What’s not to love about pizza? You can pretty much put any topping you like on pizza, and it still pretty much tastes amazing…although the Italians would think otherwise (fair play). I am all for the classic flavours, but I have to say (and this could just be the Greek in me), but feta on pizza is just a fantastic combination. It really works best on all sorts of vegetarian pizzas, and especially with a touch of Kalamata olives, sautéed spinach and caramelised red onions…one of my favourite pizzas hands down!
So, on with one of my favourite vegetarian pizzas! Don’t get me wrong, I am a true carnivore through and through, but lately I have just been eating far too much meat, and have to admit, been neglecting my vegetables (shame on me, I know). If you have the time, I do suggest roasting the red peppers yourself in the oven, with plenty of garlic and olive oil. This just adds a real sweetness and smokiness to the peppers, which I think is a bit missed with good quality jarred grilled peppers. Really, you can add a variety of grilled vegetables to this pizza – roasted aubergines/eggplant, grilled courgette/zucchini, marinated artichokes…the list goes on. Just be as creative as you like, and it will all work out – trust me!
The recipe below is meant to serve 2, but to be honest, I ate the whole pizza myself – so if you are that hungry, or greedy in my case, then by all means go for it!
375 grams plain flour
115 mls water, lukewarm
115 mls milk, luke warm
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
7 grams dried active yeast
½ can chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely diced
Roasted Red Peppers
1 medium red peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 springs rosemary
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper, to season
6 sundried tomatoes in olive oil, diced
75 grams mozzarella
50 grams feta, crumbled
2 tsp dried oregano
To start, make the pizza dough. Activate the yeast, by dissolving it in the lukewarm water and set aside to foam. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl – flour, salt and sugar. Make a well in the middle, add the milk and olive and finally the water and yeast mix. Give this all a good mix, until the dough comes together. It will be slightly sticky, and you may need to add a bit more flour – but the end result should be a slightly sticky dough that clings to your fingers, but doesn’t entirely stick. Set this aside to rise for 1 ½ – 2 hours.
While the dough is rising, get started on your roasted red peppers. Deseed the peppers, and slice into 1 inch strips. Grab a baking sheet/cookie sheet and drizzle over plenty of olive oil, and add the red peppers, coating with plenty of olive oil. Sprinkle some fresh sea salt over the peppers, and toss in some fresh rosemary and garlic. Bake in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes, until the peppers are soft. Remove from the oven when done.
For the tomato sauce, simply combine all the ingredients listed and give it all a good stir. It’s as easy as that! By all means if you want a bit of heat, you can add a finely diced chili pepper, or a drizzle of good quality chili oil – your choice!
When the dough has risen, divide it into 4 pieces. Dust your work top with a bit of flour, and start to shape each piece into a circle – about 6-7 inches across. I find it’s best to use your hands at this point, instead of a rolling pin. Transfer your pizza base to a pizza tray/baking sheet, and start to add your tomato sauce. Next add the diced sundried tomatoes, your roasted peppers (garlic and rosemary too), and finally mozzarella. Place your pizza in a 220C oven, and cook anywhere between 10-12 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and finish off with some crumbled feta, a sprinkling of dried oregano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. And you’re done!