4 Simple Ways to Dress Up Frozen Pizza
It’s a nearly weekly source of amiable conflict in my house — do we spring for the fancy pizza, with prosciutto and pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, or do we go for classic (and cheap) pepperoni, mushroom or basic cheese?
For the past few years, I’ve pursued a Sandra Lee-style semi-homemade solution: Buy a basic frozen pizza and “fancy” it up with specialty ingredients that take just a few minutes to sauté.
Got a gThankYou! Pizza gift certificate to use? Think of it as an opportunity to get creative! Below are a few of my go-to ways to make a store-bought frozen pizza taste like it came directly from the gourmet shop downtown, no delivery tip required.
Caramelized onions, roasted red peppers and goat cheese
There are two ways to do this one. The long way is to caramelize onions by cooking them slowly on low heat in a fair amount of butter and oil. After they’ve been cooking 8-10 minutes, add thin slices of bell pepper and cook on low for about 20 more minutes.
To enhance the sweetness, you can add a little bit of sugar to the onions. (They won’t be truly caramelized unless you cook them at least 30 minutes or so, but browned onions have lovely flavor too.) Use jarred roasted peppers for a quick flavor addition.
Fig, bacon and blue cheese
Cut the stems from dried Mission figs and cut them into quarters. Cook a few slices of bacon until brown and crispy; drain on a paper towel and crumble. Use a quality blue cheese, like Bohemian Blue from Hidden Springs, mild Maytag Blue or Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue from Oregon.
Spinach, artichokes and feta
Canned artichoke hearts are great on pizza (be sure to drain and quarter them first). Throw a handful of spinach on before sliding your pizza into the oven and the leaves will wilt in the heat. A few oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes wouldn’t go amiss on this one, either.
Roasted garlic, fresh basil and prosciutto
This one requires a little bit of forethought, but little extra work. Slice the top off a head of garlic, set it on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the foil around the head and roast at 400°F for 45 minutes. The cloves will be melting and sweet, and they’ll slip right out of their skins.
Top your pizza with sweet roasted garlic, basil cut into chiffonade (thin curled strips) and small pieces of prosciutto, which is a lovely Italian cured ham. (Regular ham will do here in a pinch, as will pancetta or cooked bacon.)
What do you do to dress up your frozen pizza? Share your favorite recipes!
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