French Bread Pizza

I have no idea why this suddenly sounded good to me today. I don’t know if I’ve made it in the last ten years. It’s such a slumber party kind of food, isn’t it? A whole gaggle of girls around the oven, peeking in the glass window, heating up frozen french bread pizza.

Because that’s its inspiration, it’s not much of a recipe, so to speak – it’s really just component assembly, but that does make for an easy meal if that’s what you’re after.

I don’t usually go for much white bread but it’s sort of necessary here. I picked up a part-whole-wheat baguette in the store and put it back down again after smelling its delicious half-sour wheaty smell. Not right for french bread pizza.

You can cut just the top off the bread to make a deep-crusted pizza, or cut it uniformly through the middle for two slightly thinner pizzas.

After you make this, cut it with a serrated knife, put it on plates and take it out to the living room, where you’ve already arrayed your slumber bags on the floor, and watch a rented movie on laserdisc.

2 baguettes, cut in half and then split horizontally lengthwise
1 15oz. can Muir Glen Pizza Sauce
2 small zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 red bell pepper, cut into small, narrow lengths
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
about a pound of suitable cheese, (asiago, provolone, romano, dry jack) grated
oregano

Of course, any other toppings can be used. My beloved added mushrooms, which are not a favorite of mine. If I had more room, I would have likely added artichoke hearts and spinach.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cut bread on a large baking sheet. Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the bread. Add a little more than half the cheese, then the toppings, then the remaining cheese, and sprinkle with oregano. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for about 13 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the bread has started to brown just slightly. Turn on the broiler and move the rack to about six inches from the heat. Broil for two to three minutes, or until browned.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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