Light and fresh, but not lacking in flavor. Spring vegetable pizza has a lemon, basil ricotta base, topped with delicious fresh vegetables of the season.
There are 2 things you’ll notice about this pizza, 1: there’s no tomato sauce and 2: there’s no mozzarella. If you’ve been to Italy, you’ll know that they do their pizza (and pasta) using simple, fresh ingredients without over-saucing and over cheesing. They let the freshness of the ingredients speak for themselves. And that’s what I’m achieving here. The base of the pizza is fresh ricotta and what I love to add to fresh ricotta is freshly grated lemon zest.
We all have our favorite pizza place that we like to go to or get delivered, but there’s nothing like making your own. It’s hard to get that pizza oven crust at home, so I bought a pizza stone. Now the question was, how do I get my beautifully topped pizza safely onto the pizza stone? After a little research, I found a tip of rolling the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper and after topping the pizza, I used the paper to carry the pizza to the stone and it worked! After 5 minutes in the oven, the crust is set enough to be able to slide the paper out from under it.
The dough recipe makes 24 ounces which makes 2, 13 inch pizzas. I like to freeze the other half of the dough so I know I always have some ready to go when the pizza urge strikes. Which is more often than not and since this is a relatively healthy pizza, feel free to indulge whenever you like.
- For the dough:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 package rapid-rise yeast 3/4 ounce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- For the topping:
- 1/4 cup fresh ricotta
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 mini peppers cut into rings
- 20 asparagus spears
- 3 spring onions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil for garnish
- Position oven rack about 4-5 inches from the top of the oven and preheat a pizza stone and the oven to 450 degrees F.
- For the dough:
- Add the water to a bowl and stir in the yeast, honey, salt and olive oil.
- To a clean work surface pile the flour and make a well in the center.
- Add a little of the yeast liquid and use your fingers to slowly incorporate flour. Add a little more liquid as it is absorbed by the flour until you get a nice dough ball. You may not use all the liquid, don't let the dough be too sticky.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth.
- Lightly oil a bowl with a little olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl.
- Turn once to coat all sides with the oil. Cover the bowl and put the bowl in a warm area to rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
- Punch down the dough and place it in a lightly-floured surface.
- Divide the dough into 2 balls. Cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes. You can freeze the other ball for the future.
- For the topping:
- To a mixing bowl add the ricotta, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
- Roll the pizza dough out using a combination of your hands and rolling pin to 13 inch round onto a sheet of parchment paper
- Spread the ricotta evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border.
- Arrange the vegetables and top with a little grated parmesan cheese.
- Use the parchment paper to transfer the pizza to the stone and bake for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes slide the parchment out from under the stone and rotate the pizza, bake for a further 5 minutes.