If you ask me, Valentine’s Day is an annoying holiday. When you’re single, it’s a reminder that unlike seemingly everyone else on the planet, you have no one to send you roses and chocolates, and you’ll be alone forever. And if you’re part of a couple, there’s a lot of artificial pressure to make the day “special,” by spending a lot of money on overpriced food and corny gifts. For many years, Steven and I have celebrated by staying home and making a slightly nicer dinner than usual. Homemade pizza (no garlic or onions!) plus a bit of sparkling wine sounds like a romantic evening to me.
This Valentine’s Day heart pizza works whether you’re part of a couple, or not. Couples can cut it in half and offer each other pieces of their heart (awww), and your single lady party can go to town and annihilate the symbol of commercialized love with pizza cutters. Either way, you get to eat pizza at the end. Which is definitely the way to my heart.
Red Pepper, Portobello Mushroom, and Artichoke Heart Pizza
Makes two pizzas.
Pizza crust dough – I used this recipe, which makes enough for two pizzas, or you can use pre-made pizza dough–I like Trader Joe’s.
Pizza sauce – I used this recipe, but halved the honey and omitted the anchovy paste. It makes more than enough for two pizzas.
2 large portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced into 1-inch long pieces
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts,sliced into 1-inch long pieces
1/2 cup roasted red peppers,sliced into 1-inch long pieces
8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced and torn into pieces
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Whether you make your own pizza dough, or use store bought, when you get to the step where you press your dough into the pan, gently shape it into a heart. You can do this in either a sheet pan, or a pizza pan. Press an indentation in the top, and stretch out a bottom point. If your dough isn’t cooperating, leave it to rest for 15 minutes, and then resume shaping. Repeat if necessary.
If you’re using homemade dough, they’ll be a rising step at this point. While the dough is rising, slice up the vegetables and prepare the mushrooms as follows.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. When oil shimmers, add mushroom slices, lightly salt and pepper, and saute for 10-12 minutes, or until mushrooms have softened and begun to release juices.
A few minutes before your dough has finished rising, pre-heat the oven to 450°F. Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes on the lowest oven rack, or according to the instructions for your dough recipe. Remove crusts from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Spread pizza sauce on top of the dough, then arrange 1/4 cup cooked mushrooms, 1/4 cup artichoke hearts, and 1/4 cup roasted red peppers on each crust.
Add torn slices of the mozzarella cheese on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle feta cheese over everything.
Bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 10-15 minutes until the crust is nicely browned, and the cheese is melted. Check it midway through, and move it to the bottom rack if the top is browning too much, or the bottom not enough.
Slice up, and eat your heart out!
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