Last Friday after a little spring preview rainstorm, my girls and I were treated to one of the boldest rainbows I’ve ever seen. It got me thinking about how magical rainbows are. Few things can get the whole family out in the muddy yard staring at the sky in wonder.
So when I made these rainbow pizzas this afternoon, I hoped a little of that rainbow magic would rub off and make eating vegetables an enchanting enough experience that my daughters would embrace eating healthy … willingly.
And for the most part, the pizzas succeeded. The rainbow of red, orange, and yellow peppers; broccoli; purple cabbage; and beets made for a striking palette that we were all eager to taste. My husband and I enjoyed the layer of vegetables on an otherwise indulgent dinner, while the girls enjoyed chomping through each colorful layer.
The toppings were surprisingly balanced — the savory flavors of the beets, cabbage, and broccoli were complemented by the sweetness of the bell peppers.
Makes: 2 12-inch round pizzas
- 2/3 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
- Sea salt
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 small red beet, peeled, trimmed, and cut into paper thin slices
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pizza dough (see below or sub your favorite store-bought variety)
- 1 cup pizza sauce, warmed
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 medium yellow pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin strips
- 1 medium orange pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin strips
- 1 medium red pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin strips
- Position rack in the very top of oven and turn heat to 500 F.
- In a small bowl, toss cabbage with a pinch of sea salt and set aside.
- Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Blanche broccoli florets for 2 minutes. Remove broccoli from water with a slotted spoon and set in a small bowl. Next, blanche beet slices for 2 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and set in a small bowl; toss beets with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil.
- To assemble pizzas, pull, stretch, and press dough into a 12-inch round circle. Brush crust with remaining olive oil. Spread 1/2 cup pizza sauce in center of pizza and sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella.
- To make rainbow design, start by arranging beets in a circle in center. Next, create a thin circle of cabbage, followed by broccoli, yellow peppers, orange peppers, and finally, red peppers.
- Slide into oven and bake 10-15 minutes, or until crust is a light golden brown and cheese is bubbling. Cool 5 minutes, slice, and serve.
- Repeat for second pizza.
Makes: 2 12-inch round pizzas
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (1 packet)
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
- Pour water into a small mixing bowl; stir in honey. Sprinkle yeast on top of water and stir gently. Set aside while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour and sea salt.
- Pour olive oil into yeast mixture and give a quick stir.
- Turn off oven — it should be warm but not at all hot.
- Either by hand or with mixer on low, pour yeast mixture into flour. Set mixer to low and knead with dough hook for 5 minutes, or knead by hand for 7-10 minutes — dough should be smooth and springy. Coat the same bowl used to mix dough with a drizzle of olive oil and set dough in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, make sure oven is turned off, and set dough in the warm oven to rise 45 minutes.
- Divide dough into 2 equal balls. Flatten each into a disc and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 20 minutes.