Lately, I’ve been craving pizzas a lot. Honestly, I could happily eat pizza every night – if I could get away with it! (I can’t).
However, the other day, the lure of freshly-baked pizzas proved to be too much, and I decided I had to make myself one, pronto.
Since I had a load of vegetables lurking in the fridge that needed to be used up, I decided to make these Rustic Roasted Vegetable Pizzas. And, wow, am I glad I did – they are a new favourite of mine, and they went down well with the boys too!
Let’s face it, there is little more delicious than a homemade pizza. Yet, all too often, they are laden in cheese, grease and other toppings. This pizza is about as healthy as pizzas can get – plus it’s obviously dairy-free and vegan – yet tastes every bit as comforting and as delicious!
Plus, it always feels so welcoming and homely to have the smell of freshly-baked pizza wafting through the house.
It was made in collaboration with Ross & Ross Food, who are launching an amazing range of five veggie rubs, just to help you spice up your veggies! I adore these rubs because they are so versatile, and are such a simple way of making plant-based meals taste even more special.
For this pizza, I used veggie rub number two, which adds an umami flavour and gives the pizzas a little extra depth. Of course, if you don’t have this rub to hand, then it doesn’t matter – you can simply use salt and pepper to season, and add a touch of chilli flakes! It’s entirely up to you.
Anyway, regardless of the rub you use, I guarantee that everyone in your family will love these pizzas. And is there an easier way of encouraging your kids to eat more veggies than by throwing them onto pizzas?!
If you are looking for a Friday or Saturday night treat with a healthier spin, then these are the pizzas for you!
Rustic Roasted Vegetable Pizzas
- Serves 4
- For the pizza base –
- 1 x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- 4 cups spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For the marinara sauce –
- 3 cloves garlic
- Half a red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- One 400g tin chopped tomatoes (the best quality you can afford)
- Large handful fresh basil
- For the roasted vegetable topping –
- 1 tbsp oil of choice
- Ross & Ross Veggie Rub Number 2 OR salt and pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes
- One large red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- One large yellow pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- One courgette, cut into small chunks
- Handful cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
- One small red onion, peeled and cut into rings
- Block vegan mozzarella, grated
- To serve –
- Handfuls fresh rocket
- Drizzle basil oil (optional)
- Mix the yeast, oil, sugar and 1 1/3 cups of warm water in a jug
and allow to rest for a few minutes. Tip the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix together, bringing the flour in from the sides of the bowl until it forms a dough.
Sprinkle a work surface with flour. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 10 mins until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if needed if the dough remains a little sticky. Form the dough into a ball, then place in a large oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel, then leave in a warm place for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the dough has doubled in size.
3. Now, make your marinara. Gently heat some oil in a pan, then cook the garlic for a few minutes. Add in the red pepper and tomato puree and cook for a further minute. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and simmer, stirring often, until reduced and thickened (around 20 minutes). Place in a blender with the basil and seasoning to taste and blitz smooth. Set aside.
4. As you are doing this, preheat the oven to 210C. Line a baking tray, then arrange the courgette and peppers on top. Drizzle lightly with oil and season with Ross & Ross Rub or salt and pepper and chilli flakes. Place in the oven to bake for 12 minutes, or until beginning to caramelise around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
5. Turn up the oven to 240C. Place 2 lined baking trays into the oven to warm.
6. Tip the proved dough out onto a floured surface and knead again quickly (no more than a minute). Divide into 2 balls (this makes two large pizzas) or 4 balls and use a rolling pin to roll out each, forming rough pizza shapes.
7. Spread your marinara sauce over each base, then top with the roasted vegetables. Toss over the chopped tomatoes and the onion slices, then scatter some grated cheese on top. Arrange the pizzas onto the hot baking trays and bake for around 10-12 mins, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling. Scatter over the rocket and drizzle with basil oil (if using), then cut into slices and eat hot.