October 14, 2010

Supercharged Vegetarian Pizza

When I was making this vegetarian pizza I had my tiny kitchen bench loaded with the ingredients, and the only name that came to my mind was "supercharged". Admittedly, I have gone a little (more so than usual) vegetable mad lately, and if you happen to follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I've recently bought myself a new juicer! So in preparation for my personal juice bar to open, I have jam-packed my fridge with vegetables, enough to make juices AND this delicious pizza.

I was experimenting with a couple of things whilst making this pizza. Firstly, I made a crust using spelt flour only. Success! The crust is almost bread -like, soft and tasty, which makes this dish a lot more wholesome. Secondly, I made a parsley-avocado-sunflower seed pesto to coat the base. Success no 2! This pesto is similar to the avocado pesto I've made earlier, and I really like both versions.This vegetarian pizza is definitely packed with goodness of fresh vegetables!

Not a bad way to celebrate the upcoming weekend! :-)

Supercharged Vegetarian Pizza

~The Base~
(Recipe adapted from Naturally Vegetarian Recipes)

1 cup water, warmed to 42C (hand hot)
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tbs honey
pinch of sea salt
3 cups spelt flour + more for kneading
2 tbs olive oil

~The Pesto~

big handful of flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 avocado
1 tbs olive oil
2-3 tbs water
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

~The Filling~

1 small to medium sized eggplant, thinly sliced
1/2 green capsicum, sliced into sticks
1/2 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
3-4 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 tbs kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
2 tbs fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper
120g mozzarella

1 tbs olive oil, for brushing

Stir the yeast into the warm water, add the honey, salt, olive oil and the flour. Mix well, then turn the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead for about 10 minutes. (You might need to add a bit of flour, just enough for the dough not to stick into your hands.) Return the dough into the bowl, cover and leave to double in size.

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Once the dough is done. Roll it into a disk or square shape and place on a roasting tin lined with baking paper (mine covered a tin about 40cm long, 30cm wide).

Process the pesto ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Brush the sides of the pizza base with olive oil, and spread the pesto evenly on top. (If you have left over pesto, this can be freezed!). Layer the base with eggplant slices, Spanish onion, tomato, mushrooms, capsicum, and sprinkle with the olives and the oregano. Season with pepper and spread the mozzarella evenly on top. Bake in 170C for about 30 minutes. Serve with fresh salad.