Roast Pumpkin, Artichoke + Thyme Pizza
The irony of studying is that you usually learn lots of things that you didn’t actually intend to learn. Like today. The art of procrastination is not to be taken lightly, and when done properly, can lead to rather unexpected productivity. For why stumble over academics using more syllables than they need to when you can do such fun things such as rearranging your highlighters in colour order, instagramming your breakfast, pinning things and cooking pizza. From scratch, of course.
Naturally, this pizza, a bi-product of avoidance, takes a little time to make. You could do it in an hour roughly, if you multitask your roasting and your dough rising. Though in the pursuit of delay, I decided to stretch out my lunch break, sipping wine, playing with dough, nibbling on cheese, and moving slowly. You should too. Lunch is nice this way. This pizza is a little bit woody and a little bit smokey and a little bit sweet and a little bit nutty. And it’s the sort of pizza that could make lesser people feel guilty for drinking so much wine before lunchtime. (Because once the bottle is open, you might as well carry on) For all the things going on here, incredulously, the flavours mingle harmoniously. It’s nice with a little rocket salad, too (Because you have to have something green) . Serve with wedges of lemon and a glass of white and a blatant disregard for university-related guilt.
Pumpkin, Artichoke + Leek Pizza
(Adapted a little from Donna Hay and a little from Gourmet Traveller)
500 grams of pumpkin, sliced thinly
Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Two thirds of a cup of marinated artichokes
Five sprigs of fresh thyme
One leek, white part only, sliced
A tablespoon of butter
Half a cup of white wine
Two thirds of a cup of ricotta, plus three tablespoons of milk
A generous handful of soft goats cheese
A good handful of walnuts, chopped
Two cups of flour
Half a teaspoon of dry yeast
One cup of water
A quarter cup of olive oil
A good few pinches of sea salt
Preheat oven to 200 degrees, toss the pumpkin in the olive oil and coat liberally in salt and pepper. Bake pumpkin for twenty to thirty minutes, until roasted nicely. For the dough, combine all ingredients in an electric mixer using a dough hook. Mix for three or four minutes until a soft dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for twenty minutes.
In a saucepan, saute the leeks in the butter until soft. Add the white wine, and combine until wine is evaporated and incorporated into the leeks. (Everything will smell very nice at this stage)
Then roll out the dough, there will probably be a little left over unless you have a giant oven.
Combine the ricotta and milk and spread out over the base. Arrange pumpkin and artichokes on your pizza. Toss over the walnuts and the goats cheese and the thyme sprigs. Bake in a 200 degree oven for twenty minutes or until the base is crispy and the cheese has melted. Give a liberal coating of freshly cracked pepper.