As a parent I’m always looking for meals that are kid-friendly, delicious, healthy, quick, easy, and frugal. This summer I’m also looking for meals that allow me to use the fresh herbs in my garden. One of my favorite quick and easy kid-friendly, herb-friendly meals is homemade pizza with fresh basil and oregano. Because it’s so easy to make, it’s safe to ask your kids to help. This pizza literally takes 10 minutes to prepare (slightly longer if you have little “helpers”) and only 15 minutes to bake. Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees.
Step One: Prepare the Crust
My advice, buy pre-made whole wheat pizza dough ($1.29 at Trader Joe’s). If you are a bread baker and yeasty dough is second nature to you, go ahead and make it yourself, but for the rest of us the pre-made dough is a great value and saves load of time. Take your dough out of the fridge ahead of time and bring it up to room temperature. Sprinkle flour liberally on the pizza pan and roll the dough out to a nice round shape. Pull and squeeze the ends to build up the crust around the edge.
Step Two: Doctor the Sauce
If you don’t have a stash of homemade sauce handy for this next step, here’s what I want you to do. 1) do not feel guilty. 2) do not attempt to make sauce now. Our objective is fast and easy. We are going to supplement your store-bought jar of pizza sauce with fresh ingredients that will fool other adults at your pizza dinner party into thinking that you made the sauce from scratch. Add one clove of fresh garlic (crushed in a garlic press) and two tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves to 1 1/4 cups store-bought pizza sauce and mix. Pour your sorta homemade sauce onto the crust, and ask your kid helpers to spread it evenly with the back of a spoon.
Step Three: Add Toppings
Add any toppings you like before adding the basil. I like to put slices of pre-cooked sausage on my pizza. Wash fresh basil leaves (12 or more) and place them on the pizza. Grate one or two cups mozzarella cheese and have you kid helpers spread it on the pizza. Finish it off with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.
Step Four: Bake and Serve
Put pizza into an oven pre-heated to 450 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes and serve.
Pre-made whole wheat pizza dough ($1.29 at Trader Joe’s)
Small jar of pizza sauce (or homemade sauce if you have it)
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
Fresh basil, 12+ whole leaves washed
Additional toppings: sausage, olives, peppers, etc… (optional)
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella
Sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese