garlic into half the olive oil and drizzle over the tomatoes. Place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft but retain their shape.
Prepare pizza dough according to directions. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and add the shiitake mushrooms. Stir and cook for a few minutes, then add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, stir, add the kale and stir again. If necessary add a little water, cover the kale for about 5 minutes or until it wilts and the mushrooms are soft. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle cheese over dough. Use tongs to distribute kale and mushrooms over the pizza.
Place the roasted tomatoes around the pizza. Bake according to pizza instructions. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.
My Cooking Assistant's slice of the pie