Vacation vegetable pizza

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

A few years ago my son, Ben, introduced a number of us to my new favorite pizza at his apartment in Brooklyn. Topping spicy sauteed swiss chard with roasted cauliflower made a spectacular pizza. I've made it many times since but not when on vacation in a place where I could cook.

Behold a blue corn tortilla chip cauliflower, chard, and roasted red pepper sauce pizza.

A salad with a Meyer lemon/garlic vinaigrette and dinner was served.


A ball of homemade pizza dough
  1. So this all started with some frozen white whole wheat pizza dough. When I make the dough, I usually make enough for four 12-inch pizzas and freeze half in plastic wrap before it has risen at all. Someday you decide you would like to make pizza in the evening.
  2. Simply unwrap the frozen ball of dough and plunk it in a bowl that you have lightly coated with olive oil.
Pizza dough after it has been left to rise
  1. Lacking any plastic wrap, I simply covered the dough with a dish towel and set it out in the sun to thaw hoping local critters would not be interested in raw dough. The dishtowel let in too much air so the dough developed a skin by the time 5 to 6 hours had gone by ( I expected this but, oh well) the skin kept it from rising to its full puffy potential. But, as you will see, cooking is a lot easier than baking. You've got a lot of leeway. Here's the dough that has awakened.
Homemade pizza dough rolled flat.
  1. By evening it was a bit bigger than this — not as exuberant as if you had just let it rise after kneading. But, hey, this is vacation pizza. The usual next step is to liberally flour a work surface to roll out the dough if you aren't good at spinning it in the air ( I do this sometimes with sketchy results). But I had no flour. I did, however, have organic blue corn tortilla chips. Pulverizing a large handful to use instead of flour worked great.
Homemade pizza crust topped with tomato sauce.
  1. Check this. I've added a sauce to this recipe over time. A couple of the few "packaged" foods I like to use are roasted red peppers packed in water and chipotles in adobo. I pureed a 16-ounce jar of pepper with three chipotles (maybe better to start with one or two and taste as you go). This is a great pizza sauce and takes one minute.
Homemade pizza crust topped with sauce and cooked chard.
  1. The next step is to saute a big bunch of chard with minced garlic and crushed red chilies. I keep forgetting to squeeze the cooked chard a bit to release some of the liquid but would advise you do this.
  2. Cauliflower florets are tossed with a little olive oil and salt then roasted at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until starting to brown.
  3. I have used a little feta cheese instead of mozzarella for the last few iterations and like it.