PepperNOni Pizza and Antipast-NO Meat Salad

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Zucchini:

1 small, firm zucchini

Salt 

About 1 1/2 teaspoons or scant half palmful pimenton or smoked paprika

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon granulated garlic 

1 teaspoon ground mustard 

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

Sauce:

One 15-ounce can whole Italian tomatoes

2 tablespoons EVOO 

1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar or honey 

2 cloves garlic 

A few leaves of fresh basil 

Salt 

Pizza:

One 1-pound ball dough from market or your favorite pizza parlor, or EZ Pizza Dough, recipe follows

AP flour, for stretching dough 

About 1 tablespoon cornmeal or semolina 

EVOO spray 

Salt and pepper or red chile flakes

2 cups shredded mozzarella or mozzarella and provolone

1 cup acacia honey or other light in color and flavor honey 

3 scant tablespoons Calabrian chile paste 

A few leaves torn fresh basil, to serve

Dried oregano, to serve 

Vegetable Antipasti Salad, recipe follows

EZ Pizza Dough:

1 cup warm water

1 package active dry yeast (look for pouches marked "For Pizza") 

2 tablespoons EVOO, plus some for bowl

1 tablespoon acacia honey or other light in color and flavor honey 

2 teaspoons kosher salt 

3 cups AP flour, plus more to roll dough 

Vegetable Antipasti Salad:

1 bulb fennel

3 heads gem romaine or 1 small head romaine (cleaned) 

2 ribs celery with leafy tops 

1/2 small red onion 

A handful of fresh parsley

A handful of basil leaves 

About 1/3 cup EVOO 

2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar 

1 teaspoon dried parsley 

1 teaspoon granulated garlic 

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1 teaspoon granulated onion 

1 teaspoon dried oregano 

1 teaspoon sugar or honey 

1/2 lemon 

Salt and pepper 

2 large roasted red peppers 

6 grilled artichoke hearts or marinated artichoke hearts 

3 to 4 hot pickled cherry peppers

About 1/2 cup semi-dried tomatoes (This product is new to markets; chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil are fine as well.) 

1/2 to 3/4 cup pitted Cerignola olives or other olives of choice 

Directions

Special equipment:
2 squeeze bottles; a funnel
  1. For the zucchini: Preheat the oven to 525 to 550 degrees F (as high as it goes) with rack at center. Preheat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat, to aid in a crispy bottom crust while pizza is in oven.
  2. Gather your ingredients. Thinly slice the zucchini (think pepperoni sausage) and add to strainer. Season with salt, let drain 15 minutes, then pat dry on towel.
  3. In a small bowl, combine spices. Add it to the zucchini and toss to combine.
  4. For the sauce: In a food processor, combine ingredients for sauce and puree.
  5. For the pizza: Roll and stretch dough on lightly floured surface into a 12- to 14-inch even round that will cover pan. (Place some AP flour in a squeeze bottle for flouring counter to roll out dough. I use this tip at home.) Turn off heat under skillet and sprinkle a little cornmeal or semolina in skillet. Press dough into hot skillet and up sides as much as possible. Reminder: The pan is hot. Brush or spray the dough with EVOO and season with a little salt and pepper or red pepper flakes. Top the dough with sauce, half the zucchini, cheese and remaining zucchini, then place pizza in oven.
  6. Bake 10 to 12 minutes to deep golden, brown and bubbly.
  7. Use a funnel to fill a squirt bottle with honey and Calabrian chile paste. Run under hot tap water to loosen when using. Hot honey will keep for months in pantry and is great with cheeses for snacking and fried foods as well as pizza, of course.
  8. Drizzle the pizza with the hot honey mixture and top with basil and oregano. Serve with Vegetable Antipasti Salad.

EZ Pizza Dough:

  1. To a mixer with dough hook attached add warm water and yeast and let the yeast bloom and foam, 5 minutes. Add EVOO, honey and salt and turn on mixer. Add the flour gradually to form dough, then transfer to a bowl drizzled with a little EVOO and cover, let stand 1 hour. Cut dough in half, wrap half the dough and freeze for later use. Roll and press remaining dough on floured surface to 12-inch round.

Vegetable Antipasti Salad:

Yield: 2 to 4 servings
  1. Gather ingredients.
  2. Thinly slice fennel. Chop and combine lettuce, celery, onions, parsley and torn basil, arrange on a platter.
  3. Combine dressing ingredients (EVOO, vinegar, dried herbs and spices, sugar or honey and lemon juice) in squirt bottle, small jar or bowl, then season with salt and pepper to combine.
  4. Slice the peppers into strips, quarter the artichoke hearts, thinly slice the hot cherry peppers. Arrange the vegetables and olives on the bed of salad. Shake up dressing and top evenly over salad to serve.