Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pizza Party for the 4th of July: Three Pizzas to Wow The Crowds

Backyard fireworks launched from a small sandpit my dad would create for the occasion, sparklers, black snakes (the kid-friendly firework kind, not the reptiles,) watermelon seed spitting contests with my siblings, and mounds of barbecued chicken. These are my early memories of the fourth of July. The fourth of July comes just at the time in the summer when everyone needs a fun holiday, an excuse to have a picnic with red and white checkered tablecloths and decorate with red, white, and blue. It is fun to decorate with food, too, but as it turns out, there aren’t too many blue ones—lots of red and white, but blue? None-the-less, we came up with three patriotic pizzas that will leave family and guests smiling. The first recipe idea comes from Alex, who didn’t miss a beat when asked what foods were blue. “Blue cheese!” obviously.

Red, White, and Blue Cheese Pizza


1 Against The Grain Cheese
¼ fresh organic red pepper
2 ounces of blue cheese (we have several great local choices, and I used blue cheese from Boucher Family Farms)


1. Cut the pepper into thin strips and arrange it like fireworks bursts on your pizza. Ours looked like this:
2. Crumble the blue cheese and put little mounds in the middle of the pepper bursts. Sprinkle the rest around the pizza (like random fireworks?)
3. Bake directly on the rack at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.

Blue Potato Pizza With Red Pepper Confetti

The idea for the blue potatoes in this recipe came from Jeremy, who is way into organic gardening. Thinly sliced, the potatoes bake until just tender. The aroma is pleasing, the polka-dot effect arresting, and fresh potatoes on pizzas are unusually yummy toppings.


1 Against The Grain Cheese Pizza
6 small blue potatoes, very thinly sliced
1/8 fresh organic red pepper
Dash of salt
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp olive oil


1. Place the sliced blue potatoes and crushed garlic in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and toss with olive oil. Let the mixture marinate for approximately 30 minutes.
2. Chop the pepper into small pieces.
3. Arrange the potatoes on the top of the pizza and sprinkle with the red pepper. Ours looked like this:

4. Bake directly on the rack at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.

Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake Pizza

Yes, you read that title right, with cheesecake and pizza in the same sentence. This pizza was inspired by our resident dessert pizza creator, Josh. Since our organic strawberries have just started ripening in our garden, it seemed like a great way to share some of them. Besides, we’ve already shared way too many with the pesky voles who seem to have moved in over night and made a pool table’s worth of holes in our strawberry patch. Just wait until you try this one. While we all thought that one never eats a cheesecake hot, we couldn’t resist and were rewarded with the bursts of hot blueberries and strawberries tucked into a divine cheesecake layer. My test pizza, more like a cheese danish, disappeared in nanoseconds. Who says pizzas are for dinner? This pizza is a dessert you won’t forget... now, I’ve already promised to make two more for the staff for tomorrow.


1 Against The Grain Pizza Shell
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
½ cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, cut in half


1. Blend together the cheesecake ingredients with a wisk. Spread the mixture evenly on the pizza shell.
2. Top with a mixture of strawberries (cut-side down) and blueberries.
3. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, just until the cheesecake starts to brown slightly.

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