Well, now that we all know how to make pizza dough from scratch, let’s put something on that dough, shall we? How about a crapload of summer veggies? Yep, let’s do it.
*Side note: making pizza dough is not only super easy, but it saves well so you can make it ahead of time for a party. Not to mention that people will think you’re so fancy when you tell them that yes, you made the dough. Yourself! Out of like flour and stuff! What a domestic goddess you are.
As I’ve already disclosed, I make pizza dough basically all. the. time. Which means that KC and I eat pizza all. the. time. (No one’s complaining over here, mmk?) That said, while I love me some traditional cheese pizza (margarita pizza recipe coming up on here a bit later!), it can get a bit… repetitive. So, it’s nice to mix things up and jump out of that cheese-and-sauce mold now and then.
This pizza, or flatbread (which is just a fancy way of saying, hey, this pizza doesn’t have sauce on it), is based on a starter I had years ago at one of my favorite SF eateries, NOPA. It’s super easy to make, but packs a big punch flavor-wise. It’s also quite unexpected, as most people associate pizza and flatbreads with something a bit more savory and cheese-laden.
Trust me, this flatbread hits the spot on a hot summer night with a frosty beer or cold glass of crisp white wine. And, you can feel good about eating it because it’s piled with veggies! I mean, it’s basically a salad, right? Go ahead and eat the whole thing! Don’t mind if I do…
Spicy Summer Vegetable Flatbread
- 1 lb pizza dough (ideally homemade)
- olive oil
- zucchini (2 large or 3 medium), cut in half and sliced into half-moons
- 1/2 yellow or red onion, sliced
- 1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow), diced
- handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
- 1/2 – 3/4ish cup fresh or frozen corn
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 – 1 tbsp. cumin
- red pepper flakes/cayenne pepper/chili powder/hot sauce (like Tapatio)
- cheese (cheddar/jack/pepper jack)
- Preheat oven to 475°
- Stretch out pizza dough and press into an oiled sheet pan or pizza pan. Brush dough with olive oil.
- Blind-bake dough for 10 minutes, until just browned and crispy.
- While the dough bakes, chop all veggies and place in a bowl together. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add cumin and a mixture of any or all spices/hot sauces listed above and toss everything together.
- When the dough is done blind-baking, dump the veggies into the middle of the pizza and then spread into an even layer with a spatula.
- Cover the whole mess with a good amount of grated cheese.
- Place the sheet back in the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes, til cheese is melted and veggies are just starting to brown on top.
- Let the pizza sit for 5 minutes before slicing, to allow all the cheesy goodness to come together.
Step 3: As I’ve said, I like my pizza to be very crispy, so I always blind-bake my dough. If you prefer a chewier crust, you could try making this without blind-baking, or cutting down the baking time in this step; however, the amount of veggies in this may make a less-crispy crust a bit soggy, so beware.
Step 4: I never measure the spices out in this recipe, so I can’t tell you exactly how much to add here — it’s really based on taste. I like quite a bit of cumin for the depth of flavor it adds with it’s smokiness, so I add a good palm-full to the mix (probably about a tbsp). Then I generally add about 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes, about 1 tsp chili powder, and a healthy dash of cayenne(maybe a tsp? Maybe more?). I have no clue what the actual measurements for these are (I just eyeball it), so that’s really just an estimation. The amount you add will need to be a trial and error process of figuring out what flavors you like and how much heat you can handle.
Step 6: Any of the 3 cheeses listed would work — I always have cheddar on hand, so that’s what I use most often. As a reference, I generally use about 1/4 of a Trader Joe’s size block; but really, I just grate it right over the veggies til they seem well-covered.
And lastly, this pizza is pretty messy to eat. Inevitably, I end up spilling veggies all over myself while consuming it, so it’s probably not the best thing to serve on a first date (though I promise you, it’s way delicious). However, I’m sure you’re much more refined and delicate than I am, so you’ll probably have no problem shoving this into your face and looking like a lady whilst doing it. I, on the other hand, clearly don’t have that kind of dexterity.