Puff Pastry Pizza – Tomato, Red Pepper, Olive & Mozzarella

This is a beautiful dish for any special occasion because it’s so colorful and so easy to make.  Plus it holds up well and can be served at room temperature.  So it’s perfect for a holiday gathering, bridal shower or baby shower, book club night or Bunko night,  or even a special Valentine’s Day dinner.  You really can use any toppings you like but this one idea of a delicious flavor combination that really gives a punch from the combination of the salty, briny Kalamata olives to fresh creamy mozzarella and tangy fresh tomatoes and then sweetness of the peppers.  I like to top it with fresh basil and sometimes a little bit of fresh shaved parmesan cheese, just for a nice presentation and to add one more layer of flavor.

A few tips that I’ve learned along the way when working with puff pastry. First, you don’t want to let the puff pastry dough get too warm or it won’t puff up properly.  Thaw according to the instructions, preheat the oven while it’s thawing, and then have all the ingredients sliced and diced and  ready to layer on top.  You can pop the prepared dough on a sheet pan back in the fridge if you need to before you bake it to keep it cold.  Also, no peeking. If you open up the oven to check on it you are going to let a lot of that hot air out and that’s critical to making it rise.  So just trust the 20-22 minute mark and the oven light if you want to check on it those last few minutes.  Then there’s the question of the egg wash.  It’s not a necessary step but I like the way it gives the crust a more golden brown look.  It’s up to you. Finally, don’t skip the part where you give the rolled out dough a few pokes with a fork on the bottom part of the dough (where you lay the toppings).  I find this helps with a more uniform look when they bake.  But you want those edges to really puff up.

This dish pairs nicely with a big salad to make a complete meal or with other small bites for a cocktail party.  I love the crunch of a flaky puff pastry and the decadent buttery flavor. Mmmmm…..

 

 

 

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Puff Pastry Pizza

Prep Time: 15 mins
Bake Time: 20-25 mins
Serves: 4 -6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 pckg puff pastry (1 sheet of the 2) - thawed according to package instructions
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/3 cup roasted red bell peppers ( from a jar), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes or mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 3/4 cup (approx 4 oz) fresh mozzarella packed in water, torn or sliced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fresh basil for garnish

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Roll out the 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough down the middle lenthwise, creating 2 equal pieces.
  3. Place dough on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Go around the edges of each piece, pinching the ends up, as you would a pie crust. You want to create about a 1/4 inch to a 1/2 inch rim or edge. Poke the center of the dough with a fork a few times, being careful not to tear the dough.
  5. Layer the toppings evenly across the two pieces of dough. Spreading them out so you get a little bit of each ingedient in each bite. Season with a little sea salt or kosher salt and fresh pepper.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and then cut into desired sized pieces and serve with fresh torn basil.

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