Making little kids laugh has got to be one of the best things on the planet. I love when they lose it! Just toss their heads back laughing.
It’s so gratifying to know that they are laughing, not out of courtesy, but because they genuinely think it’s funny. (Well at least most kids haven’t honed the skills of manipulation and the courtesy laugh)
My 3 year-old nephew Sawyer is a sucker for gibberish. All I have to do rattle off a nonsensical sentence to him in a language no one understands and he’s a gonner.
If you just read the name of this recipe to kids, I’ll guarantee at least a crinkled nose and grin. But, I’m pretty sure you’ll get a full blown laugh.
It’s the perfect, pre trick-or-treating dinner. Made with store-bought pizza dough, canned tomatoes, creamy ricotta and colorful roasted veggies, it’s simple enough to prepare–even while wearing your witch hat.
- 3 parsnips about 1 lb, peeled
- 3 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper stemmed and seeded
- 1 zucchini about 8 oz
- 2 tbsp cornmeal
- Flour for work surface
- 1 bag 1 lb frozen pizza or bread dough, thawed
- 1 can 14.5 oz diced tomatoes, drained
- 1¼ cups whole-milk ricotta
- 3 tbsp fresh or 1 tbsp dried oregano
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Cut parsnips into 2- to 4-inch-long by ½-inch-thick sticks; toss with 1 tbsp oil and ¼ tsp salt. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast 15 min.
2. Meanwhile, cut bell pepper into thin slices. Cut zucchini lengthwise in half, then into ¼-inch-thick slices. in a large bowl, toss together bell pepper, zucchini, remaining 2 tbsp oil and ¼ tsp salt; add to roasting parsnips on baking sheet. Roast until tender and just golden, about 20 min. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
3. Increase oven to 450°F and place rack in lower third. Sprinkle a baking sheet with 1 tbsp cornmeal; set aside.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough and, using, hands, stretch to 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Top with half of each tomatoes, ricotta (in dollops) and roasted vegetables. Bake until cooked through and bottom is golden brown, 15 to 18 min. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make one more pizza.
5. Transfer pizzas to a cutting board, drizzle with oil and top with oregano.
Choose any veggie but be sure to use a parsnip! That, of course is the "Shriveled Nose".
Recipes by Tara Bench
Original published in Ladies’ Home Journal, Oct 2008
Photography Evan Sklar
Prop Styling Megan Hedgpeth
Food Styling Susan Vajaranant