We both have a college classmate, Heather, who currently lives in Los Angeles and works withChildren in Film, a member-based website that provides information and direct connections to industry insiders for children and their families who are interested in breaking into the entertainment world. Recently, the organization held an event, and we were asked to provide a few nibbles for the occasion. We decided to do something that all kids can enjoy–pizza! We fashioned up five ideas for pizzas and went to work flipping dough, spreading toppings and pulling hot slabs out of the ovens. This event just inspired us to go to town with pizza making for many, many days afterwards.
We had just over a week to figure out what we’d make, shop and prep for the event, so we decided to keep it simple. Plus, we were cooking for kids, and we all know that the younger demographic can potentially be the pickiest. We figured a few classics with a couple of new versions would be the best way to go. The menu would be: Pepperoni & Scallion, Mozzarella & Basil, Ham & Grilled Pineapple, Spinach, Sun Dried Tomato & Mushroom Pizza, Bacon, Tomato & Arugula and a sweet Blueberry & Strawberry with Ginger pizza for dessert. We figured the children would love their favorites–pepperoni, mozzarella and Hawaiian–while parents could indulge in the others.
The bacon and tomato pizza featured a creamy avocado base, and the sun dried tomato and mushroom pizza had a layer of freshly roasted garlic hiding under the toppings. The ‘sauce’ on the fruit pizza was a mix of ricotta cheese, cream cheese and mascarpone with sugar and citrus zest. The berries were drizzled with their own macerating juices, along with bits of candied ginger. The crust was sugar cookie dough, baked golden. People gobbled up the slices quickly, and we had to work fast to keep them coming out. Thanks to two friends who volunteered their time to help us make it all happen behind the kitchen doors! A big thank you to the folks behind Children in Film as well. We appreciate the opportunity!
And all of this brings us to today and what appears to be our first video. There have been a few pizzas popping up around our respective homes, and we wanted to share a recipe with you for a new favorite. It’s perfect for a midweek meal or a large party. The best part about pizza is that you can size it up or down to work for any crowd. Luckily for us, we have great friends who like to help us with projects, and our bud Elesha of Deck as ef Productions shot and edited it for us. We hope you enjoy!
Sun-Dried Tomato, Mushroom and Lemon Ricotta Pizza – Serves 8
1 pre-made pizza crust
1 head garlic
8 ounces ricotta cheese
10 leaves fresh basil, sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly torn
7 King Trumpet mushrooms, sliced
Olive oil, for drizzling over the dough
Polenta or flour, for rolling out the dough
1. Wrap the head of garlic in foil and set on a baking sheet. Slide into an oven preheated to 450 degrees and roast for 20-25 minutes or until soft. Squeeze the cloves out of their peel and mash to form a paste. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with the basil, lemon zest and salt. Set aside.
3. Using a rolling pin or your hand, roll the pizza crust out on a surface dusted with a bit of polenta (or flour if you don’t have polenta) to the shape of your pan or pizza stone. Carefully lay on the pan or stone and stretch slightly if you need to spread it out to the edges.
4. Drizzle the top of the dough with a little olive oil, then rub the oil all around the top and edges of the crust. Dollop the roasted garlic paste over the unbaked dough, followed by the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, plops of the ricotta cheese and finally the mushrooms. If desired, drizzle a bit of the sun-dried tomato oil over the pizza.
5. Slide the pizza into the oven and bake 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown, and the toppings have wilted slightly. Cool for a few minutes before cutting.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.