I’d taken a liking to the gorgeous leaves adorning the top of my lucky find – the humble beetroot. I’d been scouring farmers markets, gourmet markets, black market vegetable traders (not really)…any kind of market, simply to get my hands on heirloom beets. Being so incredibly difficult to come across, I had all but given up when they appeared at my local Sunday farmer’s markets, sitting in their sun-scorched yellow glory. I promptly grabbed some along with the usual red kind, and had my way with them, roasting then turning them into a salad laden with hazelnuts and goats cheese, but I digress. The leaves attached to the beetroot bunches, more so the red beets, were the most gorgeous green with almost-iridescent red veins running through, and I couldn’t bear to throw them out. A quick google and it turns out you can do so much with the leaves. Although they can be quite bitter tasting, cooking them negates this. They pair exceptionally well with the lemons and pine nuts, giving this pizza an almost Moroccan-esque feel. They’re also bursting at the seams with antioxidants, vitamins A and C for your immune system and vitamin K for your bones. They just look damn pretty too. Minimal prep is needed to make this pizza, as while the dough is proving you can prepare the topping and let it sit happily in the corner. The dough recipe is an absolute gem, and I recommend using bread flour for that extra stretchy dough, otherwise plain flour will suffice. We often make a double batch and freeze half for an impromptu pizza dinner when all inspiration is out the window. beetroot leaf, preserved lemon and goats curd pizza – serves 2-3 as a meal, or 4 as an entree/snack
pizza dough – adapted from The Cook’s Companion
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 200g bread/pizza flour, or plain flour
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
topping – adapted from Matthew Evans
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 130g beetroot leaves + stems, roughly shredded
- 1/2 tbsp pine nuts
- 1/4 preserved lemon, rind only, thinly sliced
- 2-3 tbsp goats curd
here’s what you do…
- Mix the yeast, salt and flour in a large bowl. Mix water with oil and beat into the ingredients. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic (I used my kitchenaid + dough hook on the second speed for 10min).
- Turn into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm spot to prove for 1.5 hours or until doubled in size. Punch dough back, knead lightly in flour then allow to prove, covered with wrap, for a further 30 minutes. Roll the dough out to a 9 inch round (I prefer my base not too thin – but adapt it to your liking) and transfer to a lined baking tray or oiled pizza tray. Spread a teaspoon or so of olive oil on the base, leaving a 2cm margin around the edge, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 220C (200 Fan Forced). Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add onion and gently fry for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and fennel seeds and fry for a further minute.
- Add the beetroot leaves and fry until wilted, then set aside. Season lightly.
- Spread beetroot leaf topping onto pizza, leaving the margin. Sprinkle on the pine nuts and preserved lemon.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until crust starts to go golden brown. Top with goats curd.