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Archive for June 1st, 2009

With its sprinkling of crunchy toasted almonds and hint of nutmeg this vegetarian pizza is just a bit special and would make a lovely lunch dish to enjoy with a vegetarian friend.  I like the combination of spinach with cheese (usually in a sauce) that makes any dish ‘Florentine’ style (from Florence in Italy), especially if combined with egg. Our local pizza takeaway produces a ‘Florentine Pizza’ I have always liked and which has just one raw egg cracked on top. This started me thinking and therefore the major change I have made to this recipe is, rather than using slices of hard boiled egg which I felt could get over dry and possibly even burn, to break raw eggs into wells I had made with the back of a spoon in the spinach. The eggs cooked through easily in the cooking time and none had runny centres.

Non-vegetarian alternatives: For die-hard meat lovers there is no reason why you could not add some diced bacon, or even serve it with a rasher or two, which would be good  served as brunch.  Another idea to try would be to top the pizza with some uncooked flaked smoked haddock, another well known ‘Florentine’ combination.

The basic idea I have adapted for this recipe comes from Step-by-step Pizzas by Wendy Lee, a great book with everything you need to know including making basic pizza bases and preparing the Tomato Sauce topping plus a large number of different pizza recipes.

100_4059 Pizza Florentine

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Pizza Florentine
(Serves 2-4)

1 quantity of pizza base using basic recipe – I used Potato base
⅓ quantity of Tomato Sauce using basic recipe
2ozs Parmesan cheese, grated
175g/6ozs fresh Spinach leaves
1 small red onion
2tbsp olive oil
¼- ½tsp freshly grated nutmeg
15g/½oz fresh white breadcrumbs
60g/2ozs Emmental cheese (or Jarlsberg/Gruyere/Mozzarella/Cheddar)
2tbsp flaked (slivered) almonds
olive oil for drizzling
2-4 eggs (one egg per person)
Salt & Pepper

1.  Mix the Parmesan cheese with the potato mixture, if you are making a potato base pizza.

2.  Roll or press out the dough making a 25cm/10inch circle directly onto your greased pizza pan.  Push up the edge a little with your fingers to make a rim.

3.  Pre-heat oven to 200oC (190oc Fan oven)/400oF/Gas 4

4.  Remove the stalks from the spinach and wash thoroughly shaking off as much water as possible.

5.  Fry onion gently in the olive oil for 5minutes until softened.  Add the spinach and fry briefly until just wilted.  Drain off any excess liquid produced.

4. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the pizza base going almost to the edge but keeping within the rim you have made.  Cover with a layer of onion and spinach mixture and then evenly sprinkle over the nutmeg.

5. Make a slight indentation in the spinach topping for each egg, making sure that they are evenly spaced.  Be careful not to push through the pizza base.  Gently break an egg into each indent.

6. Evenly sprinkle over breadcrumbs, cheese and slivered almonds. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season.

6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 18-20minutes until the edge of the pizza is crisp and golden.

7. Transfer to a warmed serving plate. Serve immediately with salad.

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