Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fun with Leftovers!: Ratatouille Pizza

I will never be able to shut up about this pizza. This was amazingly delicious. The crust, previously untested, had a pleasant pie-dough quality, but with a wheaty richness. The sauce was of a perfect consistency, and the fresh herbs only enhanced the flavor of the vegetables. This is a go-to for sure. I think I'm going to start making ratatouille and freezing it in portions specifically intended for this. Or maybe even begin some elaborate canning procedures. 

Ratatouille Pizza:
1 cup ratatouille
1/3 portion whole wheat pizza dough
1/4 - 1/3 package Upton's Naturals Italian Sausage-Style Seitan
1/3 red onion, sliced 
Dash sugar
4 good-sized crimini mushrooms, sliced
4 artichoke heart pieces, cut in half
1 tsp. garlic powder 
7 cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 sprigs each fresh thyme and oregano, or equivalent 
2 large leaves fresh basil
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by preparing all your toppings while the pizza dough rests. Place a smallish frying pan over medium heat, and caramelize the onion in the olive oil, with a dash of sugar, salt, and pepper. Once the onion is cooked combine it with the ratatouille and the seitan and warm briefly in the microwave. Set aside. 

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees, and place a pizza stone or cookie sheet inside so that it can heat up as well.

In the same frying pan used for the onions, add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown. Add the artichoke hearts and toss together with the garlic powder, some salt and pepper. Set aside. Slice the tomatoes and gather your herbs, making sure you have all your toppings ready.

Shape the pizza dough on a piece of aluminum foil, making sure the dough is well-oiled on both sides.

Once the oven is preheated, layer your toppings, beginning with the ratatouille mixture, then the mushrooms and artichoke mixture and then the tomatoes, followed by the nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Carry the pizza by the aluminum foil and place it on the pizza stone or cookie sheet, and cook until the crust is well-colored and emits that certain echo-y "I'm done!" noise when tapped with a fingernail. 

Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes, top with fresh herbs, slice and enjoy!

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