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How to prepare vegetable toppings for Pizza?

Majority of India is vegetarian making vegetable toppings of major interest

Most of the vegetables contain high amounts of water. During baking, the water is released making Pizza soggy. The following is a simple guide:

1. Slice vegetables thin. During baking, the water will easily turn to steam and escape. Still, remember that total amount of water still depends on total amount of vegetables.

If you have too much of vegetables, reduce the oven temperature to 425º F (from 450º F) and cook longer 10 minutes (instead of 8 minutes).

2. Put the vegetables on top of cheese. This prevent cheese from trapping water.

3. Sauté vegetables before using. This will eliminate some of the water during sautéing. During sautéing, the oils also absorb the seasoning flavors that may otherwise be lost during baking.

Even if you don't want to sauté, coat the vegetables with oil. Just coating with oil helps vegetables from releasing water.

 

I have categorized as two types of vegetables: Condiments, Cooked

Condiments

Condiments are not sautéed or cooked. There are two types of condiments: Raw vegetables, Pickled vegetables

Raw Vegetables

Onions: Should be finely sliced, pat dry with paper towel

Carrots: Use shredded or grated carrots, pat dry with paper towel

Green peppers: Should be finely sliced, pat dry with paper towel

Serrano: Should be finely sliced. Remove seeds and white membrane before chopping.

Mushrooms: Rub with oil and then slice thin. Oil coating helps reduce water release.

Tomatoes: Thinly sliced. The recipes calling for tomatoes do not use sauce, and rely on the water in the tomatoes.

 

Pickled Vegetables

Sliced Green olives drained, always put on the top otherwise pat dry with paper towel.

Sliced Black olives drained, always put on the top otherwise pat dry with paper towel.

Sliced Banana peppers drained, always put on the top otherwise pat dry with paper towel.

Indian Pickles don't lend themselves for use in Pizza. I have used sliced Turnip, Cauliflower and carrots from Gobhi Shalgam Gajar Achaar with limited success. I have also used chopped Hari Mirchi Achaar with more success.

 

Cooked Vegetables

These vegetables should be par-cooked, pat dried with paper towel and sautéed in minimum oil for a very small time. During sauté process, Cumin, salt and cayenne peeper may be added to lightly coat the vegetables. Sautéing has two advantages: Retain seasoning flavors, and reduce amount of water.

Potatoes

Use Russet potatoes. Peel, dice into ¼"  to ½" cubes. Put in water, bring to a boil, cook for 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain. Pat dry with paper towel. Sauté.

Cauliflower

Put in boiling water. Bring it to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes. Drain immediately. Pour over cold water to stop cooking. Avoid over cooking. Drain. Dice into ¼"  to ½" pieces. Pat dry with paper towel. Sauté.

Broccoli

Put in boiling water. Bring it to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes. Drain immediately. Pour over cold water to stop cooking. Avoid over cooking. Drain. Dice into ¼"  to ½" pieces. Pat dry with paper towel. Sauté.

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