Although pizza is typically considered to be a casual food item, you can easily dress it up and make it the main course at your next special event. Use a wide variety of gourmet toppings to customize the pizzas, or have guests create their pies as they mix and mingle.
Gourmet customized pizza is appropriate for any type of occasion, including swanky birthday parties, fancy holiday get-togethers, bridal and baby showers, anniversary soirees, and high-class corporate gatherings. You can either make the pizzas yourself to save money or have your favorite restaurant cater the event. If you decide to provide the pizzas yourself, use a gourmet pizzeria's menu as inspiration.
Prior to creating the pizza menu, consider whether anyone on your guest list has food restrictions or dietary concerns, and plan to accommodate them. For instance, if a friend or loved one is a vegetarian, provide a choice of meatless options for them.
Pizza is a convenient party choice, as you can serve it as lunch, dinner, or even as an easy-to-eat appetizer or late-night snack. It will also please guests of all ages, including the pickiest of children.
Here are some ideas for serving customized pizza at a special event:
1. Pizza Buffet
Not only will a pizza buffet allow guests to completely customize their own meals, but it can also serve as a fun, creative activity. Kids especially will enjoy spreading sauce on the dough and topping it with their favorite ingredients.
Simply provide the dough for your guests, along with bowls of sauce and a variety of gourmet toppings. Some options include sundried tomatoes, sliced Kalamata olives, grilled pineapple or other types of fruit, portabella mushrooms, fresh or smoked mozzarella, feta, prosciutto, arugula, pine nuts, and marinated eggplant.
Along with traditional red pizza sauce, give guests the choice of creamy Alfredo and flavorful pesto sauces as well.
2. Seasonal Pizza
Celebrate the season the special occasion is taking place in by making pizzas using seasonal ingredients. You can either use produce from your garden or purchase it from a farmer's market for the freshest taste.
As one idea, make an autumn-inspired pie using roasted sweet potatoes, squash or pumpkin, a rich creamy white sauce, and crunchy pine nuts. As an ode to summer, top pizzas with straight-from-the-garden tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, mushrooms, and arugula. After the pies are baked, sprinkle them with chopped basil and oregano for a burst of flavor.