Weeknight delivery pizza is so convenient, it should be a crime. Rather than slave over a stove for dinner, the local pizza joint seems like a better solution, right? I might convince you otherwise. A medium pizza that comfortably feeds two people can run upwards of $15-20 for a decent pie. That may seem reasonable, but consider this: if you can buy pizza dough and a couple fresh ingredients at the store for less than $10, isn’t that a smarter option?! If you have extra veggies in your fridge and some cheese, the cost is further reduced to only a few bucks.
Nowadays, access to fresh pizza dough is easier (and cheaper) than ever. Local pizza joints and most supermarkets now sell fresh pizza dough options for less than $4, even at the pricy food markets. I ventured to my local big-name supermarket and found pizza dough for $1.50!! That pizza dough made what you see at the top of this post, more than enough to feed two hungry people. Mix that with what veggies you have lying in your fridge — even leftovers from the night before — add some cheese, and bake. Even better, no sauce to weigh it or you down. Easy as….pie. 😉
Prep Time: 15 min, Total Time: 35 min. (+ pizza dough resting time)
Preheat oven to 425ºF, adjusting the oven rack to the lower 1/3 of you oven.
**Leave pizza dough out!
Olive oil “sauce”:
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 2-4 large garlic cloves, minced (depending how garlic-y you like it)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
- 1/4 tsp Red chili flakes (more if you like it spicy)
- Store-bought pizza dough, left out at room temp. for at least 45 min. up to 1 hr.**
- Shredded Italian cheese blend (8 oz. package)
- 1 c cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 c blanched fresh asparagus, cut in bite-size pieces
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Few baby spinach leaves
- Fresh parmesan and chopped basil leaves (bonus, not necessary)
- Combine olive oil “sauce” ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the garlic softens, about 5 min. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Roll out rested, room temperature pizza dough on a flour surface — our dough was rolled to about a 12 X 16 inch rectangle, roughly 1/4 inch thick. Place dough onto pizza pan or upside-down sheet pan (makes taking pizza off pan easier).
- Brush cooled olive oil “sauce” over pizza dough, covering completely. Sprinkle cheese blend generously over dough, add veggies, then sprinkle again lightly with cheese.
- Top with parmesan, if using, and bake at 425ºF for 17-20 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes, add fresh basil, and serve!
Note: Alternate what vegetables are in season or better yet, in your fridge. If using root veggies, make sure they are par-cooked. Add cooked meats for a heartier meal.
TIP: For reheating the next day, microwave for 30 seconds, then crisp the crust in a skillet over medium high heat.