My 16-year-old has his first official job. He's working prep in the kitchen of the new independent pizzeria that just opened in town. He had one small concern when he was hired: that he might get tired of pizza. I told him that probably wouldn't happen, but I understand his concern. Pizza is necessity to most teenage boys, and it's not much different for the rest of us.
So it's no surprise to learn that a Harris Poll found that pizza is America's favorite comfort food. We didn't really need a poll to tell us that, did we? Seriously, is there anything that comes close?
For people over 70, there is, in fact, something that beats pizza: ice cream. But for every other adult in the country, pizza is the number one comfort food of choice. They grab a slice (or a whole pie) when they're stressed, depressed, having a bad day, having a good day and even when it's their birthday. A full 15 percent of Americans reach for pizza first in these situations. (When we're sick, however, we take comfort in soup, according to the poll.)
You can always call up your local, independent pizzeria and order a great pie, but making it at home can be satisfying, too. Check out these recipes and tips for making your own pizza, just the way you like it.
Recipes for homemade pizza:
- No-knead pan pizza: A quick dough recipe plus the toppings to bake in an oven-proof skillet.
- Fig and feta pizza: Another skillet recipe, this one also has instructions for both the dough and the toppings.
- Margherita pizza: Fast and easy, this classic pizza uses all fresh ingredients for the toppings.
- Blue cheese, pear and walnut pizza: Blue cheese and pear are a delicious combination on this more grown-up pizza.
- Caramelized onion and mushroom pizza: Onions and mushrooms are caramelized first before going atop this pizza with ricotta cheese.
- Summer pizza: Grab some toppings from the garden for this vegetarian pizza.
- Polenta deep dish pizza: A gluten-free pizza made with a cornmeal crust.
- Gluten-free pizza crust: A basic crust recipe to use with the toppings of your choice.
- Homemade pizza sauce: An easy, no cook sauce that makes good use of the spices on your shelf.
- "Kitchen Pizza Workshop," a go-to pizza making resource: This is a great cookbook with tons of tips, sauce recipes, crust recipes and topping combinations for making pizza at home.
- Best way to reheat pizza: Hint: It's not in the toaster oven.
- Grow your own pizza: If you want the freshest toppings, grow them in your garden.
When you're done your pizza and you still need a little comfort, take a lesson from those over 70 and keep some ice cream on hand. It's the third most popular comfort food for women (behind chocolate) and the second for men.