It’s a banner day, folks! Not only is my stubborn cold finally gone, this is my 1,000th post. (Too bad 10 a.m. doesn’t seem like an appropriate time to bust open a bottle of bubbly!) To celebrate, I thought I’d share a tasty pizza recipe that was the happy result of looking in my fridge and assembling seemingly disparate ingredients into a pleasing whole: green beans, sausage, Parmesan, and the makings for a homemade BBQ sauce.
I had never seen green beans — much less roasted green beans — on a pizza before, but now that I’ve enjoyed them atop a crust, I don’t know why roasted-veggie pizzas aren’t more of a trend. Talk about a great way to use whatever veggies you have on hand! And of course leftover roasted veggies can be added to soups, included in stir-frys, mixed into salads, or just eaten all on their own. They’ll last up to a week in the fridge, so roasting is a great option when you just don’t know what to do with your veggies aside from “I don’t want to throw them out!” The answer? Put them on a pizza!
Sausage & Roasted Green Bean BBQ Pizza
Makes one 12″ pizza.
For the BBQ sauce (if you opt for store-bought sauce instead, look for varieties without high-fructose corn syrup; in fact, see if you can find varieties with little or no added sugars of any kind):
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
28 oz. diced tomatoes (look for a Tetra-pak if you’d rather avoid canned tomatoes)
1 T. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. ground mustard
1 T. chili powder
1 T. pomegranate molasses (optional, but adds a wonderful sweet/tangy depth; if you don’t have pomegranate molasses, add 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice and use 1 T. molasses instead of 2 tsp. molasses)
1 T. wheat-free tamari (or standard soy sauce if you’re not a gluten-free person)
2 tsp. blackstrap molasses
For the pizza:
Roasted green beans (or any veggie)
Sausage, preferably from pastured animals (I used Applegate Farms’ chicken-sage breakfast links)
Grated Parmesan, preferably the real deal from Italy (Parmesan-Reggiano) Homemade crust or store-bought whole-grain crust
To make the BBQ sauce, cook the onion in a not-too-small pot with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onion is translucent and garlic is very soft. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Let simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. If the sauce is audibly bubbling, reduce heat to low.
While the sauce cooks, preheat oven to 425F if you’re making your own crust. Follow the recipe link to make the crust, including prebaking it for 15 minutes. While the crust bakes, prep the green beans by rinsing them well and trimming away the stems. Toss in a large bowl with a drizzle of unrefined peanut oil OR extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt and cracked pepper. Lay beans out on a parchment-covered baking sheet. As soon as you pull out the pizza crust, reduce heat to 375F and roast the beans for 15 minutes. Check to see if they’re turning golden brown. If not, let them roast for another 5 minutes before pulling them out.
While the beans roast, cut the sausage into rounds. Add them to a skillet and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until the bottoms are turning golden brown. Flip and cook another 3 minutes or until both sides are brown.
It’s time to top the pizza! Spoon BBQ sauce onto the prebaked crust, then add green beans and the sauteed sausage rounds. Finish by dusting with Parmesan. Pop the pizza back into the 375F oven for about 10 minutes or until the Parmesan has softened (it doesn’t quite “melt” the way mozzarella does) and the edges of the pizza crust are light brown.
Serve as soon as you can touch the pizza and cut it into slices without burning your fingertips. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. If you want to make a double batch of BBQ sauce for other dishes, you can freeze any unused sauce for up to six months to thaw and use at a later time.