This is one of those times when I took three recipes and crammed them into one. Sometimes that’s the best way to go about things – though it does depend on the recipes. If I’d tried combining a chocolate trifle with a pizza base, for example, that might not have gone so well.
To start with, the base I made (or didn’t really make, as it turns out) was from BBC Good Food. I screwed it up by trying to half the recipe, then forgetting half way through the ingredients (of which there were a grand total of four) so putting in twice as much oil and water as I needed. Lesson: if you’re going to half a recipe, do the sums and write out your new ingredient amounts. I threw in as many handfuls of flour as it took to get the dough looking more like dough than soup, and proceeded from there.
So, if I wanted to replicate this exact pizza base, I’d have a bit of trouble. I won’t be going to that trouble – the base was fine, and the crusts were like massive, chewy breadsticks (which went extremely well with some cucumber and yogurt dip I happened to have in the fridge), but there are plenty of recipes out there that will do the trick for pizza in a pinch. For pizza that’s planned well in advance, there’s Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough, which is the finest pizza base I’ve ever made, by a country mile. Its only drawback is that you do need to start about 18 hours before you want to eat the pizza. Or make a few bases and have some ready in the freezer at all times. Something for me to think about, in future.
Anyway, once I’d bungled my way through the base – which I let rise for a while, even though the recipe said I didn’t have to – I piled on a made-from-memory pesto. I used a mix of walnuts and pecans in place of pine nuts (guess who forgot to buy any nuts and had to use what was in the cupboard?), one clove of garlic (because I usually make it toooo strong), and two bunches of basil. I have some left, which is good news for dinner later in the week. Amounts? Nope. I just used enough of everything. Sometimes you don’t need a recipe. Sometimes you don’t write things down for your blog…
On top of the pesto went diced mozzarella, and all the mushrooms. More than you would imagine would fit on to one pizza. When I first moved out of my parents’ house, my flatmate was a pretty fussy eater. One thing we did agree on, though, was mushroom pizza. We used ask for triple mushroom on our Domino’s orders. No meat, no other veg – cheese, tomato and triple mushrooms. They always obliged, but when you phoned to order one (because in those days you would phone to order food) there were mixed reactions, from people who were sure they must have misheard me to people who thought it outright hilarious. But, you know, if you just ask for mushroom you don’t get enough. These are the facts.
Now, are you ready for a pizza-related surprise? Here it is:
Whaaaaat? Salad pizza? That’s right, my friends. Now, I’m not a salad fan, as a rule. The charm of it evades me. Not enough carbs, I think. Best possible solution to a lack of carbs: put the salad on a pizza base. This is far from being an original idea – it was a recent recipe on Leite’s Culinaria, which I absolutely loved. It calls for a plain, white pizza – just mozzarella and garlic – topped with lightly-dressed salad leaves. I amped up the pizza underneath, and added a few shavings of pecorino to the salad for good measure. The leaves are a mix of rocket, spinach and watercress, and they’re sparingly dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. It works. It seems strange, but it works.
And thus ends the tale of Frankenstein’s pizza, made up of so many different recipes and ideas that it becomes impossible to name without just reeling off every ingredient. Triple Mushroom Pesto Salad Pizza with Accidental Breadstick Crust is a name with character, yes, but also a name designed to send people off in search of a blogger who seems to have a clue what she’s doing when it comes to naming recipes.