Best Pizza & Sauce Recipe + CA Agritour

My most favorite beer-crust pizza recipe + the easiest, most delicious pizza sauce! Both the dough and sauce can be mixed and stashed separately in the fridge for several days, making this the ultimate in meal planning!

This was my second year participating in the CA Grown Agritour. Last year, we met up in Santa Barbara and toured a bunch of local farms and ag businesses and sampled everything from passionfruit and tomatoes to wine and cheese. You can read more about the trip here and get my recipe for Cherry Jam Streusel Muffins.

This year, we had to do things a little different. Meeting up remotely via zoom, CA Grown took us from farms from Southern California learning about leafy greens and ending in up in Northern California with a virtual wine and cheese tasting! 

Below I included a recap the CA Grown agritour, give you some recipe tips AND link to some of my favorite recipes using California greens, sweet potatoes, pomegranates and cheeses. Enjoy!

California Ag Facts + Recipe Ideas

CALIFORNIA LEAFY GREENS

Facts

California produces 75% of the US’s leafy greens. The mild southern, Imperial Valley climate means that greens get to grown year-round, making greens always in season! Herbs are also part of the CA Leafy Green Program – so don’t leave them out of your salads. 

Recipe Ideas

I LOVE adding basil, mint, cilantro, parsley and dill to salads, it’s a great way to add flavor to your greens without loading them with dressing or other stuff. 

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t *HIGHLY* suggest you start having breakfast salads. Add all of your favorite greens, herbs, roasted veggies from the night before and an olive oil fried egg on top – MY FAVORITE BREAKFAST. I love to finish this with some sea salt flakes and a drizzle of really good balsamic. The egg yolk, olive oil (from the fried egg) combine to make the most delicious sauce for the greens. DO IT.

DH LEAFY GREEN SALADS

I used to post quite a few salads (I love them!). Take these for a test drive:

Baby Kale, Avocado, Goat Cheese Roasted Chicken Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese + Braised Chicken Salad with Blood Orange Tahini Dressing

CALIFORNIA SWEET POTATOES

Facts

Our second stop on the tour was a sweet potato farm in the San Joaquin Valley in the heart of California. My favorite fact is that they’re a superfood which completely justifies my sweet potato addiction. Sweet potatoes have more potassium than bananas and more antioxidants than blueberries.

Also, everything grown in the US is a sweet potato, not a yam. Just felt this needed to be stated.

Recipe Ideas

We are sweet potato people. I’m guessing we eat them at least several times a week. They’re great when small diced and made into a quick breakfast hash (probably my favorite way to eat them right now). 

I also slice narrow ones into thin coins, toss in olive oil, salt and cracked pepper and roast at 420F (216C) for about 15-20 minutes. I usually turn midway through roasting. I know, it’s a pain, but worth it!! Sometimes I’ll throw in sliced shallots or red onion to roast alongside them – and add to a salad with some protein. HEAVEN.

DH SWEET POTATO RECIPES

Fig, Toasted Pecan + Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers With Sweet Potato Fries

CALIFORNIA POMEGRANATES

Facts

We went to another farm in the San Joaquin Valley and learned about pomegranates, persimmons and grapes. Did you know that California produces 100% of the US’s pomegranates? They are either grown to be sold as whole fruit or as arils (the juicy seeds in the center). Pomegranates are picked in much the same way that grapes are for wine: they test for size and sugar content to decide when to pick.

Recipe Ideas

My go-to move with pomegranate arils is to add them to salads and adding a few to float at the top of a cocktail.

But let’s go further than that. There is nothing better than pomegranate molasses drizzled over roasted meat. This is my Pomegranate Molasses recipe. It’s also great added to a cocktail with vodka and soda water.

I’ve also started adding the arils to brownies and blondies – do it! 

DH POMEGRANTE RECIPES

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Creamy Sage Browned Butter + Five-Spice Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate + Burrata Salad

Rosemary Pomegranate Cocktail

Harissa Pizza

CALIFORNIA WINE + CHEESE

Facts

We were sent Fiscalini Cheese and Mumm Napa Brut which I was happy to pop open and nosh on the Fiscalini Old World Aged Cheddar which is now my most favorite cheese on the planet. I ended up buying a bunch and dropping it on my family’s doorsteps pre-Christmas. IT’S SO GOOD.

California is the second largest producer of cheese and yogurt, with 99% of our dairies being family owned. We also proudly supply the US with 80% of its wine!

DH CHEESY RECIPES

Whipped Goat Cheese Gougeres

Grape, Goat Cheese + Basil Pizza

To celebrate all of this California goodness, I want to re-share one of my most favorite CA Grown recipes: my beer-crust pizza (the latest version) with my most favorite pizza sauce (you will love!)…and any combination of greens, olives, finely sliced sweet potatoes and cheese! Have fun friends!!!

Favorite Beer Crust Pizza + Sauce

My most favorite beer-crust pizza recipe + the easiest, most delicious pizza sauce! Both the dough and sauce can be mixed and stashed separately in the fridge for several days, making this the ultimate in meal planning!
5 from 4 reviews
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Pizza
Keyword: Pizza, Dinner, Beer-Crust, Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

For the Beer-Crust Pizza Dough

  • 12 ounces (340 g) light-flavored beer or water, warm (100-110F, 38-43C)
  • 2 ounces (55 g) water, warm (100-110F, 38-43C)
  • 4 teaspoons (12 g) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (31.5 g) honey
  • 4 cups (540 g) all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) olive oil, plus more for the bowl
  • 1 tablespoon (18 g) sea salt

For the Pizza Sauce

  • 15 ounces (425 g) can of tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (54 g) olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (9 g) dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons (12 g) sea salt
  • I garlic clove peeled and crushed

Some of My Favorite Toppings

  • Leafy greens I love kale and arugula on pizza
  • Thinly sliced sweet potatoes
  • Olives
  • Whole grape tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced shallots or purple onions
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Fresh herbs pre-bake: put underneath the cheese so they don’t burn; post-bake: sprinkle over the top
  • CHEESE! All different kinds of cheese; consider mixing mozzarella with goat cheese white cheddar with some parm…

Instructions

For the Beer-Crust Pizza Dough

  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the beer, water, yeast and honey and let sit for 10 minutes until the yeast is floating at the top and looks foamy. Add in the flour and olive oil and stir to combine thoroughly, you don’t want any dry bits of flour. Cover with a damp hand towel and let sit for 20 minutes. Add in the salt and run the mixer on medium high for 10 minutes or until the dough is sticking to the bottom of the bowl and slapping the sides. It should not be sticking to the sides of the bowl at the end of the 10 minutes. If it’s sticking to the sides, add flour in 1 tablespoon increments. The dough should be smooth, soft, pliable and elastic; it will also be quite damp. Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in there, turning once to make sure the topside has a light coating of olive oil. Cover tightly and stash in the fridge overnight and up to 3 days. *If not using an electric-stand mixer, see my note above in the Before We Get Started section about skipping the kneading step. You can only skip this step if you’re going to rest the dough in the fridge for a day or more.

For the Pizza Sauce

  • For the pizza sauce, combine the tomato sauce, olive oil, oregano, salt and the crushed garlic clove in a medium, lidded, non-reactive container. Cover and stash in the fridge. When you’re ready to make pizza, bring to room temperature before using. This will last up to 1 week in the fridge.

To Assemble

  • Preheat your oven to 500F (260C) and place a pizza stone, pizza steel or inverted, level baking sheet on the center rack of the oven. I like to preheat my oven for at least 1 hour prior to making pizza. Set your pizza sauce out on the counter to come to room temperature.
  • Equally divide the pizza dough up depending on how many pizzas you want to make (2-8). Roll each piece of the divided dough into a tight, compact ball. Set on a lightly floured surface and lightly dust the tops with flour. Lay a clean hand towel over the top. Let rest for about 1 hour or until the dough is no longer cool to the touch; may take longer depending on ambient temperature. Once they are no longer cool, gently stretch the dough into pizza rounds. Cut sheets of parchment paper the size of each pizza dough round, lightly dust with flour and set the dough on top. The parchment makes it easier to get the pizzas in and out of the oven.
  • Cover each pizza in a light coating of pizza sauce, cover with some cheese (not too much) and whatever toppings make you happy and then bake in the center of the oven for about 10 minutes. Some ovens will take a minute or two less, some ovens a minute or two more. You want there to be some dark charred spots on the top of the crust and the bottom should be firm and crispy. Let sit for 3 minutes (this lets the cheese set a bit) and then cut and serve!
Thanks for baking with me! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

6 Comments

  • Kimberly February 14, 2021 at 2:08 PM

    5 stars
    LOVE this crust & sauce! It is a staple at my home, and my friends like it so much they are making it for their families now as well. Super easy & delicious!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth February 15, 2021 at 9:11 AM

      I love hearing this—thank you so much Kimberly!!!! xox

      Reply
  • Meri January 10, 2021 at 9:06 PM

    I make a lot of pizza using my baking steel–would love to try your dough! Can’t find the “Before We Get Started” section for your no-knead info….

    Reply
  • Lily January 9, 2021 at 3:08 PM

    5 stars
    Sounds so yummy! And love these photos. Will have to try soon x

    Reply

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