Friday, March 4, 2011

PIZZA WITH BROCCOLI SAUCE, FETA, SPINACH AND GARLIC



Pizzas ready to go in the oven - although Billie couldn't wait

Showing you how to make pizza could be like telling you how to suck eggs. But there are some superb tricks here. And today when my friend Anna (who's a very good cook) was impressed and inspired sampling a cold left-over piece, I decided it was a valid exercise. Oh, and I have to credit Miles here as I was inspired by his innovation.

The two main tricks here are: 

*For the base, use thin round flat 'Lebanese bread' - they are cheap, cook very quickly and retain a nice texture

* Instead of straight tomato, pack some super foods into the base sauce. It tastes nice, but most importantly toddlers can't avoid the vegetables

Pizza post-oven


Now, I'm not normally a fan of pumpkin on pizza. However, Miles created a delicious pumpkin-based vegetable blend to spread over our vegetarian pizzas this week. HIs motivation was a lack of tomato stuff in the cupboards, but also to get some more veggies into young Billie.

Last night I followed up with a full head of fairly well-steamed broccoli, blended in with a few dollops of tomato paste. Billie scoffed back most of her large pizza before it even went near the oven.

(And yes, those are cherry tomatoes from our garden. Grown from seed. Very proud of myself.)

Obviously you can follow the vegetable paste with any topping you fancy, but here's what worked very well last night:


PIZZA WITH BROCCOLI SAUCE, FETA, SPINACH AND GARLIC

Makes three pizzas, feeds about four
Large, flat, round and preferably wholemeal Lebanese breads
Head of broccoli, cut into large chunks and steamed until softish
4 tablespoons tomato paste
Small bunch English spinach, washed and chopped
5 spring onions, top and tailed and finely sliced
4-5 cloves garlic
1/2 block feta
several big handfuls grated cheddar cheese
handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in thirds
capers
Fresh basil and oregano - lots
black pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to medium hot.

Lightly saute spring onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add spinach and remove from heat after 30 seconds - you just want to shrink it down a little, but it will get plenty of cooking in the oven. Blend broccoli and tomato paste. Spread generously on bases. Sprinkle a little cheddar on each. 

Spread the spinach mixture over the three pizzas, followed by a sprinkling of capers on each and some chopped fresh herbs. Crumble the feta over each, a good grind of pepper (no salt needed with feta), the rest of the cheddar, and distribute the cherry tomato slices. 

Place on oven trays and cook until cheese well melted and bases crispy around the edges - they will blacken a little. Slice and serve immediately. 


Pizza pre-oven

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