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whole food ~ well made

Antipasto Sheet Pan Pizza is a Winner for March Madness

As of this spring, I’m officially the only person in my family who does not play or coach basketball. But I grew up watching a lot of NBA with my Dad, and I’m a dedicated championship season basketball fan.

So, March Madness has hit our house pretty hard. And last weekend, we had more than one meal in front of the television. Good thing I’d already made dough for pizza.

Research shows that it’s critical to sit down as a family and have a meal at the table. Since we do that nearly every night of the week, it feels like a special occasion to gather in a different space. We eat and comment on the game. {I’m the one usually asking questions, like “Why did he get fouled?” Molly, 12, tries not to roll her eyes at me.}

Shaping Pizza a New Way

When it comes to homemade pizza, my usual plan is to divide the pizza dough and let the girls make their own personal pizzas–sauce, cheese and pepperoni for Cece. Then, I make some version of a veggie-laden pie for Benjamin and myself.

Sheet pan pizza recipe at lynnecurry.com.
Making sheet pan pizza is fun for kids, too.

A wet dough on the preheated pizza stone makes a pretty bubbly crust, and we’re usually happy enough. But last weekend, I got lazy and just pressed the whole batch of dough into a well-oiled sheet pan.

Then, I foraged in the fridge for toppings. I found a few half jars of artichoke hearts, marinated peppers, a leftover tub of homemade tapenade and the butt end of Italian salami. What riches!

I could continue to watch the game while the sheet pan pizza baked on its own–in about 20 minutes. The crust was golden brown and crispy on the bottom and edges just from contact with the hot oil and sheet pan.

Sheet pan pizza recipe at lynnecurry.com.
Tapenade (olive spread), artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and salami on a signature sheet pan pizza.

The kids raved about their pesto with mozarella half. My husband and I tucked into squares of antipasto sheet pan pizza. And we brought the leftovers for our ski lunch the next day.

Then, I made another one {again going halfsies with the kids who didn’t want any part of our antipasto pizza party}. It would make a great appetizer for entertaining, I thought. But we ate it all ourselves again.

With tournament games starting again tomorrow, I’m ready to make another batch of pizza dough to fill a sheet pan and top with whatever I can find on hand. But I’m hoping there are a few more jars of antipasto items in the pantry.

What are you eating in front of the television with your family this weekend?

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Antipasto Sheet Pan Pizza

This pizza has no sauce and no cheese, which may sound like sacrilege to some. But you won't lack any flavor with toppings that include tapenade (kalamata olive spread), marinated peppers, artichoke hearts and salami on a homemade crust. The variations are limitless!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Author Lynne Curry

Ingredients

For the pizza dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (18 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for oiling sheet pan
  • 2 cups water (75-80 degrees F)

For the tapenade:

  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 anchovy filets, rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons parsley optional

For the toppings:

  • 1 1/2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups marinated roasted red peppers, drained
  • 4 ounces Italian salami, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. To make the pizza dough, combine the flour, yeast, salt, olive oil and water in a bowl with a rubber spatula to form a rough dough. Use the dough hook on a stand mixer or knead by hand until the dough is smooth and stretchable, about 10 minutes. (It will be sticky, but try to avoid adding additional flour for the most airy crust.)

  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set it in a warm place and let it rise until nearly doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. {You can prepare the dough in advance up until this point and chill it overnight in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature for 2 hours before proceeding with the recipe.}

  3. To make the tapenade, combine the olives, anchovy, garlic, lemon juice and parsley in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until blended into a puree. Taste  for seasoning and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. (It will keep for weeks.)

  4. Oil a 11-by-17 rimmed baking sheet well using your hands. Turn the dough into the pan and press the dough to gently stretch it into the edges and corner of the pan. If the dough shrinks away from the edges, let it rest for 5 minutes and try again. Press the dough into an even layer for best baking.

  5. Top the dough with dollops of the tapenade. Then, arrange the artichoke hearts and roasted peppers over the dough. Reserve the salami. Let the dough rise uncovered while you preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, about 15 minutes.

  6. Bake the pizza for about 10 minutes. Add the salami, then rotate the pizza in the oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Use a pizza cutter to divide it into large serving pieces.

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