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Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza

Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza from Karista's Kitchen

Summer for me is all about easy, seasonal meals that delight the senses and tame the hunger like my Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza.

I call this playful food; because it combines such fun ingredients that play so well together. I have to admit, fruit and cheese are like long-lost lovers meant to be together. Whether they’re used in a sweet or savory recipe, they always happily compliment each other.

I like my pizza simply topped with just a few fresh ingredients. During the summer months I like to dress pizza with fresh made pesto from basil, arugula or spinach. If I’ve got a plethora of Swiss chard, kale and collard greens in the garden, I’ll often toss those into the pesto as well.  Then I top it with fresh summer fruit and either feta, brie or goat cheese.

The end result is a light but flavorful Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza that enchants my palate. Not to mention, it brings many happy faces to my table.

Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza from Karista's Kitchen

I’ve got a delicious pizza crust recipe included however, because I’ve got a gluten intolerant kiddo, I often make a low-carb pizza crust instead. It uses almond flour and mozzarella cheese as the base and I must say it’s divine. A little work to prepare but the end result is worth it. You can find the recipe here. There are several versions of this low-carb crust, however, I like this recipe and the website gives step by step instructions which makes it much easier when preparing the crust for the first time.

Cheers to the summer and all the summer deliciousness ahead!

Loads of Love,

Karista

Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza

Serving Size: 4

Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1-2 12-inch pizza crusts or pre-made pizza crusts, flatbread, Naan or pita bread rounds
  • 1/2 – 1 cup traditional basil pesto or your own homemade pesto
  • 4 apricots, pitted and sliced
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 bunch basil, whole leaves only
    Easy Pizza Dough
  • ¾ cups (6 ounces) lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

To Make the Pizza Crust
  • Heat the oven to 500° F. If you are using a pizza stone, place it in the middle of the oven.
  • Mixing the pizza dough - Measure the water into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast into the water and let it dissolve, about 30 seconds. Stir the water to dissolve the yeast.
  • Add the flour, salt and sugar to the water and mix with a wooden spoon or bowl scraper until the dough starts to come together.
  • Lightly dust the counter or board with flour and move the dough to the floured space. With floured hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Resting the pizza dough - With a bench knife, divide the dough into 2 pieces. Round each piece of dough and place the dough rounds on a lightly floured counter to rest for 30 minutes. (While the dough is resting, prepare your toppings.)
  • After 30 minutes, fold the dough by stretching each side and folding it into the middle of the dough. Gather the dough into a ball and let it rest again for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Shaping the pizza dough - Handling one piece of dough at a time, gently stretch the dough with floured hands. You can also use a rolling pin, but I prefer using my hands. Once the dough is about ¼ - ½ inch thick, lay it on a piece of very lightly floured parchment. You can adjust the shape at this point, but don’t worry about it being perfectly round. Shape the second piece of dough.
  • Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
  • To Assemble the Pizza
  • If using homemade pizza dough, spread ¼ cup or more of basil pesto on the pizza dough. Top with crumbled goat cheese, apricot slices and basil leaves.
  • Bake the pizza on the parchment in a 450°F oven either on the heated pizza stone or on a cookie sheet. The pizza is done baking when the crust is brown and crisp on the edge and bottom. This should take about 6 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven, garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Let it cool for about five minutes, then cut and serve.
  • If using a pre-made pizza crust, Naan, flatbread or Pita round
  • Reduce the oven heat to 400F and place them on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
  • Top the crusts with ¼ cup or more of basil pesto, crumbled goat cheese, apricot slices and basil leaves. Bake in the oven for about 5-8 minutes or just until the goat cheese looks soft and slightly melted and the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove it from the oven and garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Let it cool for about five minutes then cut slices and serve.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/06/18/apricot-basil-and-goat-cheese-pizza/

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pasta Sauces, Salsas and More vegetarian

    Making Pizza at Home

    Making Pizza dough at home // Karista's Kitchen

    If your family is like mine, trying to agree on what kind of pizza to order is sort of like a political debate – everyone has a different opinion.

    This is why I started making pizza at home.

    Making Pizza dough at home // Karista's Kitchen

    When my two sassy gals were little, Friday night was dubbed pizza and movie night.  It was a great way to end a very busy work week and it gave the Bennett Crew something to look forward to – a big treat at the end of the week. (I love it when I rhyme)

    As time went by, it seemed to spiral into a major weekly event that was often the subject of conversation during Thursday night dinner;  what movie would we all agree on watching (that was always another debate), and what kind of pizza should we order.

    Making Pizza at Home // Karista's Kitchen

    My two gals loved plain cheese pizza for the longest time, so ordering pizza was a simple task.  

    As they grew older, their palates expanded and unfortunately they expanded in different directions.  My oldest gal loves a cheesy, pineapple and ham pizza and my youngest is a pepperoni only kind of gal.  Ranger Craig prefers Italian sausage and mushroom and I dream of a loaded veggie pizza. Can you see my dilemma?

    To remedy the situation I used to order two or three different pizzas; which became a little ridiculous because we always had a fridge full of leftover pizza that no one would eat.  Nope, they won’t eat cold pizza warmed up.  (I actually like it cold right out of the fridge)

    Pizza toppings with figs, prosciutto, basil and goat cheese // Karista's Kitchen

    This is when making pizza at home came into play.  I’d had enough and decided that, although I had declared Friday nights as my night off from cooking, I’d make pizza at home.  This new trend was met with a bit of apprehension because could Mom really make pizza as good as the pizza place in town?  Ummm… let me think about that. Trained chef makes pizza at home.  I think it’ll work.  😉

    It was a huge success. (of course!)

    Pizza Margherita // Karista's Kitchen

    Making pizza at home can be simple or it can be a simply fun project.  It doesn’t take long to make pizza dough or sauce but if for some reason you just don’t have the time or energy to make the dough or the sauce, using your favorite store-bought brand is just fine too.

    I’ve listed recipes for both a quick pizza dough and sauce should you decide to make your own.

    Pizza toppings with red onions, fresh spinach, sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese // Karista's Kitchen

    As we know, the love is in the toppings! One of my favorite ways to top a pizza is with caramelized onions, wilted spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and feta cheese.  I’ve listed a few more topping options in the recipe, but truly, your imagination is the limit.  If only you could have seen some of the pizza’s created by the two sassy Bennett gals. 🙂

    Making pizza at home is a great way to get everyone involved in making dinner and of course, it’s fun and a delicious way to end the week or begin the weekend.   Buon Appetit´

    Making Pizza at Home

    2 12-inch pizzas

    Making Pizza at Home

    There is nothing quite like fragrant, yeasty pizza dough to make a delicious pizza. This is a quick and easy pizza dough that makes a lovely thin or medium crust pizza. Adding a bit of sugar rounds out the flavors and compliments the flavor of the yeast. Making your own pizza sauce is definitely worth the effort, but if time is of the essence, substitute this homemade sauce with your favorite jarred sauce. The key to a great tomato sauce is the length of time the sauce simmers stovetop. The longer you cook this sauce the tastier it will be.

    Ingredients

      For the dough
    • ¾ cups (6 ounces) lukewarm water
    • 1 envelope active-dry yeast
    • 2 cups (10 ounces) flour, plus more for rolling out
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
      For the sauce
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • ½ cup onion, finely diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 large can (28 – 32 ounces) tomato puree or Passata, which is an Italian tomato puree
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs (or a mixture of dried oregano, Italian parsley and basil)
    • Salt and black pepper to taste
      For a Karista's Fave Veggie Pizza
    • Pizza sauce, enough to thinly cover the pizza dough
    • 1/2 cup caramelized onions
    • 1/4-1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
    • 1 cup wilted fresh spinach
    • 1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts
    • 1/2 cup feta cheese
    • 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella cheese
      For Classic Margarita Pizza
    • Pizza sauce, enough to thinly cover the pizza dough
    • Fresh basil leaves
    • Slices of fresh whole milk mozzarella
      For Fig and Prosciutto Pizza
    • Pizza sauce or Pesto, enough to thinly cover the pizza dough
    • Fresh figs, sliced
    • Slices of prosciutto
    • Crumbled Goat Cheese
      For Sausage and Porcini Pizza
    • Pizza sauce, enough to thinly cover the pizza dough
    • Spicy Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
    • 1 ounce reconstituted Porcini mushrooms, chopped
    • Fresh basil leaves
    • 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

    Instructions

    To make the pizza dough
  • Heat the oven to 500° F. If you are using a pizza stone, place it in the middle of the oven.
  • Mixing the pizza dough: Measure the water into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast into the water and let it dissolve, about 30 seconds. Stir the water to dissolve the yeast.
  • Add the flour, salt, oil and sugar to the water and mix with a wooden spoon or bowl scraper until the dough starts to come together.
  • Lightly dust the counter or board with flour and move the dough to the floured space. With floured hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Resting the pizza dough: With a bench knife, divide the dough into 2 pieces. Round each piece of dough and place the dough rounds on a lightly floured counter to rest for 30 minutes. (While the dough is resting, prepare your toppings.)
  • After 30 minutes, fold the dough by stretching each side and folding it into the middle of the dough. Gather the dough into a ball and let it rest again for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Shaping the pizza dough: Handling one piece of dough at a time, gently stretch the dough with floured hands. You can also use a rolling pin, but I prefer using my hands. Once the dough is about ¼ - ½ inch thick, lay it on a piece of very lightly floured parchment. You can adjust the shape at this point, but don’t worry about it being perfectly round. Shape the second piece of dough.
  • Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
  • Finishing the pizza: Spread the dough lightly with sauce and add the shredded cheese and then your choice of toppings.
  • Baking the pizza: Bake the pizza on the parchment in a 500°F oven either on the heated pizza stone or on a cookie sheet. The pizza is done baking when the crust is brown and crisp on the edge and bottom. This should take about 6 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven, cut it and eat while hot. Enjoy!
  • To make the sauce
  • Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the onion and sauté until the onion is wilted. Then add the garlic and sauté for one minute longer.
  • Stir in the tomato puree, tomato paste and dried herbs and bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until it’s thickened a bit.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool before using. You can store the pizza sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/01/22/making-pizza-at-home/

     

    Kid Friendly vegetarian

    Breakfast Pizza

    Breakfast Pizza

    I’m always looking for new breakfast ideas.  Something just a little different than a traditional omelet or scrambled eggs or even a breakfast quiche.  Although these egg dishes are yummy, a breakfast pizza makes a rainy day or weekend morning a little more fun.

    This breakfast pizza can be as simple as shredded cheese and eggs, or it can be as decadent as sun dried tomatoes and feta.  Add a little spinach with some shredded Gruyere or keep it more traditional with diced ham and crumbled bacon.  Make it a morning fiesta and add diced chili’s, bell peppers, fresh chopped cilantro and top with your favorite salsa and avocado slices.  However you decide to create your breakfast pizza, it’ll tickle your taste buds and get you started on your day.

    Serve this delicious breakfast with fresh sliced fruit or a fresh fruit salad.  Happy Cooking!

    Breakfast Pizza

    Ingredients

    1 12 inch prepared pizza crust

    1 cup Mozzarella

    ½ cup Pepper Jack

    ½ cup Sharp Cheddar

    2 eggs

    ¼ cup heavy cream

    Pinch of salt and pepper

    Options:  ½ cup diced ham, fresh chopped herbs, shredded Monterey jack, crumbled feta, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, spinach, arugula and anything else you might enjoy with eggs!

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 375F.  Put the pizza crust on a pizza stone or baking sheet.

    Blend the cheeses together.  In a bowl, beat the eggs with the heavy cream and season with a little salt and pepper.

    Blend the cheeses and egg mixture together and then pour over the pizza shell.

    Bake for 10 minutes or until the egg and cheese mixture is set and golden brown on top.

    Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

    Serve with fresh fruit or fruit salad for a delicious and fun breakfast.