Pizza bianca with goat’s cheese, courgettes and black olives
- July 2014
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 1 hour 30 min, oven time 40 min
This pizza recipe makes a change from the usual – it’s spread with a creamy cheese mixture of goat’s cheese and slices of Ticklemore harbourne blue.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 46.9g (17.7g saturated)
- 38.9g (3.9g sugars)
For the pizza dough
- 275g strong plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp easy blend yeast or 7g sachet fast-action yeast
- 180-190ml warm water
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
For the pesto
- 40g fresh basil leaves
- 25g pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 25g finely grated parmesan, or vegetarian alternative
For the topping
- 2 medium red onions
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 200g soft, fresh rindless goat’s cheese (from a log)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 50g finely grated parmesan, or vegetarian alternative
- About 2 tbsp whole milk
- 2 medium courgettes
- 2 oregano sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 150g harbourne blue cheese, cut into thin slices
- 20 good quality black olives, pitted
- For the pizza dough, put the flour, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, add 180ml of the warm water and the olive oil and mix to a smooth dough, adding the rest of the water if the mixture seems a bit dry. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. (You can also make and knead the dough in 10 minutes in a stand mixer with a dough hook.) Drop into a clean bowl (or the stand mixer bowl), cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/ gas 6. Peel the onions, leaving the root end intact. Slice each through the root into thin wedges. Put into a small roasting tin and toss with 2 tbsp of the extra-virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper. Spread out and roast for 20 minutes until tender and brown-tinged. Remove and turn the oven up to 250°C/fan230°C/gas 9, or as high as it will go.
- For the pesto, put the basil, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil in a food processor, then whizz to a coarse paste. Scoop into a bowl, stir in the 25g parmesan, then season to taste.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, knock it back, then knead once more until smooth. Halve the dough, shape each piece into a ball, then roll each into a 20cm x 30cm oval. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then, using a rolling pin, carefully transfer to 2 lightly oiled baking sheets. Push/pull them back into shape, brush with a little oil, then bake for 5 minutes. This will stop the base becoming soggy after you add the topping. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the soft goat’s cheese with the garlic, half the 50g parmesan, 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and enough milk to make a thick but spreadable paste. Season to taste.
- Top and tail the courgettes, then cut them lengthways into ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Drop them into a bowl and toss with the rest of the extra-virgin olive oil, the chopped oregano and some pepper. Don’t add salt until just before you use them, otherwise they’ll wilt and go floppy.
- Remove the bases from the oven and spread each with half the goat’s cheese mixture, to within 2.5cm of the edge. Dot here and there with a little pesto. Top with the roasted onion wedges and twists of courgette ribbons. Tuck thin slices of the blue cheese in among the ingredients, then scatter with the olives and finally the rest of the parmesan.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, turning the pizzas around halfway through so they cook evenly, until the crust is crisp and golden. Slide them onto a wooden board, cut into thick slices or squares and serve.
Scoop the leftover pesto into a small sterilised glass jar, float a thin layer of olive oil on top and seal. It will keep in the fridge for a week or two. Otherwise, freeze in ice cube trays.
Leave the pizzas to cool slightly when you remove them from the oven. The base will firm up slightly and be easier to slice.
These flavours all go well with a simple, light, chilled bordeaux blanc.
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