pizza with red and yellow peppers

I hope you’re not pizza-ed out yet–and if you are, can you tell me your secret?–because I’ve got two more coming this week. Wait, why is everyone leaving? Come back!

To the four of you left, if despite all of my pleading and listicled efforts to convince you that you don’t need a pizza stone, pizza paddle, bread machine, dough hook or hours of free time to make awesome pizza at home, I’ve got one more for you: I made one of these with a broken oven. Or a mostly-broken one. Well actually, it was totally broken, but only for a few hours. Nevertheless, it was dramatic, as you can imagine; we’re quite fond of our flimsy, tiny Apartment Standard oven in the smittenkitchen.

prettiest bell peppers

You see, I had bookmarked yet another lovely, simple recipe from what I think we all know by now is my current favorite cookbook, Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables a couple weeks ago, the Pizza with Red and Yellow Peppers. Yet I was concerned that I wouldn’t get the caramelized top I wanted by baking it in my oven–every oven is different, but mine simply does not excel in top-browning. So, I decided it would be time to take my own advice and such, and cook the pizza under the broiler.

color-sorted peppers, because i'm ocd

As it turns out, my oven didn’t like this one bit. I don’t know if it was from the steam from the peppers or just a fluke reaction, but the oven wouldn’t stay lit and then it just wouldn’t turn on at all. But the pizza was only half-cooked, so I followed that other piece of my advice, and attempted to cook it on the stove (quite haphazardly, I might add) in a big cast-iron pan. It worked… okay. But I never got the caramelization on the peppers that I’d hoped for.

pepper pizza

Still, it is a lovely, simple pizza, and quite pretty to boot. I look forward to revisiting it once my oven has gone through a much-needed attitude adjustment. …By the way, three hours later, the oven was working again–cranky little thing, innit?–but by that time the pizza was long gone. Thank goodness, though, because I needed to call upon it for another minor task that weekend.

One year ago: Dilled Potato and Cucumber Salad (We made this again last weekend and it is still so very good, and our absolute favorite.)

Pizza with Red and Yellow Peppers
Adpated from Chez Panisse Vegetables

If you’ve got the guts to try broiling your pizza, despite my disaster, I think this pizza would be wonderful with that kind of top-down caramelization. Otherwise, the next time I make this, I’ll probably use fewer peppers, perhaps only half to two-thirds of each one. I felt it got too topping-heavy for my tastes.

3 bell peppers–1 red, 1 orange and 1 yellow (or less, see Recipe Notes)
1/2 small red onion
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 cup basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 ounces mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic

Pizza dough for one pizza [a simple recipe, a wine and honey version]

Preheat the oven–with a pizza stone in it–to 450 to 500 °F. [If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can bake this on the back of a baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal.]

Slice thin the peppers and onion, and roughly chop the parsley and basil. Toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Coarsely grate the cheese. Chop the garlic fine and mix it with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Roll out a disk of pizza dough 12 to 14 inches in diameter and place it on the back of a lightly floured sheet pan or pizza peel. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, brush the garlic and oil mixture on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the oiled dough. Spread the pepper mixture on top of the cheese. Slide the pizza directly onto the pizza brick and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the dough is crispy and thoroughly cooked. Slice and serve immediately.

Makes one 12-inch pizza.

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37 comments on pizza with red and yellow peppers

  1. Bryn

    Keep the pizza recipes coming! I made Jim Lahey’s potato pizza last week (using a fresh dough from our little Italian market), and it was so good it’s going into the regular pizza rotation.

    I’ll share our household favorite, borrowed lovingly from Bovolo at Plaza Farms on the square in Healdsburg, CA. It works best if you par-bake the crust “naked” and then add the toppings: sprinkle with shredded Fontina and bake for a few minutes until the cheese is all melty goodness and the crust edges are nice and brown. Remove from the oven and then top with torn pieces of prosciutto, then huge handfuls of arugula. Drizzle the whole thing with lemon olive oil (we like DaVero) and a ton of fresh-cracked pepper.

  2. Beth

    My husband and I used your technique to grill pizza last night and it was AMAZING! We will be using these toppings next time!

  3. Mmmmmm. Pizza. You should have tasted the pizza in Italy. I don’t know how they do it, and of course it was the best I’d ever had. But there is still nothing like a greasy slice of NY pizza. It’s the best!

  4. There can never be too many pizza recipes. Last week I made the potato pizza and then a couple days later I made a mushroom pizza. I can not thank you enough for the tips or the dough recipe, it’s so easy.

  5. Kathryn

    I just want you to know that you’re not alone in your pizza quest. The other night I made your simple pizza recipe and managed to have my oven so high that I warped the steel pizza pan that my grandfather had made by hand for his own pizza 18 years ago. Yep, he used it for nearly two decades and had no problems; I get my hands on it and nearly wreck it the first time. X)

    Keep posting pizza recipes! I need to practice my dough.

  6. Sarah

    I’m so glad you’re doing lots of pizza posts; homemade pizza is so very satisfying, and so easy you’ll never have an excuse to get the take-out stuff again! I tried grilled pizza with friends last Sunday; choices for toppings were caramelized onions, zucchini, sauteed mushrooms, goat cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, and basil.
    May I suggest letting your pizza dough ferment in the refrigerator a few days before you use it? Makes it extra-tasty. If you don’t already, that is.

  7. Absolutely hilarious! You finished up this amazing pizza on the stove top? Amazing! That’s dedication! I’m convinced that every oven has a personality. I’m gets a tad bit grumpy every time i turn it up to 425 to make bread… it just gets a little grumpy it has to work so hard. And who could ever get sick of pizza! Keep em coming!

  8. Whoa, pizzaholic! Nothing wrong with it, and I love using red, orange and yellow peppers together, they give such a great sweet flavor and such a vibrant presentation.

  9. Looks delicious! We never tire of pizza. Since moving to Beijing we keep hearing that x restaurant has the best pizza in the Jing, but we’re never satisfied. And our shabby oven does not get nearly hot enough. To compensate, I start the crust in a cast iron pan on the stove and then dress it and move it to the oven. Enjoy!

  10. Lexi

    Looks super-pretty, Deb! And no need to slow down with the pizza recipes! Sometimes for ours at home, we’ll caramelize sliced yellow, red and orange peppers slowly in the pan with a couple of cloves of garlic and a few splashes of aged balsamic vinegar and olive oil. They come out wonderfully sweet and are great for topping pizzas! They go especially well with feta. But they’re also good eaten at room temperature with good fresh bread as an antipasto.

  11. Kristen

    I love pizza!!! Keep those recipes coming! :) I just love your blog, your delicious recipes and your beautiful pictures.

  12. Susan

    Sprinkle those peppers with some sugar and use your brulee torch!

    I like the idea of the crispy peppers on that pizza. I would be tempted to caramelize the onions stove top..using a little brown sugar and some balsamic vinegar..then add them to the pizza under the peppers. I think it would give you the best of both worlds. the peppers by starting the caramelization process stove top, and let them finish in the oven on the pizza.

  13. i made pizza dough last night!!! and i hate to say it but it’ll have to wait til friday night when KS and i will finally be on the same schedule and can eat it together. now i have to figure out what pizza to make.

  14. while I drool at your pictures — can I beg you again to ask you to participate in the event my email talked about? (don’t want to shamelessly promote on your site). Did you get it??

  15. Amy

    I made this last night and it was so good. So. Good. I’d probably try carmelizing the onions on the stovetop first when I make it again. Also, can you freeze pizza dough? I hope you don’t mind, but I’ll be blogging about this awesome pizza tomorrow (all credit going to you, of course. If you feel your ears burning tomorrow, that’s me.)

  16. Delicious! Apparently, we all have pizza on the brain! We had it on our blog, and thewednesdaychef does, too! I guess I have no choice but to make it tonight.

  17. Erin

    How pretty! Please keep the pizza ideas coming; it is practically a separate food group in our house and I am always up for something new.

  18. A gorgeous, delicious sounding pizza! Love the mix of peppers [and the absence of green pepper. Quite a determined effort too, in spite of all the oven mishaps. When the wheels start falling off things in my kitchen, the language can get pretty colorful [hence Blue Kitchen]. How about you?

  19. Very colorful! Sorry about your technical difficulties, and hope your stove behaves from now on.

    Thanks to you, I made a gorgeous pizza the other night, and for the first time, THE CRUST DIDN’T GIVE ME HELL! :) Many thanks–It was delish.

  20. Sean K

    It sort of seems as though the best practice for a stove top pizza might be cases where the toppings don’t need to be heated. A lunch restaurant I used to go to had a hummus pizza, which involved exchanging the sauce layer for hummus, and then topping it with cheese and running it through a toaster belt. The pizzas would be done when the cheese melted slightly (making sure not to heat the hummus too much). Maybe the key for this recipe to work on the stove top would be to pre-roast all the vegetables (fire roast!) and then top with lentils or something. I’m thinking that my next pizza experiment will happen on the stove top with a layer of feta, roasted vegetables, and then a layer of spicy lentils topped with a few herbs.

  21. kelli ann

    i agree:: peppers on top of my pizzas are transcendent toppings. sweet, simple, and satisfying. i love making homemade pizza at my kids’ birthdays at getting the kids to top their own. love the suggestions in the comment section too. thanks!!

  22. Megan

    I’ve been loving your site–it makes my workday! The recent pizza posts inspired me to try your recipe for dough and cook some mini-pizzas under my broiler on top of a hot cast iron pain. The cornmeal made a bit of a burned mess, and I did a few with too-thick crusts, but mostly the experiment was a success (especially with pizzas made just with olive oil, rosemary, and coarse salt). Thanks!

  23. Great pizza needs little else but fresh vegetables, a tich of cheese and maybe a few chunks of tomato, plus….a really hot oven, or grill.

    I can just taste this one. It’s my kinda pizza!

  24. Natalie

    This pizza is delicious, but word to the wise for anyone making it: preheating the stone is not necessary. I tried it the first time I made it, and transferring the pizza to the stone was a TOTAL disaster… and took so long that the stone was room temperature by the time it was back in the oven. I made it a second time the way I usually make pizzas (making the pizza directly on the stone) and it was totally fine. It takes more than 6 minutes to cook though.

  25. Alyson

    This turned out so sweet and delicious! I used one large red and yellow pepper, and I had to bake it for at least three times as long, but that could be because my oven is a piece of crap. Used a pizza stone and it’s crispy and great despite all the moisture on top. Thanks – I’ll definitely make it again!

  26. Molly

    I always have trouble transferring my pizza to the baking stone. I used the back of a baking sheet, lightly floured. I find that once I load the pizza toppings on the dough, it is next to impossible to slide off. Maybe I just need more flour on the surface? Or should I really invest in a pizza peel? I see that another commenter had this issue as well, and opted instead to just make the pizza on the baking stone.