I have a lot of spinach growing in my garden at the moment so I have been thinking of disguising it so that I can get the kids to eat more of it. They love pizza and it’s fun to make your own dough – so hey presto vegetarian pizza for dinner!
You will need to make the dough ahead of time as it needs around an hour and a half to rise.
This recipe will make two 30 cm pizzas which will serve 4 – 6.
- 450g (1lb) / (3½ cups) plain (all purpose) flour, a little extra flour for kneading.
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- Cornflour to sprinkle on the baking tray
- 215ml (7½ fl oz) lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons of dried yeast or 15g (½ oz) fresh yeast
- 1 tablespoon of caster sugar (do not leave the sugar out in an attempt to be healthy – it is needed to activate the yeast)
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
In a small bowl combine the yeast with the sugar and stir in around 40% of the water (90ml). It must be lukewarm to activate the yeast. Leave the bowl somewhere where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate (i.e not in the sun or in a draught). After a few minutes the mixture should start to react – if it doesn’t then them temperature of the water was probably too hot or too cold. If this is the case you will need to start again as you won’t get any rise in your dough.
If you are using a food processor to make the dough, use a bread hook or plastic blade. If using your hand, form your fingers into a firm claw with your fingers apart.
In a large bowl or food processor mix the flour and salt to combine. Add the olive oil, remaining water and the yeast mixture. Mix until the dough comes together into a ball.
Lightly dust your clean work surface with flour and knead the dough ball until it is smooth. This usually takes longer than you think – around 5 to 10 minutes. Clean out the original mixing bowl and grease the inside with olive oil. Place the kneaded dough ball in the greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Please somewhere warm and quiet to rise – it will take around 60 to 90 minutes.
Once the dough has risen, push your fist into it to knock the air out of it. It will return to it’s original size. You can now cut it in half and on a floured surface, roll it out into two 30cm round pizza bases. Sprinkle some cornflour on two baking trays and set aside while you prepare the topping.
Turn on the oven to 230°.
You can modify the topping to suit your own taste but this is a yummy combination that you might like to try –
- For the base sauce (mix to combine)
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 6 tablespoons of tomato sauce / ketchup
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 2 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs
- salt and pepper
This will give you just over ½ cup of sauce mix to cover the bases – ¼ cup each. If you like it extra saucy then just increase the quantities using the ratios above or to suit your taste.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- handful of pinenuts
- a few handfuls of spinach, washed, de-stalked and broken into bit size pieces – spun to remove the washing water
- 450g grated mozzarella (divided into 4 portions)
- handful of black olives, pitted and sliced (divided into 2 portions)
- handful of sun-dried or semi sun-dried tomatoes, drained and diced (divided into 2 portions_
- ½ red onion, peeled and sliced or diced (divided into 2 portions)
- ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese (divided into 2 portions)
- salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the garlic and pinenuts on a low heat. Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Drain off any excess liquid.
- Cover the bases with the tomato sauce mix.
- Sprinkle each base with one portion of mozzarella cheese each.
- Top with a portion each of the onion, sun-dried tomato, olive and spinach mixture, making sure the pizza is evenly covered.
- Sprinkle over the remaining mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden.