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Dishing up a Heart-Healthy Pizza



Photo: Emile Henry


Product Reviewed
Emile Henry Grilling / Baking Stone


Wow! The Emile Henry Grilling/Baking Stone is one solid, heavyweight contender to my usual baking trays. (It certainly gave my biceps a workout just lifting it out the box!)

To test out the Emile Henry Grilling/Baking Stone, I choose to make a pizza. Pizza has a lot of room for creativity — it can be made with a variety of sauces, toppings and even crusts — some of my favorite non-traditional "crusts" include focaccia and one with an egg base. If you are out of traditional staples, have no fear, get creative with the items you have in stock. (For instance, pumpkin puree substitutes well for tomato sauce. One of my latest "ice-box" creations is a fall pizza with pumpkin puree, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach and mozzarella.)

Besides having room for creative use of your stocked items, a homemade pizza can be quite healthy if you include plenty of veggies and limit excess cheese and fatty, rich meats. If you choose your ingredients wisely and chop certain ones finely, the distribution of flavors can be quite pleasing. For example, a pinch of rosemary can go a long way in terms of aroma and flavor.

So how did I choose to dress a pizza to test the Emile Henry Grilling/Baking Stone? I choose a harvest theme, featuring butternut squash, basil, rosemary, thyme and well-distributed bits of goat cheese.

A Satisfying Result
I have never used a baking stone, and was pleasantly surprised with the consistency this Emile Henry one delivered. It evenly baked the pizza crust with a delightful crispness throughout (there was no gushy center or over-cooked outer edges).

I even tested the same recipe three times with a basic pizza dough I had purchased from my local bistro / market. In fact, the crust was so perfect, I even bought some extra dough to make crispy crackers lightly seasoned with olive oil, low-fat shredded mozzarella, rosemary and a pinch of salt. It's a crispy delight!

Ease of Use
Simply put, the Emile Henry Grilling/Baking Stone is easy. To save preparation time, I used a light cooking spray and rolled my dough topped with a Silpat liner directly onto the stone. I removed the Silpat liner, added my pizza toppings, and placed it in a preheated 425-degree oven.

It took between 12 and 15 minutes for an evenly heated pizza with a perfectly crispy crust. To achieve a more toasted crust, I covered the toppings in foil (exposing only the outer edges) for an additional 3 minutes.


Simple Harvest-Baked Pizza

Recipe by Lauren O'Connor, MS, RDN

Ingredients
Olive oil cooking spray (to lightly grease stone)
Traditional basic pizza dough
2 teaspoons olive oil
1-2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
Handful of baby spinach
4 Brussels sprouts chopped
1/2 cup of diced butternut squash
2 teaspoons pine nuts
Chopped fresh or dried basil, rosemary and thyme

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Roll dough flat onto lightly greased stone
  3. Add fresh veggies and cheese.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and top with pine nuts and seasonings.
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until crust golden brown. After 10 minutes, you can cover toppings with foil so the outer edges of crust can bake to golden color without overcooking the veggies.


Lauren O'Connor, MS, RD, is owner and nutritional consultant for Nutri-Savvy, a lifestyle program with an intuitive sensory approach to food. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
 

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Kitchen tool reviews featured in Food & Nutrition Magazine and FoodandNutrition.org are written by Stone Soup bloggers. Opinions expressed in these reviews are those of individual writers. Test samples are provided by manufacturers.
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