I thought I needed to cheer our day a little today with something comforting and colourful food.
I’ve made this beautiful and very quick vegetarian pizza for brunch today as we were all pretty hungry (not sure why, as we are hardly doing anything!). I have never seen my family so sedentary before.
In an effort to keep moving and bring a little exercise in, I did plan some spring clean after my WFH morning session. For that, some fuel was needed hence this nice and packed with carbs but totally meat-free pizza.
We do live extraordinary and very strange times currently and I really cannot bear to be listening to news any longer. At the same time, I want to hear what’s going on. Sadly, it’s not good news and today our PM has been admitted to ICU (intensive care unit).
My heart really goes out to poor Italy and the Italians, and all the families everywhere that lost loved ones to this nasty, nasty COVID-19. It is all overwhelmingly sad and I felt quite emotional today.
Dreadful news, yet I’m positive the sun will shine again, hopefully soon. It’s so heart-rending to see and hear the news all across the world currently.
Food to cheer...food meaning
I need cheering food these days, food to comfort me. It is amazing how food plays such a pivotal role in our life, yes for some more than others but ultimately to all of us. It is not just to feed our hunger, it has a much wider range of meanings:
- we use food to manage our emotions a lot, we eat when we are stressed, when we are bored, fed up but also to treat ourselves and celebrate;
- food creates an array of pleasure- guilt conflicts, the desire to eat but to stay thin at the same time, eating and food gives us pleasure but we also want to stay healthy;
- when we overeat we feel we have lost control whereas not eating is perceived and symbolises willpower.
- food is also part of who we are - we celebrate life in the family, it shows love, tells about culture and background, it is also a mean to celebrate religion;
- food it's central to our interaction with others (mainly family and friends), we use food to communicate, it makes statements of who we are.
I believe this lockdown has such an impact on us in so many ways but the social aspect it's what hits me most. I am very social and I have to say that I am missing the social aspect so much! I like to interact with people, friends and extended family, to feed them to cheer around the table, to chat. It is all so sinister now. I wish I was an introvert or I could just switch to one whenever suits me.
Coming back to my cheering vegetarian pizza, and the days we are living at the moment when not all ingredients are easy to find. The flour, yeast and toilet paper are luxury. Crazy! If we were told this was going to be the case as early as two weeks back we would laugh out loud.
This vegetarian pizza
Using ingredients that we really, really proves to be a bit of a luxury these days when online shopping it’s a little stuck with hundreds of thousands in a virtual queue.
I have managed to have a delivery already (nothing spectacular but just a little more stuff than usual (no toilet paper, I promise) and I have managed to place another delivery for 2 weeks time.
We are eating and using whatever it’s there in the pantry. I always believe we can make a nice meal out of anything with just a little imagination.
Here’s this vegetarian pizza on ciabatta bread, ready in minutes.
I have used a jarred tomato sauce this time, one of these used for adding to a pasta dish. Whenever I don’t have this I make my own tomato sauce by adding some plain tomato sauce to previously cooked chopped garlic, onion and herbs. Simple and delicious. Of course hiding some extra vegetables (gems as we call them) would not hurt.
Cheese to use:
To make this vegetarian pizza I have used a blend of grated hard mozzarella and mild cheddar cheese but you can use whatever cheese you like or have. It has to be any cheese that melts well. Cannot be too fussy, can we?
Other ingredients ...
artichoke, ham, chicken, bacon, chorizo, any salami, eggs, mushrooms, any pepper, asparagus or any ingredient you may love. Please let me know what else you put on your pizza that I have not covered here. I would be really interested to hear.
I sometimes make sweet pizza, check this apple and walnut pizza recipe.
Can you freeze this pizza?
Yes, you certainly can. Whenever needed just take out of the freezer, place on a baking tray and bake for a little longer by approximately 10 min.
Vegetarian pizza on ciabatta bread
- chopping board
- baking tray/ sheet
- 2 ciabatta breads cut
- 200 g cheese grated * I used a mix of two cheeses
- 200 ml Tomato sauce like a bolognese sauce*
- 1 red onion small
- 12 Olives chopped ( optional)
- 1 tsp Italian herbs optional
- 4 tbsp parsley fresh - to garnish
- Warm up the oven at 190C - 375F and prepare a pizza or an oven baking tray by lining it with parchment paper.
- Cut the ciabatta bread length wise and grill (cut facing down) in a pan for 2 minutes.
- Chop some olives, one red onion (make it into rings)
- Brush the bread with the tomato sauce with a generous layer (as generous as you like) add some herbs if you like to the tomato sauce (see my notes in recipe notes below)
- Sprinkle the olives and the onions and place in the oven. Bake for 10 min at 190C.
- Take out of the oven, sprinkle a generous layer of the blended grated cheese (I used half hard mozzarella and half mild cheddar). Place back in the oven and carry on baking for another 5-7 min approximately or until the cheese turns nice and gets a beautiful golden colour.
- Take out of the oven, allow it to cool for a couple of minutes and serve whilst still nice and warm.