Part of the reason pizza is such a popular food item stems from the fact each person can have it their own individual way. Start with a basic red or white pizza base, and pile on the toppings of one’s choice including meats, seafood, cheeses and vegetables. Meat and seafood toppings add a hefty dose of flavor to pizza. However, vegetables also bring personality, punch and flavor to the taste of pizza.
Here are five vegetables that are most often requested as pizza toppings. It’s easy to see why the addition of vegetables makes the taste of pizza even more delicious than a vegetable-free pie.
Red onions, yellow onions and even scallions have a strong but pleasant taste that mixes so well with tomato sauce. Onions and cheese are complementary flavors, so each flavor makes the other one better. Meats like bacon, sliced meatballs or sausage go very well with the addition of any type of onion topping.
Pickled peppers, fresh peppers or even sautéed peppers are delicious on pizza. Peppers have a unique taste that enhances a pizza by offering a punch of tangy pepper flavor to each bite. Peppers are great as a companion topping with a sausage or meatball pizza in particular. Feel free to layer on the mozzarella because peppers and creamy mozzarella go so well together.
Mushrooms are great on a red pie, but they are even more outstanding on a white pie. White pies use garlic-based oil as the foundation of the pie, and they are often paired with seafood toppings like clams and shrimp. Mushrooms bring a woodsy, earthy taste to the garlic and oil, and they enhance the flavors of the Parmesan cheese usually used in a white pie.
Broccoli has a fresh garden taste that stands out among the tomatoes and cheeses used in a typical pizza. Broccoli also has a beautiful green color that looks great on a simple red pie. Grate on a mountain of Romano cheese, and this pizza will be both healthy and delicious. It will also look beautiful with the bright green, red and white colors.
Even though most pizza sauces include garlic in the ingredients, many garlic lovers want an extra pop of garlic flavor on their pizza. When roasted garlic is a topping, it adds a rich, nutty flavor to the pizza that is totally different from the more pungent flavor associated with uncooked or slightly cooked garlic. This wonderful, mild, but unique flavor is a great match with almost any type of meat or seafood pizza including shrimp, clams, sausage, bacon and pepperoni pizza.
If pizza is prepared at home, it’s important to slice or chop the vegetables into small pieces so they will cook evenly and quickly in the oven. For denser vegetables like broccoli, a quick sauté or parboil will soften the vegetable just enough to ensure the broccoli is cooked to perfection.