If you’re thinking that it’s been a little while since I last wrote, you’d be perfectly right. Spot on, in fact. Over a year ago (1 year, 3 months and 22 days to be painfully exact) I shared my last post and, from around that point, life ran away with me. I got a new job, and a subsequent promotion. I moved from my family home to live in a flat with my partner. Things became all ‘adulty’ and the time I had previously been able to devote to making, creating and sharing was lost within all that. I was distracted by the newness. New people, new places, new experiences… I was out happily exploring the fresh path life was taking me on.
Now that it’s all calmed down though, I’ve come to miss my creative outlet. I had been considering getting things going again here for a while, but it wasn’t until last week that I decided to just get on with it. No worrying about plans, no schedule, no endless brainstorming sessions. Just me, doing what I love, like it was back when I first started blogging (nearly 5 years ago now!). I’m in my element again and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
And what have I chosen to return with? A pizza, of course. Pizzas are a firm favourite dinner at our place. For one, we have a bread-maker, which makes the whole process an absolute breeze, and two, they’re the perfect dish for using up whatever bits and pieces we have lying around in the fridge. Whip up a tomato base (or not!), shove on a few veggies (or anything else!) and you’re away. This particular pizza is super fresh and summery, perfect for the warmer evenings we’ve been enjoying recently. I replaced our usual tomato base with a homemade pea pesto and piled on a beautiful lineup of toppings – avocado, mozzarella, pea shoots, vine-ripened tomatoes, pine nuts… I wanted to perfect the look and flavour of this pizza, so eventually ended up with four of them piled up in my fridge – and no one was complaining! I hope you enjoy this recipe, I’d so appreciate your thoughts! And tell me, what are your favourite pizza toppings?
Makes enough for 2 small pizzas.
Ingredients (pea pesto)
– 1 cup shelled peas (thawed if frozen)
– 2 tbsp pine nuts
– 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
– 2/3 garlic cloves, crushed (adjust according to your level of garlic-appreciation. Mine = v. high)
– a large handful of basil
– a sprinkling of parsley
– a few glugs of olive oil
– juice of 1 lemon
– salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients (base and toppings)
– your chosen pizza dough (enough for 2 fairly small, thin bases)
– handful of pea shoots
– 1 avocado, sliced
– 10/15 vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
– a mozzarella ball, torn
– a sprinkling of pine nuts
– a few basil leaves
– olive oil
– lemon juice
– black pepper
1. Start off by preparing your chosen pizza dough. We have a bread-maker that does this in around 45 minutes, though I do prefer to let it sit in the fridge for a little while before using.
2. When the dough is ready to go, divide it into two smaller portions and roll out to form a pair of thin pizza bases. Make cuts through the middle of the base to prevent it from puffing up, and place in the oven at 220ºC for roughly 10 minutes (or until the outer-crust begins to turn crispy and golden). It works quite well to have these baking whilst preparing the pesto and other ingredients – this way they have some time to cool before the ‘decoration’ phase!
2. For the pea pesto, it’s as simple as popping everything into a blender and pressing ‘go’! Our blender is quite small (it’s really just a pretty basic smoothie maker) so I tend to add things gradually but, if yours can handle it, this can be done all at once; there’s no strict order. When it comes to the olive oil, start off with a couple of glugs, adding more if the mixture needs a helping hand to combine and smooth out. If necessary, add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Once the pea pesto is perfectly smooth, it’s time to assemble your pizza. Split the mix between the two cooled bases (leaving a little for dolloping later on) before laying down a foundation of pea shoots. Add your avocado and torn mozzarella evenly, before randomly placing the bright, jewel-like tomatoes. Now embellish with a few dollops of the pea pesto, a sprinkling of pine nuts/basil leaves and a touch of black pepper. A light drizzle of olive oil and a splash of lemon juice (for flavour but also to prevent the avocado from browning) finish off this perfectly summery pizza. Enjoy!