Although a pizza could be thrown together at any point over the summer with whatever vegetables are in season, this is a fabulous recipe for autumn, allowing you to use up the last of the summer crops in one final, colourful burst of home-grown deliciousness!
As the days get chillier and the focus of the plot becomes more about the pumpkins and the other winter squash, and the first of the leeks are harvested and teamed with potatoes in hearty soups, and roasted carrots and parsnips start coming into their own, it’s easy to forget about the tomatoes that are still ripening on the kitchen windowsill or that forgotten courgette which is starting to go a little soft in the fridge.
A pizza is most certainly the answer!
I was able to use up our last green peppers, courgettes and tomatoes in this delicious recipe. I also used some home-made tomato sauce as the base for the topping. I had made masses of this during our August tomato glut, cooking the tomatoes with home-grown garlic, onions and basil before freezing them in portions to enjoy with pasta over the winter. On one occasion I was left with a small amount of tomato sauce, not quite enough for one person to eat with pasta, so I bagged it separately and labelled it as pizza topping. I don’t make pizzas very often, but I knew that the next time I did decide to make one, it’d be a goody!
The recipe below is by no means prescriptive; the toppings can be adapted to whatever you have available. As long as you’ve made a decent base and have plenty of grated cheese and home-grown veg to hand, it’ll be a winner!
VEG PLOT PIZZA
Serves: 2 Prep Time: 2 hrs (allowing for dough to rise) Cooking Time: 20 mins
This made one large pizza, shared between two and served with a mixed salad.
225g strong bread flour
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
150 ml warm water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Flour to sprinkle
100g home-made tomato sauce (with onions, garlic and basil)
2 green peppers, sliced
2 small courgettes, sliced
3-4 tomatoes, sliced
50g cheese, grated (this is a guesstimate; I always judge this bit by eye!)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
** Slices of aubergine, mushroom, red onion, rocket leaves, mozzarella, ham, etc. would all work beautifully – this is just what I had to hand. I also found some spicy sausage leftover in the fridge which I sliced and sprinkled on Ade’s half of the pizza. **
Sift the flour into a large bowl before stirring in the yeast and salt.
Make a well in the centre and pour in 150 ml of warm water with 1 tbsp. of the oil. Mix together with your fingers.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approx. 5 minutes.
Lightly oil the mixing bowl with the remaining oil, put in the dough and turn it over to coat in the oil. Cover with oiled cling film and place somewhere warm until it has doubled in size. (I left mine for about 90 mins.)
Preheat oven to 240C (220C fan oven). Quickly punch the dough to knock it back before rolling it out into a circle about 1/2 cm thick.
Drape the dough over a rolling pin and place on a lightly-floured baking tray.
Spread the tomato sauce over the base of the pizza before adding the sliced vegetables (and meat if using). Season with salt and pepper. Top with the grated cheese, drizzle lightly with oil and bake in the oven for 20 mins until the base is crispy and the cheese is bubbling.
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