Kees felt like having pizza and I had picked up lots of vegetables and so decided to go for a veggie pizza for a change. It turned out great!
For 2 thin pizza crusts
250 grams flour (preferably Italian 00)
150 ml lukewarm water
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
10 grams fresh yeast
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the toppings
1 eggplant (aubergine)
1 zucchini (courgette)
1 bunch of green asparagus (450 grams/1 pound)
2 red peppers
175 ml (2/3 cup) passata (sieved tomatoes)
250 grams (1/2 pound) mozzarella
1-2 tsp dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Make pizza dough (same method as bread dough) from the ingredients for the crust. Divide into two balls and let them rise for an hour and a half under a kitchen towel in a warm place. (The oven with only the light turned on works like a charm! Just don’t forget to remove before preheating for roasting the vegetables…)
Cut the eggplant in slices lengthwise, salt them on both sides, arrange on paper towels and let them stand for 30 minutes or so. Wipe off the salt and juices with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 225C/440F.
Cut the zucchini in slices lengthwise. Brush eggplant and zucchini slices lightly with olive oil and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Cut the bottom ends off the asparagus, toss them with salt, freshly ground black pepper and olive oil and arrange on the same baking sheet.
Brush the peppers lightly with olive oil and arrange them on the same backing sheet.
Roast for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the mozzarella into small pieces and drain.
Season the passata with salt, freshly ground black pepper, olive oil and oregano. Stir.
After 15 minutes, turn eggplant, zucchini, and asparagus and roast for another 10-15 minutes until golden. Take out of the oven and let cool a bit.
Preheat the oven to the highest setting (300C/570F).
Cut the asparagus in half lengthwise. Remove the skin and seeds from the peppers (the skin should come off very easily). Cut the eggplant, zucchini and peppers into strips. Season the zucchini and peppers with salt and freshly ground black pepper and the eggplant with black pepper.
Grease a baking sheet (or a pizza pan) lightly with olive oil and roll out a ball of dough. Spread half of the passata on top. Repeat for the other ball of dough.
Arrange the roasted vegetables on both pizzas.
Dot with mozzarella.
Bake for 8-10 minutes in the hottest part of your oven until the cheese is golden and the crust is crispy. I baked one pizza at the time, sharing the first one while the second one was in the oven.
I can’t wait to try out the trick described in Modernist Cuisine to turn my normal oven into a pizza oven by using a thick metal plate! All I have to do is find a suitable metal plate. I will definitely blog about it when I do, obviously 🙂
This vegetable pizza goes well with a light Italian red wine or even an Italian rosé. The wine should be fruity, not too tannic and have nice acidity to go with the tomatoes. Chianti might work, but that is tricky as there are huge differences between different producers of Chianti (from really bad to really good and from really light and fruity to full bodied and tannic).
We tried a Cirò Riserva “Duca Sanfelice” 2005 from Librandi with the pizza because it is a complex but fresh wine. This wine from Calabria is made from gaglioppo grapes in stainless steel vats. Like many wines from the south of Italy, this wine gives excellent value. We hyperdecanted the wine and were happy with the pairing.