Apart from the pizza crust and sauce, what makes a pizza yummy is its topping. Pizza topping preferences vary across the world. While Americans prefer pepperoni pizza topping, Japanese favor squid. Mushrooms, sausage, extra cheese, onion, vegetables, bell peppers are popular pizza toppings.
Gourmet toppings such as artichoke hearts, crayfish, oysters, eggplant, dandelions, Cajun shrimp, Canadian bacon, duck and venison are also finding favor across the world. Homemade pizzas are not an exemption. The wide variety of toppings used in homemade pizzas are not just colorful and creative but healthy too.
Pizza topping, as the name suggests are the ingredients that are placed on top of the pizza in a specific order. Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat lover, there is an abundance of pizza toppings that can be applied to your pizza. Most pizza toppings include Italian cheese, be it mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan or Romano. There are non-cheese pizza toppings for those who prefer it that way. Russian pizzas typically are served with mocba - a combination of salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. Indian pizza toppings include Tandoori chicken and paneer (cottage cheese).
Using seafood in pizzas can be a bit tricky - both for baking them and reheating and using the leftovers. While browsing through your kitchen shelves for homemade pizza toppings, do not opt for caviar and Thousand Island dressing. While they may work well with sandwiches, they do not make for good pizza toppings.
Vegetarian pizza toppings
Feta, Spinach and Pine Nut: This is a healthy and delicious veggie pizza topping. Assemble the dough and spread the tomato sauce over it. Squeeze the spinach and toss it in a little olive oil. Crumble the feta over the sauce. Drain and scatter the cooked spinach onto the pizza. Microwave it for a while, add couple of pine nuts for the last two minutes.
Broccoli, Cherry Tomato and Feta: Broccoli and Feta are the perfect combination for a veggie pizza. Toss the broccoli florets in olive oil and lightly cook them. Spread over the sauce once the pizza is ready. Crumble over some feta, halved cherry tomatoes and steamed broccoli florets on your pizza. Then bake the pizza as usual.
Red and Yellow Peppers, Zucchini, Red Onion and Rosemary: This is one of the most colorful vegetarian pizzas. For a 12-inch pizza, use half red pepper, half-yellow pepper, one small zucchini and a small red onion. Cut your vegetables into large square chunks. Toss in a little olive oil, season and stir in a teaspoon of chopped rosemary. Roast the vegetables in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. Spread the vegetables on the pizza and bake it.
Garlic mushroom, Ricotta and Oregano: Heat little olive oil in a pan. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and toss in handful of sliced mushrooms. Cook them until they are just soft. Stir in a tablespoon of oregano and remove from the heat. Now, toss the cooked mushroom combination all over the pizza. Scatter some ricotta in chunks and bake as usual.
Homemade Pizza Toppings
5 capsicums, thinly sliced
5 sausages, thinly sliced and cooked ahead>
2 chopped onions
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 sliced tomatoes
¼ cup tomato sauce
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pizza crust/pizza dough
Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onion and capsicum until onion is tender. Remove from heat. Sprinkle ground pepper and salt over the pizza crust. Place sausage slices and then tomato slices. Sprinkle tomato sauce and cheese. Bake as usual.
Minced Beef Pizza
1 cup minced beef
1 finely chopped tomato
1 finely chopped onion
1 cup peeled tomato
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small green chilli (optional)
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 cup shredded cheese
Pinch of salt
Pizza crust/pizza dough
Heat oil in a large saucepan, sauté the onion and chilli until the onion is tender. Add the minced beef, garlic, tomato, salt, black pepper, peeled tomato and cook until the meat is softened. Spread the cooked combination over the pizza crust, sprinkle tomato sauce and shredded cheese. Bake as usual.