Meatless Monday: Garden Pizza

This entry was posted on May 23, 2016 by Charlotte Bell.

meatless mondayA few days ago I opened my last pint of garden tomato sauce. Last fall, I made two different kinds of sauce with overflow of my tomato crop: fresh and roasted. The jar I’m currently dipping into is fresh, and so flavorful.

Not wanting to waste a precious drop of it, I’ve been using it in various combinations all week. My favorite treatment so far is a pizza I made on Saturday.

I’m a longtime pizza fan, having put myself through Indiana University working as a server at Mother Bear’s Pizza Barn for four years. The job was fun, owing to the loyal staff of fellow students who, uncharacteristically for many college-town restaurants, worked there for the duration of their college careers. I learned to love different combinations of ingredients—both simple one- or two-ingredient pies and pizzas that were loaded down with all the veggies on the menu.

Because I wanted to feature my garden tomato sauce, I kept this most recent pizza simple. Inspired by a recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, last weekend’s 13-inch-ish pizza featured just a few choice ingredients.

While I would love to have used the sauce straight, unadulterated by tomato paste, I’ve found that sauce for pizza needs more body than a simple, rather liquid, tomato sauce. It just holds up better with a little bit of paste.

Here are the ingredients I used:

  • 3/4 cup fresh tomato sauce, heated and combined in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. If you don’t have fresh sauce, a bottled sauce will do.
  • 30 pitted kalamata olives
  • a tablespoon or so of assorted fresh herbs from my back yard: oregano, marjoram, rosemary
  • dots of chevre (optional for vegans)
  • frozen ball of crust from Epicurean Chefs in Utah—a fantastic new discovery for me! Of course, you can either make your own crust or use a good frozen crust.
  • fresh arugula from my back yard

How to Assemble:

  1. Preheat oven to 500°.
  2. Dust a 15-inch pizza pan and ball of dough with cornmeal. Press dough out onto pan. Don’t worry about making a perfect circle. (If you use an already-formed frozen crust you can skip this step.)
  3. Spread sauce over the crust, leaving a 1-inch outer border.
  4. Arrange olives and chevre (if using) on top of the sauce and sprinkle with chopped, fresh herbs.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until crust begins to brown. Remove from oven and distribute fresh arugula leaves on top.

My version of this pizza was not gluten free or vegan, but you can omit the chevre for a vegan version, and create or buy a gluten-free crust if you’re sensitive to gluten.

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About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.