Unique Pizza Toppings
Stuffed crust, thick or biscuit thin base, who doesn’t enjoy a pizza now and then? Although bases and toppings come in a near-endless variety, the chances are you will always go for your favorite. It dances off your tongue when you’re ordering. Pizza has been a popular convenience food since Romans times. They liked to top with theirs with figs but these days, wherever you go in the world there’s a local mom and pop pizzeria serving pizza that’s pizza but different. If you are up for some pizza adventure without travel worldwide here are few popular toppings you might not have heard of to try out on a pizza at home.
Biscuit And Gravy Pizza
If you’re looking for one of the most popular unusual pizza toppings, try white gravy which is based on the béchamel sauce used in lasagne. It’s an interesting option for anyone interested in Alfredo sauce pizzas but this is the ultimate daddy of pizzas enjoyed by the Romans. For an added flavor, you can add a generous sprinkle of cheddar along with crumbled savory biscuits and finish it by breaking an egg directly on top and baking on high or at the back of the oven to keep the yolk runny. Along with the sauce and figs, the Romans added rosemary, olive oil and salt and this is still a tasty alternative served today.
Cheese, Chicken, Ham
Chicken and ham are always popular choices but how about jazzing it up with Iberian or parma ham, garlic chicken goujons and Emmental Swiss cheese? Use can easily substitute other medium hard cheeses like gouda or edam. To prevent the cheese from becoming too stringing, add a couple of ounces of mild cheddar. Of course, you can try other chicken and ham ideas to create your own twist on this perennial favorite and a generous sprinkling of coarsely chopped fresh coriander will set it all off.
Pineapple And Ham
Isn’t it quite obvious? No list of the best pizza toppings is complete without this sun evoking combination. The Hawaiian has been a permanent resident of the top pizza toppings list for years. Canadian bacon goes perfectly whether you keep the pineapple rings whole chop them. Although there’s not much variation with the pineapple, there’s a whole world of bacon and ham to try. If you use tinned pineapple, which is perfectly okay, drain it really well and pat dry with a paper towel to save the pizza from a soggy bottom.
Shrimp And Bacon
Surf and turf combos have hit menus everywhere and that includes down at the pizzeria. It’s the perfect combination for summer cookouts and when baked on a pizza stone in a tandoori oven, the pizza bakes crisp. Just like there are lots of kinds of bacon, there are many kinds of shrimp and prawn. You can use frozen, drained and patted dry but for any shrimp, fresh is best. Start your prep early by making a marinade. Douse the shrimp in a good quality olive oil, lots of lemon juice, finely chopped chilli (dried will do) and as much course chopped garlic as you like for leave the shrimps to absorb their flavor kick in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Chicken And Barbecue Sauce
People know they can add toppings but don’t realize they change the sauce. Spread barbecue sauce using the back of a spoon gently smear across the dough instead of tomato. With cheese and a generous handful of chopped roasted chicken, it’s the perfect pizza for winter. Chilli sauce works too and if you want something with an extra kick, a thin covering of a very hot sauce like tabasco. Without the tomato juice interacting with the dough can go paper-thin with base. Whatever topping you opt for, garnish with freshly chopped coriander and not tomato’s best friend oregano.
If you’re not into tacos but love chicken fajitas, you can add premixed fajita spices to your pizza. These spices are so pizza friendly you can add them to the base, sauce or straight in the cheese or use them the usual way to season a chicken topping. Use a square thin base to make bite-sized pizzas and serve with tzatziki, a dip made with natural yogurt and fresh finely chopped mint and cucumber. It’s perfect for parties and if you are not into fajitas, tandoori or Chinese spices work just as well.
Ricotta, Kale And Sausage
You can eat a healthy well-balanced diet by choosing healthy pizza toppings, such as kale and ricotta. Wilt the kale by lightly steaming first. You need it to keep its color so just a couple of minutes over boiling water. Allow time to drain. The kale crisps up during baking and adds texture to the whole meal. Spinach or arugula can be used instead of kale and all these wholesome leafy greens can be added to the dough.
In addition to these options, here are a few quick pizza toppings to consider.
Pepperoni: No one could ignore pepperoni but there are other spicy sausages for pizza such as chorizo or salami. Delicious when paired with shallots or onion ringed or diced. Their powerful flavors suit thick bases and stuffed crusts. There’s no need to add more seasoning or extra spices, their peppery flavor is absorbed right through the pizza.
Mushrooms: You can really go to town and have fun with fungi. There’s a huge variety in supermarkets these days. Some really are strange and exotic. The more unusual varieties are often found only in Asian supermarkets. It’s well worth a visit since not all mushrooms taste the same. That said, all mushrooms are mainly water so it’s best to slice them if you are using a thin base. On a thick base, if you like, you can use small whole button mushrooms or saucer-sized oysters in halves and quarters. Mushrooms, green pepper and onion is a long-time vegetarian favorite but can be given a new twist with a splash or two of Worcester Sauce or any good light soy sauce.
Black Olives: There are people who absolutely love olives and those who can’t stand them. However, black olives such as the variety liguria, can add a serious punch to pizza. You’ll never find fresh olives in stores. Fresh olives are bitter and frankly, inedible. They have to be left to leach by soaking in the brine. There are dozens of different varieties from the tiny but pungent to fleshy walnut-sized that are milder and sweeter. Each has its own taste and flavor intensity. If you do find the taste overpowering, simply slice, half or quarter each olive or add anchovies as a flavor counterpoint. They go exceedingly well together.
Tuna and Banana: This unlikely pizza topping duo is a delight for the senses. No kidding. It smells sweet as it bakes and the banana looks delicious caramelized. Contrasting so completely with the tuna in taste and texture means this topping once tried, is never forgotten. It suits dieters with its low calories and its high fructose content, which is a natural safe sugar, suits anyone with a sweet tooth.
Right from the start pizza was a good idea. What could be easier than spreading a few toppings on some kind of bread base? Whatever toppings you choose, the whole pizza can be let down its base. A good pizza should be able to support itself. Slices shouldn’t droop and the pizza should balance when placed across the blade of a kitchen knife. If you are not up to the challenge of making your own pizza base from scratch, readymade pizza bases and dough mixes are widely available. Similarly, if you don’t want the bother of kneading dough, waiting, knocking back and waiting again, which can take a good couple of hours, you can cheat creatively using frozen sheets of frozen filo or puff pastry or split baguettes.