The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ideas for Friday night pizza

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Ideas for Friday night pizza

I'm making a whole wheat pizza Friday night and am thinking of new ideas for toppings. I tend to like a simple pizza with high quality cheese, full flavored herbs and little to no meat. I've made in the last couple of weeks a lot of pizzas with mozarella/parmasan/reggiano, tomatoe, onion and arugula  and fresh habanero toppings.  Have also used some eggplant. So far, I've been using things from the garden but this week will only have arugula and habaneros from the garden.

The sauce I use is a marinara sauce with about 1 cup of red wine simmered in a large can of crushed tomatoes, lots of garlic, some dried basil simmered until reduced to half.

This week I'd like to try something different but not so different that my DH doesn't recognize it as pizza. Something along the lines of gorgonzola and....?

janij's picture

My favorite homemade pizza is pesto with grilled chicken and roma tomatoes.  With mozzarella and parm.

Don't know about the gorgonzola.

Elagins's picture

the Mexican influence is very strong -- lots of really good flavors. i've adapted one of my favorites into pizza ... salsa cruda (chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chilies -- or maybe 1/4 of a habanero -- garlic, salt), carnitas (pulled pork) and queso blanco (something like feta, but mozzarella and/or cheddar also work). the combo is sort of like a giant sopa. you can also add a few dollops of refried beans and eat with guacamole after it comes out of the oven.

also, chicken, cheddar and bbq sauce

and as for gorgonzola, it's mind-blowing on pizza with fresh figs (if you can still find them)

Stan Ginsberg

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Wow, the gorgonzola and figs sounds awesome. Habaneros is good with everything. I am so amazed at the flowery flavor that habaneros have fresh from the garden and ours aren't horribly hot so we can really enjoy the complex flavors.


dstroy's picture

Gorgonzola on pizza...

We went to a pizzaria in southern Oregon during one of our vacation travels and I had this pizza that stuck in my memory as a bizzarre combination that I absolutely LOVED. It wasnt on their standard menu and I'm trying hard to recall everything that was on there, but I do recall it had Gorgonzola, chicken, walnuts, and ...grapes!!! I believe the sauce was a light marinara sauce. It was SO unexpected, but so good! I am pretty sure they put the grapes on later in the baking process, because they weren't all mushy.

Royall Clark's picture
Royall Clark

Sure sounds like a pizza that the Wild River Pizza and Brew pub in Grants Pass and Brookings make. It was hard to get GOOD pizza here that is until I started to make my own!! I had 2 frozen pizzas in the freezer when I started to make my own. I finally gave them to a single person to survive on ;^)



Floydm's picture

It was Kaleidoscope Pizza & Pub in Medford.  We stopped there on our way to Crater Lake.

Good to know about Wild River.  We've never had much luck dining in Grants Pass.


flournwater's picture

One of my famiy's favorites is a selection of high quality cheeses, toasted pine nuts and coarsely chopped bacon bits, with a few artichoke hearts spread about (I get them bottled and drain the before adding them to the pizza).  I put the toppings on about half way through the baking time.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

That sounds really good, love artichoke hearts, pine nuts and good bacon bits. Do you do a marinara sauce with that? I really like eggplant on pizza too but I'll wait until it warms up and we have eggplants coming out our ears from the garden.

flournwater's picture

I like to use a marinara sauce with it, but I'll use whatever the family requests.  Sometimes a plain red sauce, prepared with browned tomato puree and a touch of dry red wine, offers a flavor variation that is appealing. 

SylviaH's picture

white pizza is one of my favorites..cheeses, shrimp, garlic and Extra virgin O.Oil

janij's picture

the white clam recipe in American Pie?  It is fabulous!! 

This thread is making me ready for Fri.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

DH hates white sauce but I bet I could do the same with pesto and it would be yummy. Or, pesto and lump crab? Oh, you guys have me on a roll!!

SylviaH's picture

You don't have to have a sauce, you can use just cheese, one that melts nicely.. I love a garlic oil dressing...pesto is wonderful..crab and clam are delicious. 

janij's picture

It is actually cream cheese and crab.

Janknitz's picture

our local pizzaria.  They make a Garden Ranch pizza I love.

It has a very thin layer of ranch dressing, topped with vegies like fresh spinach, marinated artichoke hearts, chopped garlic, chopped tomatoes, and parmesean cheese.  YUM!

Now I'm hungry again!

ehanner's picture

You guys are killing me. Not a single image of a blistered bubbling pizza fresh off the stone? Gorgonzola? That sounds great!


mrfrost's picture

Well, speaking of pickled banana peppers and grapes, a few months back those were a couple of the few ingredients I had on hand. So along with a few red bell pepper strips and some shallots, I had a quite tasty snack.

Now, I just can't seem to do without some kind of pickled pepper on my pizzas. I usually save the pickling juice and soak bell pepper and jalapeno slices in it, if that's all I have on hand.

By the way, my homemade pizza fixation is how I gradually got into this bread baking also. Totally unexpected for me. The forum is a great site for all one needs to know about learning pizza making.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I started with the idea that I could make a better pizza crust than I could buy at the supermarket. After I took a stab at KA's "Blitz Bread" focaccia, I moved on to AP and instant yeast. Then I started moving into whole wheat breads and I haven't figured out where my boundaries might be other than my waistline and that my wife has asked me not to bake more than one loaf at a time due to the temptation factor.  I may have five different types of flour on hand but I haven't given my starter  a name yet.

Well seasoned and floured holiday greetings from the western bank of the Missouri River. PG

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

My husband asked me today if I could make double serving "smaller" loaves for us and freeze the rest. He also said "you bake too much at one time, I can't eat it all".

I sure like that after an ex-husband who was a compulsive eater, although now i've learned to cook for the army of one! Now I have to learn to cook for a pair of tiny eaters.

I started the baking craze a few months ago with a rye/whole wheat pizza crust and have been baking constantly ever since. Whole grains is where it's at and I simply can't find "real" whole grains at the store so instead I just go without. Now that I'm learning to bake I'm going to learn to push the limits on whole grains and fiber while maintaining all that is good in bread.

Thanks for the pizza forum tip!


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I've added a pre-soaked multi-grain cereal by wheatMontana into a whole wheat loaf and it was a great additon to the loaf. Bob's Red Mill markets small packages of 7- and 10-grain cereals that can be added to your loaves.

White whole wheat flour can be used in breads and pizzas. KA and other companies are marketing this type of product so effectively that the Kroger flours now have a WWW flour available to the supermarkets they supply.

I've found that using some of the WW or WWW flour in the pre-ferment stage or useing a sourdough alters the flavor to a more sweet profile that whole grain haters will enjoy. JMHO.

Well seasoned and floured holiday wishes from the western bank of the Missouri River. PG

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I love the multi-grain cereal ideas. Do you have any basic recipes?

No whole grain flour haters in this family. Well, the step-kids except the step-son. But, they can eat the cheap  tasteless rolls in the plastic bag and leave the good stuff for my side of the family. My family and my husband, we all love the WW/rye. Step-son has developed the taste from living with us the last two years too. He's even decided the WW and rye pizza doughs are the "best ever"!! Considering SS and DH ate wonderbread  and 99cent "WW" when I met them this is a huge giant step!!

gardenchef's picture

THIS IS AN ENTRY FROM MY BLOG but the photo ares from last week's pizza. Now I've been making homemade pizza, forever but haven't made the crust from scratch with my mixer (it's new : ))

I would LOVE a great whole wheat pizza crust recipe. I like a really flat crispy whole wheat crust. So please forward recipes if you have them.


Prepping food in advance can make your busy life so much easier, which in turn, I believe makes the cooking more fun, food tastes better and you have more time together as a family. Not many of us can spend hours in the kichen every day. I like to spend no more than 20-40 mins on any dinner we make.

The kids are home from school early, the sun is shining, it's a splendid 69 degrees in Boston! Always trying to think of new ideas for dinner, or a twist on a regular meal. Today would be a great day for grilling but the grill has to be cleaned for the season, a little behind schedule in the grilling department.

So, what's for dinner tonite? Something to please ever palete in the house and that is no easy feat here! But not tonite..healthy homemade personal pizza's, breadsticks, and gooey iced cinnamon bread for dessert. Sounds like a lot of carbs I know. But, not to worry the tomato sauce is ALWAYS homemade, the herbs & veggies are fresh!

I have a fantastic ~ authentic ~ recipe from Italy that is so simple, ask us for recipe! You will NEVER buy sauce again! 

The first pizza I'll make is pretty traditional (red sauce and cheese on white crust (for hubby and kids) Then I get gourmet for my tastes! In addition to the pizza's,

I always make a separate cookie sheet of bread sticks: the kids like to dip into the red sauce (I sneak pureed veggies into sauce on occassion!)

I'll use both white and wheat dough, I'm trying to convert my family to wheat, but haven't convinced them all can get creative with both white and wheat dough though. It is the freshness of the ingredients...dough and toppings that is key to a yummy healthy pizza

PLEASE NOTE: I'd like to have the dough mentioned next from my own mixer in future)

Ingredients I like to always have on hand...
~ Frozen 1 pound bags of white, and also wheat dough (I buy... or make.. and freeze a dozen at a time). $1.59/bag (each bag makes 2 large or 3 medium personal pizza's...less expensive if you make dough at home.
~ Mozzerella Cheese, I like PollyO Mozzerella in a 2lb block...freezes well (and slices so easily with a serrated edge knife when partially frozen). THE BEST PART...only $5.00 for 2lb block at BJ's (similar to Costco). I prefer the block because you can slice the cheese to your specification and It always seems fresher than the shredded! JMHO
~Homemade Red Sauce (I always have some in sandwich baggies in the freezer)
~ FRESH, always fresh, BASIL
~Vine Ripened Tomatoes or ROMA
~Additional toppings: sliced sweet onions or caramelized onions (a little butter in saute pan with sliced onions on low/medium heat for 20 minutes), crispy sauted proscuitto (TIP: ALWAYS buy IMPORTED Proscuitto not domestic there is a significant differance in quality of taste. I buy 1 pound, chop before cooking, and saute. I then divide the sauted proscuitto into little ziplock baggies, you get about 20 baggies per pound... and freeze them as well. (you don't need a lot on a pizza, b/c it is salty... but ooooh so tasy! A step up from bacon.

***With Proscuitto the price of the IMPORTED is up to $20/lb in a specialty store...though remember this pound will make 20 portions that freeze for months..therefore this adds $1 to each pizza. Though in this case it is worth the extra expensive compared to domestic's flavor.

I grill pizza dough on stovetop (both sides) before I top with personal choices for toppings. Using a long handled, oven safe, saute pan I place it in the oven to  broil the topping for a few minutes...voila....homemmade pizza.

ANOTHER NOTE: I just got my new pizza stone from KAF and will be using that from now on. Would love to skip the grill on stovetop first, but want to be sure dough is cooked thru. My goal for my own pizza's is cripsy, thin, wheat crust

Sorry to rush, more to follow on homemade pizza's in future blogs.

Love this site: send along your wheat recipres for pizza dough...thanks in advance.

turosdolci's picture

Try fresh sautéed artichokes one of my favorite. We had goat cheese with fresh basil and Prosciutto with organio, red onions and mozzarella last night. Try a tomato base with shell fish such as clams, shrimp, calamari with fresh basil.  If you can get Porcini mushrooms they are great on pizza with truffle oil. Ricotta, with figs or ham/Prociutto (Other types of fruit or zucchini will work). Sun dried tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies, a typical southern Italian pizza. The toppings are endless. Apples or pears mixed with Ricotta if you want meant add Prociutto.  I know you mentioned that you don't want meat, but many of these recipes the meat can be subsituted with eggplant or as I mentioned Pocini, which we often subsitute for meat.

The recipe below we call Aunt Rosette's Pizza.  It is a family recipe that we love and from the region of Puglia Italy.

I use only fresh tomatoes, or Passatta Pomodori. This you can find in your market it is usually in a cardboard box, but in Italy it is bought in bottles and Italians always have a bottle in their refrigerator all the time.  It is simply pureed tomatoes. I use only fresh ingredients and even fresh herbs if I can get them.  It makes all the difference in the flavor.


You can subsitute the meat with eggplant of mushrooms, but the ham is the tastyiest ingredient.

Aunt Rosette's Pizza


5 eggs (large), beaten

1/2 cup pepperone, cut into cubes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 onion,, medium, chopped

1 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated

3/4 lb ham chopped(more or less)

This is cooked in a pan and not on a pizza stone. The dough should have a rim or edge all the way around so that the mixture doesn't seep out over the sides. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the top.  

We love to cut it into small squares for hors d'oeuvres.

Cook for about 15 minutes @ 375ºF on the bottom rack, or until the bottom is brown.

Have a great pizza party.




rayel's picture

Gorgonzola and onions (carmelized) with walnuts or toasted pine nuts and black nicoise olives is wonderful.  A real classic.  Ray

rrossi's picture

One of my favorite toppings.....

I top my pizzas with gorgonzola, caramelized onions, sage and diced roast beef.  You can omit the beef since you prefer no meat.  Everybody loves this combination. Match it with a nice bottle of Zin.... You've got heaven on earth... IMO...


Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Gorgonzola, elephant garlic (I'll swipe from the pack I'm going to plant tomorrow), some fresh spicy basil,parsley, a sprinkly of bacon or proscioutto, some of the best cherry tomatoes I can find.

That's it. With the WW that's been started all wehaek from PR's recipe from his WG book. Thank's guys~~ this is subjuct to change on a whim of course. I am blonde! And, my husband is liable to toss habneros an cowhorn peppers on his, no matter what flavor it is.

I'll try to figure out pictures if it turns out.


smasty's picture

First, I have to say, that the Iowa prosciutto trumps the European stuff (imho)'s fabulous (I can't remember the name of it, but everyone knows the Iowa stuff, it's famous).  The meat-men I buy it from at Whole Foods agree...try it if you haven't. 

I recently made a pizza with red onion, olive oil, and paper thin slices of lemon (rind included)...sea salt and pepper.  I love the ideas here!  I'm having a small cocktail party tomorrow and had thought about popping in a pizza for an appetizer, now I have new ideas! 

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Oh man. I'm always trying to find a use for lemon. Now you got me. I have a meyer lemon tree!!!! OK, I have to revise. I left my options open. Good thing I'm a blonde. While I'm at it I'm going to stick a lemon in a jar and pickle it.  I've never tried it and have a recipe for it.

I have these lemons that look every bit like beautiful oranges. Dang, all my jars got packed. I'm going to have to wait for one to get empty from something else.