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Welcome to Samantha's Bread & Butter, where I (Samantha) document my adventures in all things slow food and slow lifestyle.

Super Fresh Spring Pizza

Super Fresh Spring Pizza

I don't know about you, but I love pizza. Good pizza. The crust has to be thin and crispy, and the toppings light and fresh. When it comes to pizza, I'm a simple kind of girl. When ordering at a restaurant, I usually go for neapolitan style (margherita), but occasionally I like to spruce things up with toppings, and I find the best place to do that is in my kitchen (unless I'm in Italy or at an awesome pizza joint!) 

Fortunately for me, there is a restaurant in my hometown, Baba Louie's, that serves artisanal, wood-fired sourdough pizza. Crust is a big part of what pizza is about, and I'm a big fan of sourdough. For those who can't tolerate gluten, I highly recommend trying the crust from Ugly's Bakery, which operates out of Baba Louie's. Ugly's Bakery has perfected the gluten-free pizza crust, and it can be bought in grocery stores around the northeast including Whole Foods and Guido's. According to their rave reviews (and mine, as of now), you can't tell the crust is gluten-free. Why? Well, it was all inspired by love. As they say: 

What happens when a talented chef marries a woman who cannot eat gluten? It gets Ugly. The quest for the perfect gluten free crust was born - the result, a simple answer. Make it yourself. So we did. Paul may be Ugly but his crust is anything but. Deliciously flavorful, crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Sturdy enough to hold even the most ambitious of toppings. If you are gluten free this is your answer. You are going to love it. Simple, limitless and made with love.

The recipe for this super fresh spring pizza is made with Ugly's gluten-free crust, but of course can be made with any crust you'd like.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 medium pizza slices

Ingredients: 

Ugly's Bakery Gluten-Free Crust
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup baby spinach, washed and dried
1/3 cup fresh basil, washed and dried
2 roasted red peppers from Mediterranean Organics, sliced
1 ball handmade mozzarella from Maplebrook Farm, sliced
1 small yellow onion, sliced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
Several tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (because who measures olive oil, unless baking?)
Red pepper flakes
Parmesan, grated
Sea salt

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Prep ingredients: Wash spinach and basil; set aside. Cut broccoli, chop onion, mince garlic...

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Prep ingredients: Wash spinach and basil; set aside. Cut broccoli, chop onion, mince garlic...

Slice mozzarella (and try not to eat all of it in the process).

Slice mozzarella (and try not to eat all of it in the process).

Fill saucepan with 1-2 inches of water. Place broccoli in *boiling* water, steam/blanch for 1 minute; set aside.

Fill saucepan with 1-2 inches of water. Place broccoli in *boiling* water, steam/blanch for 1 minute; set aside.

Heat olive oil on low heat. Once oil is hot, place sliced onions in pan. Add a pinch of sea salt to the onions. Sauté on low-medium heat until onions are a gold color and caramelized; set aside.

Heat olive oil on low heat. Once oil is hot, place sliced onions in pan. Add a pinch of sea salt to the onions. Sauté on low-medium heat until onions are a gold color and caramelized; set aside.

This will be the base for your pizza, instead of tomato sauce: Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil on low heat. Once the oil is hot, place the minced garlic in the pan for 10 seconds, or until garlic becomes fragrant. Do not let the garlic brown. Scoop the mixture of olive oil and garlic into a small bowl and set aside. Keeping the flame on low, place the blanched broccoli into the pan (the same pan you used to make the olive oil and garlic mixture). Sauté for 1-2 minutes, allowing the broccoli to pick up the flavors of the olive oil and garlic; remove from heat.

This will be the base for your pizza, instead of tomato sauce: Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil on low heat. Once the oil is hot, place the minced garlic in the pan for 10 seconds, or until garlic becomes fragrant. Do not let the garlic brown. Scoop the mixture of olive oil and garlic into a small bowl and set aside. Keeping the flame on low, place the blanched broccoli into the pan (the same pan you used to make the olive oil and garlic mixture). Sauté for 1-2 minutes, allowing the broccoli to pick up the flavors of the olive oil and garlic; remove from heat.

Here's a snapshot of what the garlic/oil olive base looks like.

Here's a snapshot of what the garlic/oil olive base looks like.

Slice the roasted red peppers (I obviously hadn't done so yet in this photo) and then place them on a towel to soak up the water. If you don't, you'll have watery pizza, unless you are using freshly made roasted red peppers. The ones I used were preserved in a jar with water.

Slice the roasted red peppers (I obviously hadn't done so yet in this photo) and then place them on a towel to soak up the water. If you don't, you'll have watery pizza, unless you are using freshly made roasted red peppers. The ones I used were preserved in a jar with water.

Place all your toppings on pizza, except the spinach and basil. First spread the olive oil and garlic mixture on the base, then add the cheese, peppers, onions and broccoli. Sprinkle the pizza with sea salt and a small amount of garlic power, if like extra garlic flavor. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. In the meantime, toss the washed fresh spinach and basil in olive oil, grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. You can even add some balsamic vinegar, if you prefer more acidity and a tangier flavor.

Place all your toppings on pizza, except the spinach and basil. First spread the olive oil and garlic mixture on the base, then add the cheese, peppers, onions and broccoli. Sprinkle the pizza with sea salt and a small amount of garlic power, if like extra garlic flavor. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. In the meantime, toss the washed fresh spinach and basil in olive oil, grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. You can even add some balsamic vinegar, if you prefer more acidity and a tangier flavor.

After 10-15 minutes, remove the pizza from the oven. One more step...

After 10-15 minutes, remove the pizza from the oven. One more step...

Place a handful of the spinach and basil mixture on top of the pizza. (As you can see, I put the olive oil, parmesan and red pepper flakes on after; you can do it either way.)

Place a handful of the spinach and basil mixture on top of the pizza. (As you can see, I put the olive oil, parmesan and red pepper flakes on after; you can do it either way.)

And most importantly, enjoy!

And most importantly, enjoy!

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