Recipe: an alternative pizza experience

Sam Purnell suggests a guilt-free version of a student classic

Everyone loves pizza. It’s the best comfort food there is, and with so many options for takeaway pizza in Oxford, from Domino’s to Pizza Hut to the myriad of places on Deliveroo, it’s often inevitable that you end up eating at least one unhealthy and expensive pizza a week. So to try and save both your waistlines and wallets, we’ve got this simple and tasty recipe that still allows you to get all that pizza goodness in your life. Although we have suggested some healthier ingredients here, beyond the basic foundation of cheese and tomato, the pizza is highly customisable so feel free to load it with all your favourite toppings.

Ingredients:

1 store-bought refrigerator pizza crust
4 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
A handful cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large courgette, thinly sliced using a peeler
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
25g mozzarella, torn into pieces
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley, to serve (Optional)

SERVES 2

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 240C/ fan 220C/gas 9 or the highest setting.

2. Unroll your store-bought pizza crust and place on a baking tray. Prick the pizza base with a fork before topping.

3. Spread the sliced tomato on the base to within about 2cm of the edges.

4. Arrange the cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, and courgettes over the top, and then scatter with the mozzarella

5. Scatter the garlic over the top of this.

6. Drizzle evenly with the oil to allow the pizza to crisp up more in the oven.

7. Bake the pizza on the middle shelf for 10-15 minutes or until crisp and golden around the edges. Check that the base is crisp and then take out the oven and place on a heatproof tray.

8. Scatter with the parsley to taste and serve.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try your hand at making the pizza dough, here is a little guide for you…

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Ingredients:

100g each strong white and strong wholewheat flour
1 tsp or 7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast
125ml warm water

Method:

1. Mix the flours and yeast with a pinch of salt by hand or with a whisk.

2. Pour in the water and mix to a soft dough, then work for around 5 minutes to allow the dough to firm up.

3. Remove the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a round about 30cm across. Lift onto an oiled baking sheet.

4. Add the toppings at this stage.

5. Leave to rise for 20 minutes and then bake the pizza.