I used to associate pizza with a not-so-healthy meal. Delicious but in the guilty category. It doesn’t have to be that way. Pizza can effortlessly accommodate lots of vegetables. Which actually makes it an especially nutritious meal and perfect for the hidden vegetable (well, not so hidden but disguised anyway) technique.
Since I discovered low carb, gluten free pizza crust, we’ve kind of had a pizza bonanza over here. I’ve been experimenting with many different combinations. They always contain cheese and large quantities of at least 2 types of vegetables. Lately I’ve been serving the tomato sauce on the side to keep the crust crisp.
I like my pizza with lots of stuff on it. My kids have accused me of making Jewish deli pizza (as in the piled high hot pastrami sandwiches). If a little is good, more is better!
- Homemade Tomato Sauce - double recipe or 3 1/2 cups jarred tomato sauce
- Pizza Crust - see recipe
- 2 1/4-2 1/2 lbs. globe eggplant, about 2 large
- 2 1/4-2 1/2 lbs. zucchini, about 3 large
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/4- 1 1/2 lbs Italian sausage, I use chicken or pork sausage, 2 hot and 2 mild, or to taste
- 1 lb. grated mozzarella, I use the part skim milk block kind, not the fancy whole milk fresh kind. Fresh mozzarella gives off too much water and makes the crust soft.
- While the tomato sauce is simmering (if making homemade), make the crust.
- Preheat oven to 400°. Cut eggplant into about 3/4" chunks. Put on a rimmed baking sheet. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss with your hands to coat the eggplant. Bake for about 20 minutes, without stirring, or until soft when stuck with a fork.
- Cut zucchini into 1/2"-3/4" chunks. Heat a nonstick pan (preferable because zucchini are fragile and tend to fall apart in a regular pan when you stir them) large enough to hold all of the zucchini. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the zucchini and saute until soft but not mushy. Stir occasionally. You want the zucchini to be a little browned, so don't stir too often or they will cook through without browning.
- Heat a pan, large enough to hold all the sausage at the same time, on medium-high. Remove sausage meat from the casings and put in pan. Cook, breaking up sausage with the end of a spatula, until cooked through and no pink remains.
- Put half the mozzarella on the pre-baked crust. This will shield the crust from the vegetable juices and help it stay crisp. I serve the tomato sauce at the table so the crust stays as crisp as possible. If you prefer, you can add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to the pizza, reserving the rest to serve at the table. Add vegetables, sausage, and remainder of grated mozzarella. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes until hot. Turn oven to broil and cook for a few minutes until the cheese is brown. Serve immediately.