Eyes on the Pies: Unexpected Savory Pizza Toppings Are a Win (2023)

Like many, I fall into a diet rut. I will resort to cooking the same dishes and using the same ingredients week after week. So when a caterer contacted me asking me to review their services on my blog, it was just the nudge I needed at just the right time. Meal packets contained measured foods and recipe cards. While I liked the convenience, it ended up being more expensive for someone like me who cooks and rarely lets things go to waste.

However, I do not regret this experience because thanks to it I cooked with ingredients that I used only occasionally, I learned new things and used what I knew in different ways.

This is how today's pizza was created. One of the recipes was a vegetarian pizza with smoked mozzarella and cabbage. First, I've never smoked mozzarella, and second, I've never had cabbage on a pizza. The recipe was almost a hit, but I've since used it as a model for further experimentation, including today's version with lightly caramelized onions and sweet Italian sausage (I love the pork and cabbage combo).


The original recipe card included romaine lettuce and apple gala, seasoned with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. This turned out to be disappointing. Since then, I have substituted the apple and improved the sauce.

ingredients division

Dough for pizza:You can make a cake from scratch, but I love the convenience of a ready-made cake. My favorite is Trader Joe's. Regarding the shape, my stone is rectangular, so I usually give the pizzas a rectangle or a square; the shape is up to you.

CALL FOR HELP:This pizza has no sauce. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil just before serving is all you need for the final touch.

To be:The smoked mozzarella is the biggest flavor bomb. You can also use smoked gouda.

Cabbage:Today I used green cabbage, but I also made it with Italian and Peking Brussels sprouts and chopped Brussel sprouts.

Built-in:I love sweet Italian pork sausage; use hot if desired. Or try a smoked sausage like apple chicken. Skip the sausage for a vegetarian pizza.

Lucas:I use yellow onions. I usually aim for a light golden color during cooking, but it's worth it if you have 45-60 minutes to caramelize.

She:I love garlic and use the thickest onion cloves. Use more or less at your discretion.

Red pepper flakes:Since I was afraid of them in my youth, I approached those little points of warmth. If you are using hot Italian sausage, you can omit it.

Romano:Romaine lettuce is my favorite salad dressing. I love the crunchy crispy sheet. The smooth and slightly bitter taste contrasts with the acidity of the apple and the juicy vinaigrette.

Apple:This salad came to life when I switched to Granny Smith, but you can use your favorite.

Vinaigrette:The vinaigrette is fat, acid and spice. Generally, the fat to acid ratio is 3:1. However, I prefer a sauce with more vinegar and use a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio. That's what I love about homemade salad dressings: You have complete control over the ingredients. A simple vinaigrette for today's salad in a 1:1 ratio, seasoned with Dijon mustard and honey. This is one of my favorite quick dressings. Use more oil if you want.

almonds:Roasting the almonds makes them crunchier and brings out their flavor. You can also roast walnuts or pecans (or try candied walnuts).

Grilled or baked?

I don't have a dedicated pizza oven because my Fulgor Milano oven gets very hot and so does my five burner gas grill. I made this pizza on a pizza stone in my oven and placed two pizza stones on the grates of my gas grill while grilling to allow for multiple pizzas to be baked at the same time; I have had success using both methods. Use an inverted pan if you don't have a pizza stone.

Whether you're using a stone or a skillet, move the rack to the middle position and place it in a cold oven (or grill) to heat them together. You will need to increase the oven temperature to the highest setting (550 degrees in my case). If using a gas grill, turn all burners on and heat as high as possible (the hotter the better; my five burner gas grill tops out at 750 degrees, very close to 800 to 900 degrees in dedicated pizza ovens). To get the most out of your pizza stone, preheat it at least 30 minutes before baking the pizza.

I've tried making the pizza on the counter with a little flour or cornmeal to make it easier to slide onto the pizza crust for transfer to the oven. Cornmeal works best on the work surface and flour on top of the dough to make rolling easier. I think it's ideal for building a pizza directly on a base made of cornmeal. Use a rimless cookie cutter or an upside down cookie cutter if you don't have a crust.

Pizza with smoked mozzarella, sausage and cabbage with romaine lettuce and apple salad

For 2 servings

Additional-extra virgin olive oil to taste
1 pound regular pizza dough
½ head of small green cabbage (about 10 ounces)
1 small onion
4 to 5 garlic cloves
1 sprig of Italian sausage, casing removed
Add salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper or to taste
2 tablespoons of cornmeal
1 teaspoon flour as needed
4 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
¼ cup whole almonds
1Rmy heart
1 small or ½ medium Granny Smith apple or your favoritediversity
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoonDdebt slaverymustard
½ teaspoon honey

Lightly oil a small bowl. Take the pizza dough out of the fridge, uncover it, put it in a bowl and cover it with a cloth to warm to room temperature while you prepare the fillings.

Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 550 degrees or highest (if using an outdoor gas grill, turn on all burners and allow grill to preheat with pizza stone on). its place). If your oven has a convection fan, turn it on so the heat moves around the stone.

Prepare the cabbage by removing and discarding the core, then thinly slice the leaves. Peel the onion and cut it in half, then into half moons. Peel and mince the garlic.

Heat a large, deep saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil. When they are transparent, add the sausage, crumble it with a spatula and fry until no longer pink. Transfer to a smaller bowl and reserve.

Place sausage pan over medium heat; add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes - season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue frying for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water, scraping up any burnt bits that stuck to the pan. After the water evaporates, continue cooking the onion until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add cabbage and ¼ cup water; stir until softened (add cabbage in batches if your skillet isn't big enough). Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and cook for another 2 minutes. Taste and season to your liking. Keep away from heat.

When ready to assemble, spread most of the cornmeal evenly over the pizza crust. Roll out or roll the dough to ¼-inch thickness (dust the dough with flour if using a rolling pin). Shake the crust to see if the dough moves freely; if not, carefully lift and spread the rest of the cornstarch over the crust. Return dough to crust and spread cabbage-cheese-sausage mixture evenly, leaving about 1-inch border. Transfer the pizza to the hot stone. Depending on how hot the oven is, bake 8 to 14 minutes or until the crust is dark golden brown and the cheese has melted. Rest for a few minutes before cutting. Decorate with a little olive oil.

While the pizza is baking, prepare the salad. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet on the stovetop or in a toaster until fragrant, then chop coarsely. Cut off the root end of the Roman heart, cut the leaves into thirds, rinse and dry; place in a serving bowl. Remove the core and cut the apple into thin slices; add to bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to distribute. Mix the vinegar, dijon, and honey in a small bowl. Slowly add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the salad with vinaigrette and divide between two bowls. Garnish each bowl with toasted almonds.

Recipe copyrighted by Anita L. Arambula and reprinted with permission from Confessions of a Foodie.

Arámbula is the art director and designer of the food department. He blogs onwyznaniaofafoodie.me, Wherethe original versionthis article has been published. Follow her on Instagram:@fotodjevojka. She can be contacted atanita.arambula@sduniontribune.com.

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