Monday, March 14, 2011

Pizza - Fast Food Trip to the Salad Bar

Ohhhh - Ahhhhh Artsy Fartsy photo...

But what's in it?  I can see sliced tomatoes and mushrooms...

And add Black Olives to the list...

I had to do the artsy fartsy photos first because the finished pizza looked misshapened.  Like most pizzas, tasted terrific, just looked a little bit like the state of Iowa.

OK, this pizza (part of the PIZZA 2011 PROJECT - 52 different pizzas in a year) is among my very favorites.  It is indeed fast food.  I am finding out the difficulties working people have putting "fresh, local and best" on their tables, night after night.  Some days the appeal of picking up a phone is almost too tempting.

So, for this week's pizza, I present a homage to working people everywhere.  Something easy, fast, convenient and yet, fresh, and while may not be best, it certainly is better.

No recipe today, just more of a reminder of what pizza is.  Crust, sauce and toppings.  I enjoy taking time, planning, shopping and hours in the kitchen as much as the next hobbiest.  But some days you just don't have the time (or energy).  But before you reach for the phone for delivery (or hunt through the freezer), consider this fast food alternative...

Stop at the local well supplied grocery store that has a salad bar.  Everything is all cut up and ready for you.  I picked up a small container with a sampling (about 2 tablespoons of each) of...

Black olives
Tomato slices
and my new favorite ingredient for pizza... Artichoke Hearts! (total cost for the container was about $4.00)

That same well stocked grocery store will have a variety of jarred tomato sauces.  If you plan ahead and shop well, you can use coupons and buy sales to replenish your pantry and have a jar hanging around.  I draw the line at $2 a jar, never pay more (for a quality jar like Newman's Own, you have to hunt coupons and shop sales, but $2 even for Paul's own, it can be done).

That same well stocked grocery store will have pre-made pizza crusts for sale (usually outrageously priced at about $4 for 2).  You can even find pizza dough fresh made, ready to bake at some very well stocked stores or pizza dough in a freezer section.  Me, I make a batch once a week.  Usually I can get 3 or 4 pizzas from each batch.  If you make them all within a week, they are fine in the fridge.  Or, make ahead and pop in the freezer.  Either way you like to do it, you get some pizza dough.

And finally, for the cheese, a few slices at the deli counter (maybe a dollar), or a ball of mozzarella cheese.

At any rate, your total investment is around $12.  Much less if you make your own dough (you can find my favorite dough recipe by clicking HERE).  Gets this under $10.

Dough... Rolled out thin or thick

Sauce, flat of a spoon, spread evenly


And toppings... If everyone likes everything, go ahead and spread the entire pie with everything.  Personally, I like tasting each ingredient.  When there are too many, you don't get the isolated taste of a single ingredient.  So, I went for the look you see.

Bake on a pizza stone, pre-heated to 500 degrees for about 12 minutes...

And seriously, try an artichoke heart on your next pizza... Sweet, roasted and wonderful!



  1. I would have just told people that you had INTENTIONALLY made your pizza into the shape of Iowa. As an homage of some kind. Not sure to what or who...but I'm sure you could have figured it out :P

    Love this crazy variety of toppings! This way you get something different in every bite!

  2. Superb. I too make dough once a week and manage to get at least three pies out of it. I too end up with mis-shapen pizzas that look most often like a capital D that fell over on its side. Thanks for the post, Dave!

  3. It's not has character ;)

  4. Pizza is my all-time favorite dish! Since I don't know how to make one, I visit the nearest pizza fast food chain in our neighborhood and enjoy a slice or two. I want to know how to make one, though, so I can learn how to cook my favorite food. =)