Yep, pizza can be delicious AND healthy, says our kitchen garden cook.
Earthy flavours abound in this delightful autumn pizza that uses beetroot both as a topping and in the crust.
Beetroot-crust pizza with pesto, beetroot and mozzarella
For the pizza crust
- 4 cooked and peeled medium beetroots
- 2tspn active dry yeast
- 180ml warm water
- 500g plain flour
For the topping
- 300g fresh pesto
- 2 balls of mozzarella
- 30 baby plum or cherry tomatoes
- 2 cooked and peeled medium beetroots, cut into wedges
- Half a cauliflower
- 4tbspn freshly chopped oregano
- A couple of generous handfuls of rocket and watercress
- Chilli oil (optional)
Preheat your oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas mark 6. Process the beetroot for the crust into a purée, then, in a jug, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. In a large bowl, mix the flour with two large pinches of salt and pour the yeast onto it. Add the puréed beetroot and mix well. Use your hands to bring to a dough – it should be slightly tacky – then knead until smooth and elastic.
Put the dough, with a splash of olive oil, into a large freezer bag and seal it, leaving for about an hour or until doubled in size. Knock the dough back and halve it, then roll into two ovals. It will bounce back, but keep rolling until it’s as stretched as you can get it. Transfer to lightly greased baking trays.
Cover the surfaces of the pizzas with pesto, then top with pieces of mozzarella, plus the tomatoes, beetroot wedges, cauliflower florets, oregano and seasoning.
Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 12–16 minutes.
Serve scattered with watercress and rocket plus a drizzle of chilli oil if you like it a little spicy.
More ways with beetroot
Grate 2 raw beetroots and mix in a bowl with 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of plain flour, seasoning and about half a teaspoon of chopped rosemary. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into a hot frying pan with melted butter and cook for a few minutes on each side. Serve immediately, with a dollop of tzatziki and fresh parsley.
Simply blend together 100g of chickpeas, 100g of cooked beetroot, a squeeze of lemon juice, a tablespoon of tahini, a clove of garlic, a little salt and a good splash of olive oil. Serve with crackers or toasted pitta bread.
Roasted za’atar roots
Toss together 4 chopped beetroots, 2 large chopped carrots, a splash of olive oil, a tablespoon of za’atar (available in supermarkets) and seasoning. Arrange on a baking tray and roast for about 30 minutes or until tender. Stir in a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds before serving, ideally alongside roast beef.
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