It can be tough to transition from one season to the next. I never quite know what I’m in the mood for… Do I still want a hearty winter veggie soup, or am I ready for snap peas and asparagus? I have a few go to dishes that make the transition a bit easier and blur the lines, if you will. Things like pasta, soup, stir fry, shepherd’s pie, chicken pot pie, and enchiladas all work well no matter what the season.
So does pizzaaaa!
One of the great things about pizza is how adaptable it is. For example, you could exchange the regular crust for gluten-free, make a cauliflower crust, use corn tortillas, or even grill some eggplants and top them with sauce and veggies. You can omit the cheese, change the veggies, and add more herbs. You can grill it, bake it, or cook it in a skillet.
Today I went with the spring variation. It was perfect for what we got in the Abundant Harvest Organics box this week: fennel, carrots, and basil.
I adapted this crust and cooking method recipe. It’s become a staple in our home. The crust freezes well and is a synch to make.
The recipe calls for stove top cooking, then finishing in the oven. But, it’s too hot for the oven today, so I just covered it and left it on the stove for a couple of minutes.
This allowed the veggies to soften just a bit, but they still had some crunch. If you don’t like crunchy veggies on your pizza, no problem. Just do a quick sauté before you top the pizza. You can even use the same skillet. Just wipe out any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the skillet before adding more oil and your crust.
Here are my variations by season:
Everything feels fresh and new, bursting with color and flavor. Depending on how early it is in spring, I may want to use thinly shaved asparagus instead of summer squash, bright green peas instead of fennel. But, because we’re actually right smack in the middle of one of these transition periods, I’m using what’s in season, and thankful for every bite.
Toppings: Summer squash, carrot, fennel.
Herbs: Basil and parsley (after cooking) and fennel fronds (before cooking).
Sauce: Olive oil and garlic.
Cheese: Cheddar and parmesan, or ricotta and parmesan.
Method: Skillet, grill, or oven.
During the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, I love to have a simple pizza. I would probably choose 2-3 of the toppings, so the pizza isn’t overwhelmed. I want light and easy. Serve it with a quick salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and chopped almonds, with a balsamic-olive oil vinaigrette for a perfect summer treat.
Toppings: Summer squash, tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, or eggplant.
Herbs: Basil (after cooking) and thyme (before or after cooking… any time… get it?!).
Cheese: Mozzarella, cheddar, or feta.
Method: Skillet or grill.
It’s finally cooled down (ahem, maybe, depending on where you live – around here fall is the hottest time of year). The first root veggies are starting to appear. Things like beets, cozy sweaters, and hot chocolate are exciting again. For this pizza, I would go for everything listed.
Toppings: Arugula (or kale or mâche), suuuuuper thinly sliced beets, halved cherry tomatoes, and a smidge of horseradish.
Herbs: Cilantro and chives (after cooking).
Cheese: Blue, mozzarella, parmesan, or feta.
Method: Oven, skillet, or grill.
It’s cold! I want something hearty and filling.
Toppings: Really thinly sliced sweet potatoes and cauliflower, swiss chard (or spinach, mustard greens, collards, or kale)
Herbs: Rosemary (before cooking).
Sauce: Olive oil and garlic.
Cheese: Blue, parmesan, or feta.
Method: Oven or skillet.
- 2 personal sized pizza crusts
- olive oil
- cayenne (optional)
- garlic, minced
- summer squash, very thinly sliced
- carrot, very thinly sliced
- fennel, very thinly sliced
- fennel fronds, torn
- 1 C cheese, grated (cheddar and parmesan mixture)
- fresh herbs (basil, parsley, and thyme), chopped or whole
- Top crust with olive oil through cheese.
- Cook using your favorite method. If grilling or cooking in a skillet, cook one side for 2-3 minutes first, flip, then add toppings. Cook for 2-3 minutes more, and either cover with a lid or cover the grill and turn the heat to low or off and cook for about 1-2 minutes more.
- Remove from pan and top with fresh herbs.