Pizza can be much more interesting than the typical American tomato sauce/meat/cheese affair, and it’s pretty easy to make yourself, either with your own homemade crust or with the help of ready-made dough or crusts. My friend Amy and I used to get together on Friday nights at her apartment, walk to the grocery store (Central Market), and pick up some delectable bites for dinner. Most of the time we ended up with a few types of salami (my favorite was the finocchiona! It’s made with ground fennel seed!), some brie or some blue cheese, some nuts, fresh and/or dried fruit, garlic-marinated olives or kalamata olives, some wonderful bread from the bakery (Italian white was our favorite–coated in cornmeal and so delicious!), and, of course, some wine. However, a few times we grabbed some of the ready made pizza crusts from the Central Market bakery. The crusts are about half-cooked, so you can top them with whatever you want, pop them in the oven, and have dinner in about 10-12 minutes. They have both personal size and full size crusts. We made margherita pizza (tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella), salami/blue cheese/carmelized onion pizza, and probably others I can’t recall right now. I also used these crusts to make pizzas for an Election Night 2008 party. One was margherita, and the other was a basil pesto and shrimp pizza. As you can tell, I love these crusts! They freeze wonderfully, too. I had one in my freezer, and I made the following pizza with it a few weeks ago.
2 cups fresh, chopped spinach or arugula
1/2 red onion, sliced
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1 pizza crust
About 2/3 cup pesto of your choice (I made a pesto myself with sun dried tomatoes, fresh parsley, walnuts, garlic, and olive oil)
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to about 375 F.
Spread the pesto over the pizza crust, as if it were tomato sauce. Top with the spinach, the sliced onion, and the goat cheese. Bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges are brown.