I'm not a food snob when it comes to chain restaurants. I've had some lovely meals and experiences in chains and some of my best friends from my days "on the line" got their start as cooks in chain restaurants. So when the Foodie Stuntman (the writer behind Crazy Foodie Stunts) proposed a challenge to members of the Food Bloggers Network to recreate a chain restaurant meal at home I decided to tackle one of my favorite chain restaurant dishes: Uno's Farmer's Market Pizza.
The Uno's version is loaded with three cheeses and has a thick crust slick with olive oil. The vegetables are piled high and the flavors are heightened by all of that fat. If you learn one thing in culinary school it's that "fat carries flavor" and is one reason why this pizza is so tasty: it's swimming in fat (about three days worth for me - yipes!) I'm neither a nutritionist nor slim, but I am trying to limit my intake of fats and so for this Food Unchained post I made a reduced fat version of the Farmer's Market Pizza using a homemade crust, fresh vegetables and a limited amount of cheese.
Food Unchained Farmer's Market Pizza
crust ~ adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day; makes 2
3.25 cups AP flour
1.33 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
2.25 teaspoons granulated yeast
2 teaspoons salt
.25 teaspoon truffle salt
3/4 cup fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup feta
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
8-12 olives, pitted
1 medium tomato, sliced
1/2 cup eggplant, thinly sliced
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil, as needed
Combine all ingredients for the crust except flour in a large bowl. Mix in the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, until incorporated. Loosely cover (I use a plate) and let rise for 2 hours. You may keep dough covered in the fridge for up to twelve days. Dough is easiest to use when cold so I suggest chilling for at least an hour.
When you're ready to bake the pizza coat your hands in a small amount of olive oil and divide dough in two. Stretch or roll out the dough on a silpat. Cover with your toppings and let rest for 20 minutes. While the dough is resting preheat the oven to 425º F. Bake pizza for 25-35 minutes and serve hot.
The verdict: while not a deep dish pizza this version is still loaded with flavor. I loved the addition of the salty olives and all of the fresh herb flavor from the basil. The Uno's version used caramelized onions while I used fresh sliced onions to limit the amount of fat. However, considering this is fairly low-fat for a pizza I think next time I will caramelize the onions first to bring out their sweetness.
Check out all the Food Unchained co-hosts to see what they created from chain restaurant menus:
Crazy Foodie Stunts ~ Vinegar Brined Baby Back Ribs
Cookistry ~ Cheddar Bayou Biscuits
Living Low Carb... One Day at a Time ~ Outback's Alice Springs Chicken
Oh Cake ~ Uno's Farmer's Market Pizza
Does Not Cook Well With Others ~ Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
Momma's Meals ~ BBQ Ranch Burger
What is your favorite restaurant meal?