Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Goat Cheese: What to do with it?

I have to say that over time I've become less and less of a picky eater. I'm not a picky eater in the extreme sense, since I eat foods in colors other than white. But as a child I hated onions, hated fish, hated mushrooms, etc, etc. Slowly I've learned to love all of them, although certain flavors and textures I am still a bit hesitant about. In particular there are two types of cheese that I occasionally love, but often hate: blue veined cheeses and goat cheese. Sometimes they are the perfect addition to a salad, sandwich, or appetizer, and other times I find them unpalatable.

I decided to introduce goat cheese to my cooking after buying an assortment of beets, remembering that goat cheese if often paired with them. After putting together the goat cheese, beet, and walnut salad seen above, I still had about 6 oz. of cheese I needed to use (along with a vegetable bin full of veggies.) I'm now convinced the best way to use up an assortment of leftover food is to make a pizza.

I purchased the pizza dough from Trader Joe's, the Garlic Herb variety. And rummaged around my fridge coming up with caramelized onions, zucchini, tomatoes, and of course, the goat cheese. Once the cheese has had a chance to warm up and caramelize a bit it is soo delicious. So good that I made this recipe again a few days later for some friends.

Makes 4 Individual Pizzas

  • 1 package Trader Joe's Garlic Herb Pizza Dough
  • 1 cup Pizza sauce (or mix 8 oz of tomato sauce with 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and add herbs)
  • 1 large tomato sliced
  • 1 cup caramelized onions
  • 1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini sliced
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pizza dough from refrigerator and let it start warming to room temperature for about 20 minutes. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.

Flour a large cutting board or clean kitchen counter. Remove pizza dough from bag and flour lightly. Roll dough out to desired shape (I actually usually cut in 4 servings, and roll out what ever shape comes most natural, usually a triangular piece.)

Top each piece of dough with pizza sauce, then caramelized onions, then all remaining toppings. Add goat cheese near then end so it is on top and browns up a bit.

Bake for roughly 20 minutes, or according to the directions that came with your dough. The crust and goat cheese should both be lightly golden.


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