Pizza giardiniera

Pizza giardiniera

By
From
The Frugal Cook
Makes
2 large pizza bases or 8 small pizza bases
Photographer
Mike Cooper

Quickly stir-frying the veg before you put them on the pizza makes for a better (if, admittedly, less authentic) flavour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the dough

Quantity Ingredient
250g strong white flour
1/2 level teaspoon fine sea salt
1 level teaspoon quick-acting yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
175ml hand-hot water
fine semolina, for dusting the baking tin

For the topping

Quantity Ingredient
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and sliced
2 small courgettes, finely sliced
100g broccoli florets
a few thin asparagus spears in season, (optional)
a few shelled peas, (optional)
400ml Passata
a handful fresh, chopped herbs
200g mozzarella
olive oil, for drizzling

Method

  1. You will also need two large rectangular baking tins sprinkled with fine semolina Sift the flour(s) into a bowl along with the salt and yeast. Mix together then form a hollow in the centre. Pour in the olive oil and half the warm water and stir to incorporate the flour. Gradually add as much of the remaining water as you need to pull the dough together. (It should take most of it - you need a wettish dough). Turn the dough onto a board and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding a little extra flour as you need it to prevent the dough sticking. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, seal with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to double in size (about an hour).
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the sliced spring onions and stirfry for a minute then add the sliced courgettes, broccoli, asparagus and peas if using. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat, season and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to its maximum setting. Knock the dough down and divide in half. Roll and shape each piece of dough into a large rectangle. Place one of the rectangles on top of a baking tray and spread with half the passata. Distribute half the vegetables over the pizza. Sprinkle with herbs and arrange half of the sliced Mozzarella over the top. Repeat with the other pizza. Trickle a little olive oil over the top of the two pizzas and bake for 8-10 minutes until the dough has puffed up and the cheese has melted.

Variations

  • Well, almost any pizza topping you like. Pizzas are a great refuge for leftovers. You could make a summery, Spanish-style pizza for example based on chorizo, peppers, olives and sheep's cheese. A simple cheese and bacon one is great for kids. Mushroom pizzas are always good. Crisp streaky bacon, Italian grilled artichokes (the ones in jars) and Taleggio cheese is wonderful. If you cook the base without a topping (prick it well before it goes into the oven) you can then add an uncooked topping such as rocket, parma ham and shaved Parmesan or Pecorino drizzled with olive oil or, one I recently had in Paris, soft goat's cheese with wafer thin slices of raw beetroot and fennel.

Leftovers

  • Shape and freeze any leftover dough to use straight out of the freezer.

Thirfty tip

  • As Mozzarella is a fashionable ingredient check the price carefully. Often it's cheaper in Italian delis but basic supermarket mozzarella can be quite a bargain.
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