Monday, February 8, 2010


OK...I know...what does pizza have to do with gardening you ask?  In my garden kitchen, lots!  I love to make homemade pizza.  It tastes *so* much better than the greasy stuff you buy at the local chains.  Having a bread maker also makes it very easy for me to always have frozen pizza dough on hand.

Anyway...I was trying to think of a different way to use the gorgeous spinach I have in my garden right now when it dawned on me...I'll make a garden pizza!  So that is what I did for dinner last night.

I have this fabulous recipe for homemade tomato sauce that couldn't be easier:

Simple Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press or finely minced
1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes (I like Muir Glen Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes) (homemade tomato sauce would be even better...but I used all mine!)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Splash of red wine vinegar


In small frying pan over low to medium heat, warm the olive oil.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic begins to bloom and is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Be careful not to let garlic scorch or the garlic will taste bitter and you'll have to start over.

In a bowl, stir together the garlic-oil mixture, tomatoes, dried herbs and a splash a vinegar.  Taste and season for salt since canned tomatoes vary in salt content.  When seasoning with the red wine vinegar, add just enough to make the flavor sparkle; the sauce shouldn't taste tangy.

And that's it for the sauce!  It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and it freezes well too.

Next I sauted some spinach my favorite way:

Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in skillet.
Add about 3 cloves crushed garlic, stir until garlic begins to sizzle, and oil is flavored.


Add washed spinach.

Cover and let spinach wilt, stirring a few times.
Don't let the spinach cook down too much.
Take it off the heat while it is still bright green but wilted.
Remove the garlic cloves.
Set aside

 I looked in my freezer to see what else I might have for my garden pizza and discovered some roasted peppers from this past summer's crop.  I took those out and defrosted them.  I *love* roasted peppers too.  And this was my last batch.  Can't wait to start growing more!

Since my husband likes meat on his pizza, I wondered what kind of meat could I put on my pizza without taking anything away from the sauce, spinach and roasted peppers?  I remembered I had some beautiful meatballs I made a few weeks ago from some ground lamb I bought at the San Antonio Farmer's Market.  The lamb comes from just up the road in Ingram, Texas.  So I took a half dozen of those babies out of the freezer.  Now my pizza toppings were complete.

I preheated my pizza stone in a 500F oven for an hour and a half.  

I pressed the dough out into a rustic circle (it's really hard to make it completely round), brushed it with olive oil, spread the sauce over the dough; then added the roasted red peppers, spinach and meatballs.  I topped the entire pizza with a very generous handful of grated Parmigianno Regianno, slid it onto my hot pizza stone and popped it into a 500F oven for about 10 minutes and voila...Diane's Garden Pizza!

 It was delicious!  And that was dinner last night :)

1 comment:

  1. I am going through all your old recipes! Wow there are some great looking ones! It should keep me busy for quite a while! Boy this tomato sauce is so good! My husband loves this!