Time poverty has really been a curse of late (hence no new posts in an age), not helped by trying to juggle a few too many personal challenges, resuming cycling (or trying to- weather permitting), plus the day job which sadly has nothing to do with cooking and is very full-time to the point that finding a few hours to dedicate to Love the Kitchen has been near on impossible. Until today ;o).
By chance, I was browsing for new cooking gadgets and saw someone demonstrate a very cool looking UUNI wood-fired pizza oven. One of the recipes was for a ‘superfood pizza’ (the idea of pizza and healthy may be pushing the boundaries for some – nonetheless has to be a heck of a lot better than your average take-out) – which inspired me to have pesto as part of a topping. I never got around to purchasing the UUNI but will invariable land on my culinary toys wish-list.
This Goat’s Cheese, Red Onion, and Kale & Rocket Pesto Pizza recipe is certainly not my first (pizza) rodeo. Previous pizza recipes I have conjured up and include rocket (one of my favourite leaf ingredients) – is my Parma ham, rocket, and red onion pizza which to this day remains one of my go to quick and easily recipes which I am yet to tire of. So, I got thinking – what other ingredients did I have knocking about in the fridge in need of eating, and came up with the below.
If you make enough pesto, you’ll be able to reserve some for a quick and delicious lunch or supper as long as you cover and chill it and use within a few days. A little pesto goes a long way on a pizza – you do not want to go too topping-heavy otherwise you’ll end up with a soggy bottom (the pizza, not you!). Give it a go, enjoy, and there is a good chance that this could be pretty good for you too!
Goat's Cheese, Red Onion, and Kale & Rocket Pesto Pizza
- 150 g "00" Grade premium plain flour
- 5 g 1 1/2 tsp fast action dried yeast
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 95 ml warm water
- Extra flour for kneading
- Kale and Rocket Pesto see below
- 3 tbsp Passata sieved tomato purée
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 x red onion peeled and sliced into half moon shaped pieces
- 6 x slices goat's cheese
- 1 x large free range egg
- Freshly milled black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Kale & Rocket Pesto
- 3 x tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 x lemon
- large handful cashew nuts
- small bag pesto leaves washed
- large handful kale - washed shredded, and ribs removed
- 1 x clove garlic - grated
- 20 g finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Place the flour, salt, and yeast into a large mixing bowl and create a well in the centre. Using a bell whisk, combine the dry ingredients evenly.
- Pour the warm water and olive oil into the centre, and fold in the ingredients using a spatula or wooden spoon until you form a dough. Do not be worried if it is quite sticky to begin with. It is sometimes easier use the tips of your fingers to combine the wet and dry ingredients together.
- Flour your hands and a work surface, and start to knead into a dough. It is perfectly normal for the dough to stick to your fingers. Have flour to hand (a flour shaker is ideal) and add a very small quantity until the dough starts to firm up in texture. When the dough starts to come away from your fingers, knead for about 5 mins and mould into a firm and elastic dough ball.
- Wipe down the mixing bowl (this saves washing up) and spray a little olive oil so that the base and sides has a slightly oily film. Brush a little oil on top of the dough, and cover the mixing bowl with cling film. Allow to prove at room temperature for 20 mins (or in a warm place), or until double in size.
Kale and Rocket Pesto
- Place the grated garlic in a small ramekin and pour over boiling water and allow to soak for 2-3 mins, then drain. This will help remove some of the sharp raw garlic flavour.
- In a small food processor bowl, add the nuts, oil, garlic and lemon juice then blitz for a few seconds.
- Next add the rocket leaves and shredded kale and blitz again. Use a silicone spatula to push leaves down to ensure that they re finely chopped by the processor's blade.
- Finally, add the grated Parmesan cheese, some freshly ground black pepper and blend for a few more seconds.
Assemble the Pizza
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, place on a well-floured surface or a silicone rolling mat, and, using the base of the palm of your hand, gently stretch out the dough from the centre. If you can made it perfectly round, then great. If not, no problem - I prefer rough edges as it looks far more hand made.
- Carefully place the pizza base on a well-oiled tray, or aerated pizza tray.
- Then, spoon and spread the passata from the centre using the back of a spoon or spatula and spread evenly, but stopping 1cm or so from the outer edge. Sprinkle with Oregano and season with black pepper.
- Next, arrange the topping by evenly placing the onion slices around the base, followed by a spoon of the Kale & Rocket Pesto. Please make sure you leave room for the goat's cheese slices and for the egg to be placed in the centre of the pizza which will be added half way through cooking.
- Drizzle over the olive oil around the exposed dough, season with a little more black pepper, and then bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes.
- Remove from oven, add the slices of goat's cheese, then carefully crack the egg into the centre of the pizza.
- Return to oven and bake for a further 7-8 minutes.
Do experiment with the leaves for the Pesto - rather than having a mix of both Kale and Rocket, feel free to try just Kale, just Rocket, or try and make something else up entirely.