• Paul West's Pizza three ways (Benito Martin)Source: Benito Martin

These days I prefer to keep my pizzas simple and let veggies take centre stage.

Serves
3-4

Preparation

30min

Cooking

15min

Skill level

Easy
By
Average: 4.6 (14 votes)
Yum

When I was a kid, if I ever ordered takeaway pizza, I’d unwaveringly go for the “Meat Lovers”. I’ve since seen the error of my ways thanks to some time spent living above a vegetarian pizza joint in Melbourne and the realisation that most of the meat on a pizza probably led a very unhappy life.

This dough makes three 20 cm-diameter bases, or you can make one large pizza as I’ve done here.

Ingredients

Pizza base

  • 375 ml (1½ cups) warm water
  • 7 g dried active yeast
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 600 g strong (bread) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, plus extra for greasing

Caramelised onion topping

  • 2 brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 30 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 100 g goat’s cheese

Potato topping

  • 1/2 head garlic, roasted and flesh squeezed out
  • 2 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves

Broccolini topping

  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 1 bunch broccolini, blanched
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 100 g fresh mozzarella
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Resting time: 30 minutes

For the pizza base, place the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes for the yeast to become active and start to foam.

Place the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture along with the olive oil. Bring the dough together using your hands and then turn it out onto a lightly floured bench and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Give the bowl a quick wash and dry, then lightly grease with olive oil. Shape the dough into a ball and pop it in the bowl. Throw a tea towel over the top and place the bowl some place warm for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 250C.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench and knock the air out of it. Place on a large baking tray and using your fingers, stretch the dough out to a large rectangle about 5 mm thick (or divide the dough into three and stretch the dough out to make 20 cm rounds).

For the caramelised onion topping, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, onion, sugar and garlic and cook for 20 minutes or until the onion is soft and caramelised. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Spread the caramelised onion over the pizza base, then top with the goat’s cheese and thyme.

For the potato topping, spread the roasted garlic over the pizza base, then arrange the potato slices on top and scatter over the onion and rosemary.

For the broccolini topping, spread the pesto over the pizza base, arrange the broccolini on top and scatter over the chilli and mozzarella.

Cook the pizza for 10–12 minutes or until the top is blistered and the base browned and crisp.

Scatter the parsley over the broccolini topping to serve.

 

Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Nick Banbury. Creative concept by Belinda So.

 

Paul West is the host of River Cottage Australia, 6pm weeknights on SBS and on SBS On Demand. For more recipes from Paul, click here. Want to build your own pizza oven? Read Paul's instructions for building a simple DIY wood-fired oven here