Pizza Today - September 2022 - 37

mean you can't feel indulgent with
vegetables. Whether it is finishing the
pie with burrata or adding a vegan
pesto (if you're also nixing dairy), give
your pie that extra up level.
* Don't over sauce. Pick one sauce
and stick to it. You don't want to
overpower flavors, nor do you want to
end up with a soupy pizza since most
vegetables naturally contain a lot of
water.
* Make sure you have a salty star. I
think a lot of people gravitate towards
meat-heavy pies because they want
to satisfy their salt-cravings. Done
right, veggie pies can also accomplish
this. Think roasted Brussels sprouts
(just give it a try, I don't think you'll
be disappointed), fried eggplant and
olives.
* Add texture. I mentioned it above
and I'll say it again, not only is it
important to have a balanced pizza
flavor wise, but also texturally. You can
achieve these textures by preparing
your vegetables different ways. I think
that this is an important element
for any pizza but especially for
veggie pies. I love to combine fresh
vegetables with roasted, sautéed or
pickled ones to elevate the mouth feel
of the pizza. Take onions for example.
A simple red or yellow onion will taste
completely different if you dice it, slice
it paper thin, roast it or pickle it.
* Look for inspiration seasonally.
Not all vegetables are good yearround.
Sure, you can most likely find
tomatoes in the middle of January, but
it doesn't mean that you should use
them. The flavor you get from a fresh
tomato in peak season simply can't be
replicated.
* Don't forget about your post-bake
finishing toppings. These can really
make a pizza. It's the first thing that
will hit your tastes buds and can be
visually stunning. Finishers are also
a great place to add some crunch
to your pizza. Use ingredients like
pumpkin seeds, candied walnuts,
shaved raw asparagus, sweetie drops or
snap peas.
* Don't overcook the vegetables. If you
are using good quality produce, let the
flavors speak for themselves. I know
a lot of people will sauté spinach or
mushrooms before adding them to
their pizzas, but I feel this isn't always
necessary. If you're sautéing them with
other items such as garlic or herbs and
the point is to create a specific flavor
profile, then go right ahead. If you
are doing it just to cook them down,
then I would say it is unnecessary as
most vegetables will cook in the time
it takes to bake your pizza. There are
of course exceptions, a few being: if
you are using a wood-fired oven and
the pie cooks in 90 seconds or certain
vegetables like beets or eggplant take
longer to cook.
* Add some heat. I'm a huge fan of
spice. I would say that at least half of
my menu has an added heat element
whether it is roasted jalapeños,
crushed Calabrian chiles or spicy
honey. I love how spice interacts with
the other elements of the pizza and
always leaves your taste buds reaching
for more. Heat is also a great way to
offset sweeter or saltier toppings.
When I'm creating new
vegetarian pizzas at my shop, I
try to keep all of these ideas in mind.
Usually I start with one vegetable or flavor
profile and build the pizza from there.
For example, one of our most popular
pizzas, the Green Mountain, is based off
a spinach and ricotta calzone that my
mom used to make. The pizza is basically
a deconstructed version. We start with a
mountain of raw fresh spinach, shredded
mozzarella, chopped garlic in extra virgin
olive oil and dollops of ricotta. After these
ingredients get cooked down on the pizza
in the oven, we pull it out and top it with
cold, sliced Castelveltrano olives, shaved
Parmesan and fresh basil. To me, this has
all of the elements a pizza (veggie or not)
should have. The cooked down spinach and
ricotta creates a creaminess, the garlic adds
a punch and the post-oven olives provide
a salty, crunchy burst. Another seasonal
pizza that I love highlights fresh peaches.
Made with sliced jalapeños for added heat,
mozzarella and finished with juicy, sliced
peaches, creamy burrata, fresh arugula for
some crunch and a drizzle of extra virgin
olive oil.
Sauce is also a fantastic way to create an
intriguing veggie pie. You can use simple
veggies on top of a more complex base to
build a flavorful pizza. If you're looking
for a tomato-based sauce, try vodka or an
arrabbiata. If you prefer more of a white
pie, you can embellish on a béchamel or
play around with different pestos. There
are tons of different flavor combinations
you can make with pesto depending on the
nuts, greens and herbs you use.
Some Veggie Pizza combinations to
get you started:
*
Assorted wild mushrooms, mozzarella,
Gouda, roasted garlic, pickled garlic
scapes and finished with burrata.
* Shaved summer squash and zucchini,
ricotta, mozzarella, drizzled with pesto
and finished with toasted pumpkin
seeds.
* Marinara sauce, roasted eggplant,
garlic, mozzarella, finished with
stracciatella and fresh basil.
* Purple potatoes (thinly sliced), fresh
mozzarella, thyme, rosemary, extra
virgin olive oil.
*
Roasted chiles (hatch green, jalapeños,
or whatever else you have on hand),
Brussels sprouts, mozzarella, roasted
sweet onions, finished with queso
fresco and cilantro.
When you are designing your veggie
pizza options, I encourage you to have
at least a few toppings that are both
interesting to the palate while being easy
to prep and execute. One of the beautiful
things about pizza is that you can take
simple ingredients and when you combine
them on a pie, they all come together. You
don't have to over think it or over-prep
them. The pizza does the work for you with
the sauce and cheese acting as a cohesive
element.
AUDREY KELLY owns Audrey Jane's
Pizza Garage in Boulder, Colorado.

Pizza Today - September 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - September 2022

Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike's Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
On Deck
Knead to Know
Destinations
Holiday Gift Cards
Pyramid of Hospitality
It's a Party Season
Veggie Pizzas
Versatile Pasta Shapes
Seafood Pizzas
Seafood Pizza
End-of-Year Tax Prep
National Pizza Month Planning
A Pizza and Pasta Northeast Preview
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - September 2022 - CT1
Pizza Today - September 2022 - CT2
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Cover1
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Cover2
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Commentary
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 4
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 5
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 6
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 7
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Digital
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 9
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Conversation
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 11
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Mike's Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 13
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 15
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 17
Pizza Today - September 2022 - On Deck
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 19
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 21
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 22
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 23
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Destinations
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 25
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Holiday Gift Cards
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 27
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 28
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 29
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Pyramid of Hospitality
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 31
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 32
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 33
Pizza Today - September 2022 - It's a Party Season
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 35
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Veggie Pizzas
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 37
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Versatile Pasta Shapes
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 39
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 40
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 41
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Seafood Pizza
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 43
Pizza Today - September 2022 - End-of-Year Tax Prep
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 45
Pizza Today - September 2022 - National Pizza Month Planning
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 47
Pizza Today - September 2022 - A Pizza and Pasta Northeast Preview
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 49
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 51
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 53
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 54
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 55
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 56
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 57
Pizza Today - September 2022 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 59
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 60
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 61
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 62
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 63
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 64
Pizza Today - September 2022 - 65
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Cover3
Pizza Today - September 2022 - Cover4
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