Making your own pizza is always a treat. In Geoffrey Smeddle's easy pizza recipe, created for the Sunday Herald, the left-field addition of jerusalem artichoke purée, pine nuts and tangy spring onions makes this a great, simple dinner for friends and family. This vegetarian pizza can easily be adapted to use other ingredients.
Geoffrey Smeddle, proprietor and chef of The Peat Inn in Fife, started his career working for Herbert Berger at The Café Royal and for Christopher Galvin in London. He then sealed his reputation as one of Scotland’s top chefs by opening Terence Conran's Etain, in Glasgow.
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Before starting, ensure all the ingredients for the dough base are at room temperature
Make the purée in advance. Fry the shallot and garlic in a little oil and butter until soft. While waiting dice up the Jerusalem artichokes into a fine but rough dice
1 shallot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 knob of butter
8 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled
Add these to the pan and increase the heat a little, then continue cooking until lightly caramelised then transfer to a jug blender
Add a dash of cream, just enough to allow the mix to blitz up and purée. Transfer to the fridge until needed
1 dash of double cream
For the base sift the flour into a large warmed bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water then stir in the oil
440g of strong white flour
1 packet of fresh yeast
3 tbsp of olive oil
16 tbsp of water
Sprinkle with a little of the sieved flour then leave for 15 minutes in a warm place until frothy
Make a well in the middle of the flour then pour this yeast mix into the well, kneading well until the dough forms, leaving the side of the bowl cleanly. If too sticky add a touch more flour; if too dry add a dash more water
Form a smooth ball and leave in the middle of the bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. This may take an hour, even two
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Knead the dough vigorously to knock back and distribute the air bubbles
Cut into four then roll out to make a pizza base, as thin as possible and no bigger than half a centimetre thick
Transfer to a lightly oiled tray or baking sheet and allow to rest for 30 minutes
Sprinkle sea salt and olive oil over the base then spread the purée across each one as well. Place in the oven to cook for about 15 minutes until the base is golden and firm
You will need to turn the tray halfway through, bringing the back of the tray to the front of the oven
Scatter the spinach leaves, spring onions and pine nuts over the pizza base and finally scatter the Parmesan all over
100g of baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp of pine nuts
5 1/3 handfuls of Parmesan
Drizzle some olive oil on too then return to the oven for 30 seconds or a minute just to wilt the spinach. Serve at once, with a chilled beer
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