Pizza with pizazz (Spicy mango pizza with black beans and zucchini)

I am so fortunate to have consumed some truly wonderful pizza this week.

Ever since deciding to disembark from the generic “pepperoni and cheese” pizza train, my taste buds have been consistently wow-ed by the incredible combination of pizza toppings that exist in this fine universe.

This week’s pizza bender started in Ottawa last Monday. For those who are familiar with the city, you’ll likely know about The Works and ZaZaZa Pizza, two Ottawa-born sweethearts in the food scene. The first – The Works – is home to some truly unique, gourmet burgers. My favourite involves four types of cheese, sliced avocado and an onion ring. Yes, on the burger. The second – ZaZaZa’s – has always been on my radar, but I never got a chance to visit when I lived in the Capital (the original location was across town from Carleton/my house). That’s why I was so excited to see that the Glebe (a close-to-downtown Ottawa neighbourhood) was getting its very own ZaZaZa’s. But malheureusement, it opened after I left.

Thank heavens my two lovely friends Freya and Tara were willing to try it out with me.

I could gush forever about these pizzas (really!), but I’ll keep it simple. I ordered the “Crazy Horse” pizza, with pesto oil, spinach, mozzarella, mushrooms, chicken, caramelized onions, pine nuts and goat cheese. How’s that for gourmet?

Equally as awesome were Freya and Tara’s pizzas, including toppings like brie, pear, eggplant and shrimp.

So that was gourmet pizza inspiration, take one.

Take two came in the form of the pizza pies from one of my favourite Sudbury haunts, The Laughing Buddha. Just a little hole-in-the-wall darling when I was back in high school (pizza orders used to take FOREVER because they only had two stone ovens), the Buddha has expanded to become the go-to spot in town for eclectic eats, a killer imported beer menu and a relaxed atmosphere (not to mention one of the only patios in the city). I didn’t take a picture of my pizza from Friday night, but please know that it was great, as per usual. If you live in Sudbury, go there now. If you’re from out of town, please come visit and stop by after you finish with your Big Nickel photos.

In other news, last night’s kitchen dance party was sponsored by the movie Dirty Dancing, which I curled up on the couch to watch in a tangled cocoon of blankets. It was also inspired by my hippie-esque trip to Sudbury’s Northern Lights Festival Boreal this weekend (I high-fived the members of one of my favourite Canadian band, Yukon Blonde!). What does this mean for my dance moves? Well there was a lot of hip action, pretend partner dancing and artistically flailed arms. I also acted like a wannabe member of Monica Bill Barnes and Company and conducted an orchestra with a rolling pin.

All I can say is that I hope none of my neighbours ever look into our kitchen window when supper is being prepared.

I was so excited to eat this pizza that I forgot to add the cilantro and green onion that I so finely chopped. Perhaps I’ll just have to make this again later in the week…?

Thank you to Kiersten of Oh My Veggies for this pizza recipe! It was brilliant. No. Beyond brilliant. I know it sounds like a weird combination of toppings, but trust me, it’s oh-so-good.

Recipe: Spicy mango pizza with black beans and zucchini
Please see original post by Kiersten at Oh My Veggies (a truly beautiful blog!)

A few notes of my own – I used The Gouda Life’s pizza dough recipe to create the thin crust. I also used 3/4 cup chunky medium salsa.

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