Thin Crust Pizza

thincrispy

I finally got a photo of something savoury! From the recipes on this blog it might appear that my house subsists on cookies and muffins alone but the truth is planning and cooking dinner is the highlight of my day. My Dinners Board on Pinterest is my biggest by far (560 pins and counting!) and is getting to the point that I should probably start sorting it into sub-categories of some kind. I’ve been lucky enough to get a bunch of early shifts over the past few weeks which gives me ample time in the afternoons to cook dinners that take a bit more prep work. I’m not a fan of rushed cooking so getting the time potter around the kitchen at my own pace is dreamy. For nights when time is nowhere to be found, this pizza does the job admirably.

I like me a thick crust every now and then but thin crust is my favourite when I look into my heart of hearts. Working quickly once the dough is rolled out is important, the longer it sits and rises the thicker it will be once it cooks. It will still taste great but you might not get the thin dough you were cravin’. Go easy on the toppings to ensure even cooking and be sure to try grating some parmesan on after the pizza has finished cooking, it’s something that I do no matter what recipe I use.

Thin Crust Pizza

Barely adapted from Thin Crust Pizza over at How Sweet It Is.

Dough (for one pizza):

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1/2 tsp honey

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

Toppings:

passata (tomato sauce)

garlic, crushed

salt and pepper

mozzarella

salami

fresh basil

parmesan

Preheat the oven to its highest temperature.

In a medium bowl whisk together the water, yeast and honey, allow to sit for around 10 minutes until frothy (if the mixture doesn’t get frothy, your yeast could be dead, check the expiry date on the packet and start with a new sachet of yeast).

While you wait the 10 minutes prepare whatever toppings you have chosen, try to keep them relatively light so as not to weigh your base down.

When the 10 minutes are up mix the flour and salt into the yeast mixture, starting with a wooden spoon and finishing with your hands.

Lightly flour a flat surface and knead dough until smooth and silky, place it back into the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Tear off a piece of baking paper (roughly the width of your oven) and spray it with oil then dust lightly with flour.

Roll out the dough onto the prepared baking paper as thin as possible, aiming for 30 cm (if the dough is too elastic and springs back allow it to sit for another 5 minutes).

Quickly add your chosen toppings then use a baking tray to transfer the pizza on its baking paper straight on to the middle rack of your oven.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the base is light brown on the bottom.

Remove from the oven using the help of a baking tray, sprinkle with any toppings that didn’t go on earlier like fresh basil or parmesan).

Allow to sit for a few minutes then slice and serve.

Pesto Vegetable Salad

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I wasn’t planning on making this salad when I did, so unfortunately it’s missing roasted pumpkin, one of my favourite ingredients. I’ve put it into the recipe even though it’s not in the pictures but you know what roasted pumpkin looks like, right? If you don’t like chickpeas I have also used lentils in their place before and they work really well.

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This is really a kitchen sink recipe, throw in any vegetables you like or need to clear out from your vegetable crisper. For an even quicker salad you can just use vegetables that don’t need cooking. It’s really filling by itself but makes a great side salad as well, I think it would be delicious with chicken schnitzel or something similar with mellow flavours. It would make a great pasta salad if you toss some cooked pasta in there.

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I had never made my own pesto before making it as a dressing for this salad and I don’t think I’ll ever stop. Pesto from a jar is still tasty and very convenient but the fresh stuff just has a party in your mouth. It takes all of 2 minutes to whip up in a blender or food processor so really, it’s very little work for a massive flavour reward.

Pesto Vegetable Salad

Recipe by Ainsley Badman.

1/2 butternut pumpkin, chopped into bite sized pieces

1/2 red capsicum, chopped finely

1 big handful green beans, chopped finely

1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 carrots, grated

1 bunch broccolini, chopped into bite sized pieces

1/4 cup Basil Pesto

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Toss the pumpkin with salt, pepper and a little vegetable oil then spread on an oven tray in one layer, bake for 35-45 minutes or until cooked through and caramelised.

Allow pumpkin to cool to room temperature.

After the pumpkin has come out of the oven, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil, add the broccolini and simmer for 3 minutes.

Drain immediately into a colander, allow to sit until it cools to room temperature.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl including pesto, mix gently until well combined and the pesto coats everything evenly (add more or less pesto depending on personal preference).

Serve as a main or as a side salad.

Basil Pesto

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I was inspired by Vegerama in the Brisbane CBD to make a Pesto Vegetable Salad and I knew I had a kick butt pesto recipe hidden somewhere on my Pinterest. The salad that inspired me is a fresh and crunchy combination of grated carrot, capsicum, roasted pumpkin, chickpeas, green beans, olives and tofu. I’m pretty sure that the Vegerama version doesn’t have parmesan in it because all of their food is at least vegetarian if not vegan but for me the parmesan in a pesto is the best bit. I love finding a tasty idea for a salad then recreating it at home for less money and tweaking it to fit my personal tastes.

The salad recipe will be forthcoming but for now here is the pesto that I used as the salad dressing. It’s quite thick so if you want it to spread a bit easier you can thin it with a little bit of water. This recipe makes quite a bit of pesto but if you divide it up into little zip lock bags and pop them in the freezer you’ll have lovely homemade pesto at your fingertips. This stuff is addictive. From the moment I got the seasoning just right I was spooning it out of the blender and basically shoving the spatula in my sister’s hands so we could both babble about how tasty it was.

Basil Pesto

Adapted from Rachel’s My Pesto over at Rachel Schultz.

1 large bunch basil, stems included

1 cup grated parmesan

1 cup olive oil

2/3 cup raw walnuts

4 cloves garlic

salt and pepper

Place everything except the salt and pepper in a blender or food processor, pulse until combined and smooth.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, pulsing in between additions (add enough salt to make the taste of the parmesan really pop).

Freezes well.