Pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza? Seriously, it can be adapted to include just about any topping. It is no secret that we make quite a bit of pizza around these parts (probably at least once a week). Now usually pizza isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about healthier food, but one of my favorite things about making pizza at home is the fact I just mentioned. When you are making it yourself, you can put anything (including healthier ingredients) on your pizza. I would even go as far to say that a homemade pizza with whole wheat flour in the dough, veggies, and a moderate amount of cheese could even be considered healthy.
This is a pizza that I derived by combining two delicious ideas that I found on separate blogs. The pizza “sauce” comes from SnoWhite’s Finding Joy in My Kitchen and uses pureed white beans (yes beans) to make a creamy sauce for the base of the pizza. I tasted the “sauce” on its own before spreading it on the pizza and thought that it was a little bit strong (there are 8 raw garlic cloves in this baby), but when combined with the topping ideas from Val’s spring vegetable pizza on ValSoCal, the finished pizza ended up with just the right amount of punch.
Thanks to SnoWhite and Val for the inspiration on this one! We’ve already made it twice, and I am sure this pizza is one that will make our “keeper” list. Enjoy!
Bean Sauce (will make enough for 2 pizzas):
1 (14.5 oz) can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
8 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 Tbsp. milk (I used 2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 dough recipe, homemade or purchased
1/2 (12 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups fresh spinach, torn
2-3 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 3/4 to 1 cup)
1/2 – 3/4 cup part-skim Mozzarella cheese
Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
For the bean sauce, puree the beans and garlic in the food processor or blender. Add milk until the mixture begins to smooth out. Mix in 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning. Divide in half and save the rest for another pizza. I kept mine covered in the refrigerator for about a week. I am sure the extra sauce would also freeze well.
For the pizza, roll or stretch out the dough onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper. Spread with 1/2 of the bean mixture to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Top with the artichokes, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach and cheeses. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully transfer the pizza (still on the parchment paper) onto the hot pan. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes or until the crust and cheese just begin to brown. Cut into slices and serve.