Chef Ingrid from Staycold International recently took part in the Global Pizza Challenge competition held at Foodserv. We thought you might be interested in the recipe for her entry into the vegetarian category, and to also share some of her great hints and tips for making a tasty pizza.

Vegetarian beetroot pizza w/ caramelized onions, asparagus, pesto, goats cheese and balsamic drizzle:
CRUST
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoon active-dry yeast (purple pack)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¾ cup pureed beets (about 2 large beets, roasted and peeled)
TOPPING
  • 120 ml goat cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 -2 Caramelized red onions (finely sliced)
  • 6 stalks of asparagus, trimmed, blanched, halved and then tossed in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper
  • 1 roasted beet, sliced
  • 4 -6 baby tomatoes, halved
  • 3-4 tablespoons basil pesto for base
  • Garnish: Salt and pepper, Balsamic Reduction to drizzle
INSTRUCTIONS
TO MAKE CRUST

Combine and stir water and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add flour salt, honey and pureed beets to yeast mixture and combine until dough just comes together.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until the flour is incorporated, until it is smooth and elastic. Form dough into a ball. Lightly oil a bowl and place dough in, turning once to coat dough with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm area to double in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Lightly grease a sheet of baking paper with olive oil. Transfer one ball of dough to baking paper and stretch it out by hand as much as possible. Lightly brush olive oil on another piece of baking paper and place it on top of hand-flattened dough. Use a rolling pin and work from the middle of the dough outward to flatten dough. You can leave out the baking paper and roll out on a flat surface.

Note: Dough can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to three days.

ASSEMBLY

Spread basil pesto evenly spread on the crust with the back of a spoon, leaving a small border. Top with ¾ of the goat cheese and mozzarella cheese on top and layer with thinly sliced beet, caramelized onion, asparagus, tomatoes and remaining ¼ of goat cheese.

Bake for 3-5 minutes until pizza crust starts to slightly brown. Rotate the pizza once continue to bake for another 3 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Garnish and with balsamic reduction.  Slice and serve

MAKE THE BEST PIZZA AT HOME WITH THESE HINTS

The crust must be thin. It must be crisp (it should be able to be held in your hand without drooping). It cannot have too much sauce or too much cheese. A great piece of pizza is like a piece of artwork. Everything works together and is in balance.

  • Make sure the oven is hot (very hot).
  • When making your own dough, be sure to knead the dough for a full 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Refrigerate dough before baking
  • Water – the temperature of the water you use for yeast must be warm – not hot, nor cold.
  • Honey – the honey here is not for sweetness but to feed the yeast and will help the yeast grow. It will not make your dough sweet, you can also use sugar. Don’t leave it out.
  • Drizzle olive oil in the bowl the dough rises in – not only will the olive oil keep the dough from sticking to the bowl while it rises, it also adds elasticity to the dough so it will be easier to roll into a ball then flatten.
  • Choose three to five ingredients that pair well with one another (cheese excluded).

Let it cool for a bit before slicing.

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