1 Ingredient: Artichoke and Spinach Pizza with Basil Pesto

22 Aug

I knew it wouldn’t take long before we paid homage to the Jay-Z of food; The Pizza. Those people that don’t like pizza? No. Shut up. Go away. Your opinions are wrong. There is no food as universally adored as the pizza. I’m sure I speak on the behalf of many here when I say that if something involves a big old pile of melted cheese, I want to get involved. So when we landed on artichokes for this weeks MVP my mind immediately wandered to a happy place filled with molten mozzarella paired with lemony artichokes and a drizzle of olive oil. Are you hungry yet? Well I am and I just ate this whole damn pizza.



(For the pizza dough)

500g strong white bread flour

1 tbsp dried yeast

1 tbsp golden castor sugar

2 tbsp olive oil

325ml warm water

(For basil pesto)

2 tbsp grated parmesan

Bunch fresh basil

1 clove garlic

50ml olive oil

50g pine nuts

(For the pizza)

1/2 tin drained artichoke hearts

1 ball torn mozzarella

Handful of spinach, chopped


1.   Mix together water, olive oil, sugar and yeast in a measuring jug and set aside for a few minutes.

2.   Sift the flour into a large bowl, creating a well in the centre. Pour yeast mixture into well and get those hands dirty.


Here, I made a grave error. Thinking myself a fancy lady, I thought I could handle mixing the dough on a surface. I was wrong. Soon after this photo that innocent looking yeast mixture trickled through the flour wall and all hell broke loose.

       3.   Mix with hands until fully incorporated and kneed until you have a smooth, elastic-y dough. Cover bowl with damp tea towel and place in a warm room for 30 mins.

4.   Whilst your dough is rising, you have two choices. You could either get started on cleaning the GIANT FLOURY MESS that is your kitchen after you failed to listen and just had to forego that bowl. OR you could get started on that delicious basil pesto. Now, put those pine nuts into a saucepan and toast lightly. This is also a good time to preheat your oven as high as it will go and make sure that whatever you’re using to cook the pizza on is inside. If you don’t have a pizza stone (which I don’t) just flip over a baking tray and use that.


5. Place the toasted pine nuts in a food processor with a clove of garlic, a handful of fresh basil, a grating of parmesan and 50ml of olive oil and whizz up.


6.   Transfer your deliciously fragrant pesto into a container and pop in the fridge until your dough is ready.


7.   Whilst your dough is still rising, start prepping your toppings.

8. When risen, take your dough and give it a good whack on a floured surface to knock the air out and kneed for a minute or so. The dough should be enough for roughly 3 pizzas, so divide it up, cover with lightly oiled cling film and place in fridge or freezer until needed.


9.   Excuse me for not being the Queen of England, but I don’t actually own a rolling pin. Grab one of the many, many empty wine bottles littered around your kitchen and roll that dough out nice and thin.


10.   Once it’s rolled out, place carefully on floured baking tray/pizza stone and add toppings.


11.   Spread out the pesto and tear over mozzarella. I used a scatter of roquefort, followed by chopped artichoke hearts, a squeeze of lemon juice, chopped spinach and a pinch of fresh tarragon. Obviously this can all be altered according to taste.


12.   Put your pizza in the oven for around 17 minutes, but keep checking (without opening the oven door) every few minutes.

13.   Remove from oven when the cheese is bubbling and the crust golden, sit back and marvel at the wonder you have created.



3 Responses to “1 Ingredient: Artichoke and Spinach Pizza with Basil Pesto”

  1. LFFL August 22, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    I love making homemade pizzas. That looks good.

  2. Geraldine August 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    oh so yummy!

  3. Johnny August 23, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    A couple of things. Have you tried substituting honey for the sugar in the pizza dough. Also for an herb crust you can add garlic, oregano, and rosemary. It’s delightful

    And I’m definitely going to try the pesto recipe next time I make it. I haven’t thought to toast the pine nuts ahead of time and am curious to see how that turns out

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