Prior to meeting me, Frank had a typical bachelor diet consisting of beer and pizzas, with Domino’s number on speed dial. Fortunately these days, although not yet a fine example of perfect diet, he has kicked the long term pizza habit but from time to time would request for it. And most of the time I’m happy to oblige. Not only it makes for an easy dinner it’s also relatively mess free. Frank is more of a Margherita kind of guy while I must have some form of meat (bacon would do, Prosciutto would be even better!). But both of us fell in love with a combination we once had at T’Gallant, a winery in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria: Zucchini, Rocket, Lemon, Truffle oil. So I make this one quite a fair bit.
Zucchini, or courgette used to my one of my least favourite vegetables just because my first experience of it was, just bland. But when paired with the right ingredients it could become quite magical, much like what good make up skills can do to a plain jane. Especially with cheese and lemon. Mm-mm. I also have an obsession with Zucchini flowers but alas I have yet to see this served in Kuala Lumpur. Safe to say though now I’m a convert.
Without further ado, here’s my way of making our favourite pizza. Adapted to suit my kitchen.
Our favourite Pizza
1 large pizza. Serves 2 very hungry people. Or one with gigantic appetite.
2 teaspoons (7g) dried yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
100ml warm water
1 and half cup Mix Wholemeal and Plain flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pizza sauce (either homemade or bottled)
1 Medium Zucchini, sliced thinly
100g Mushrooms (cup or swiss brown), sliced thinly
2 slices of streaky bacon cut to lardons (omit, to make it vegetarian)
1 chili padi
Handful of rocket leaves
Juice of half a lemon
Haloumi Cheese, slice thinly
Mix grated parmesan, mozarella and cheddar cheese – enough to cover the whole pizza
1 can good quality diced tomatoes
2 tablespoon Tomato paste
Some fresh herbs (either Oregano or Basil), chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Saute the garlic in Olive oil, then diced tomatoes and the paste and cook until thicken. Add the herbs in the last 5 minutes. Blend until smooth. Store in fridge in airtight container and it should last a couple of weeks.
Combine yeast, sugar and warm water (should be around our body temperature) in small bowl, cover; stand in warm place about 20 minutes or until mixture is frothy.
Combine flour and salt in large bowl; stir in yeast mixture, mix using a spatula to form a soft dough. Knead dough on floured surface about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in large oiled bowl, cover; stand in warm place about 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to very hot (250 degree Celsius).
Take a baking tray (I don’t have a pizza stone or that would be perfect!), lay parchment paper and drizzle with plenty of olive oil to prevent sticking. Then place the dough in the middle, with your fingers slowly flatten and work the dough out to the edges. No need for rolling pin!
When you are happy with how it looks, drizzle more olive oil over and start layering your toppings starting with the pizza sauce, using the base of a spoon to spread it all over. I like to arrange the zucchini slices very close together and then add the mushrooms on top, Haloumi Cheese (these are delicious on pizzas!) followed by bits of bacon (and chili, on my side of the pizza). Sprinkle a mixture of parmesan, mozarella and cheddar cheese on top then in the oven for 12 minutes or when the cheese turns golden.
Once out of the oven, immediately add the rocket leaves, and squeeze some lemon juice all over, finished with a small amount of truffle oil. Divide however you want and race for the last piece!
So what are your favourite pizza toppings?