Pizza Planet

By Terese Allen, Organic Valley Food Editor

Picture this: the aliens have landed and it turns out they’re foodies. They’re here for only a brief visit and they’re looking for a taste of local flavor. What could you whip up for them that would best represent our world’s cuisine?

I’m thinking pizza.

It may have been invented in Italy, but today pizza is enjoyed nearly everywhere. It may have gained wide favor as a round of flat bread baked with tomatoes and cheese, but now it features every kind of international ingredient imaginable. Easy to make, endlessly versatile and beloved by all, pizza is may just be the global meal.

Any country or region can inspire the toppings. Try an Indian pizza with curried vegetables, a Mexican pie with chilies and refried beans or an Armenian version with feta and ground lamb. It’s “anything goes” with the crust, too: English muffin halves, corn or flour tortillas, pita bread, phyllo dough, French bread.

If you prefer a classic yeast-raised pizza dough, then consider using a pizza stone to bake it. Pizza stones are squares, rectangles or rounds of composite stone that heat evenly and create a beautifully crisp crust. They must be pre-heated for 30 to 45 minutes--about the same amount of time it takes to prepare your toppings. (No pizza stone? Then use a lightly oiled, heavy-gauge baking sheet.) To slide pizzas in and out of the oven, a wooden peel also comes in handy: it's a thin wooden paddle that, sprinkled with cornmeal, helps the pizza transfer easily.

Whatever the ingredients or method, pizza is welcoming fare all the world over. A good thing to remember when the aliens land.

Recipes

Eggplant Curry Pizza

A dish for heat-seeking spice lovers (vegetarian and otherwise).

Chicken and Black Bean Quesadilla Pizza

Got some Mexican-meal leftovers? You can make this dish in moments.

Armenian Pita Pizza

Lamb lends authenticity here, but a blend of Organic Prairie ground pork and beef makes an affordable, equally delicious substitute.

Spanish Sofrito Pizza

An olive oil-rich sauce of tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions and garlic is topped with peas, cured sausage and other vibrant flavors from sunny Spain.

Apple Cheddar Pie Crust Pizza

Inspired by the glorious apple strudels and tortes of east and central European heritage, this not-too-sweet “pizza” can be served at dessert, brunch or snack time. 

Grilled Pizza

If you like pizza, you'll love it grilled! From the kitchen...er, backyard, of Organic Valley's Theresa Marquez.

Crust-a-licious

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