We like this smoky-sweet pizza with a slick of tomato sauce on the base. A good bought tomato sauce or even a tablespoon or two of good quality concentrated tomato purée will work well. Then again, it really wouldn’t be the end of the world if you left off the tomato altogether. The beetroot needs to be cooked before you start. Just scrub a root or two, enfold in a loose foil parcel with some garlic, thyme and a slosh of oil and roast at 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for about an hour.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat
and add the onions. Once sizzling, reduce the heat to low and cook gently, stirring from time to time, until they are soft and golden – about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 250°C/Gas Mark 9, if it goes that high, or at least 220°C/Gas Mark 7. Put a baking sheet in to heat up.
Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and deflate with your fingers. Leave it to rest for a few minutes, then cut it into three. Roll out one piece as thinly as you can.
Scatter a peel (if you have one) or another baking sheet with a little flour and place the dough base on it. Spread one-third of the tomato sauce or purée very thinly over the dough, then spread over a third of the onions. Distribute a third of the beetroot pieces over the onions, then a third of the grated cheese. Scatter over a third of the mozzarella, tearing it into small pieces, then season with salt and pepper.
Slide the pizza on to the hot baking sheet in the oven (for a really crispy crust), or you can simply lay the baking sheet on the hot one in the oven (to avoid the tricky pizza transfer). Trickle with a little olive oil and bake for 10–12 minutes, until the base is crisp and the top bubbling and golden. Repeat with the remaining dough and topping. Serve hot, cut into wedges.
500g bread dough
For the topping
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little extra to trickle
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 5–6 tablespoons tomato sauce or tomato purée
- About 150g cooked, skinned beetroot (not pickled), thickly sliced
- 75g medium Cheddar, grated
- 1 ball of buffalo mozzarella (about 125g)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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If you like this recipe, you might like the following course...
Who needs meat? During the River Cottage Veg cookery course you'll learn to turn local, seasonal produce into delicious veggie dishes.