Hearts of Palm & Rocket Pizza

When I started to research Brazilian recipes for this month of amazing world food, I didn't anticipate coming up with so much pizza! Pizza isn't what immediately springs to mind when I think of Brazilian food, but apparently Sao Paolo is the second biggest city in the word in terms of pizza consumption (I think the first was New York). They even have several traditional dessert pizzas - yes, I definitely made one! In case you missed it, here is my chocolate, strawberry & cream cheese pizza :)

You might remember from a couple of posts back my friend Ruth had some fun helping me with styling. The result being one of the most colourful photo shoots appearing on the blog so far, which seems quite appropriate for Brazil month (did you see it? If not the photos are right here). When you do a lot of food photography, you can tend towards always using the same set ups and the same props so sometimes it's nice to get someone else's ideas, especially when they're slightly nutty (like Ruth). I set this pizza out on a rustic style chopping board with a big knife and a glass of red wine.

Then Ruth comes running out clutching a brightly coloured beach towel that she had found in our bathroom proclaiming in all seriousness that it would be great in the shot. I was not immediately sold on the idea, but I humoured her. In the end though, I really quite liked it, so I used the photos! The beach towel provides bright colour, a slightly unusual texture and puts me in mind of summer. Summer dinners of freshly made pizza with a glass of red wine, what a wonderful scene. So, thanks Ruth! It was great fun having you helping me cook and styling my shots. I'm looking forward to next time already :)

What do you think? :)

The dough recipe makes enough dough for 3 big pizzas, but the topping quantity is just for 1 pizza. So you can freeze the other 2/3 of the fresh dough, or use it to make a couple of other pizzas - or even a pizza for dessert.


Pizza Dough
2 tsp dried yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups room temperature water
1kg plain flour
1.5 tsp salt

5 tbsp tomato passata
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 can hearts of palm, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cups fresh rocket

To Make
1. Whisk the yeast with 1/2 cup of warm water and set it aside for 10 minutes until foamy on top.
2. Add the 2 cups water & olive oil and whisk to combine. Then add the salt and all the flour, mixing gently. Flour up your hands and start mixing the dough with your hands until it comes together. It should be dry enough not to stick to your fingers, wet enough to stay together in a ball. If you need to, add more flour or water to get it to the right consistency.
3. Flour a benchtop and turn the dough out. Knead for 10 minutes, at which point the dough should be smooth and springy to touch. Wash, dry and lightly oil the mixing bowl. Return the dough ball to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm spot to rise for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
4. After 2 hours, punch the dough down and cut into 3 pieces, if you're saving the other two then wrap them up in plastic wrap and freeze them. Roll one piece out into a big flat rectangular disc and place on an oiled baking tray.
5. Spread with a thin layer or tomato passata. Top with sliced tomatoes, sliced hearts of palm and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and a little bit of extra tomato passata.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven, top with the fresh rocket and serve immediately.

Serves 4.
Also featured in the Vegan Virtual Linky Potluck.

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