I hope it’s OK to compare my food to a tree - is it? As this pizza looks not too dissimilar to an Autumn tree, seducing with its warming array of colours and shades - orange, purple, brown, green - am I wrong?
This season! A time to notice and appreciate the nature around us and nurture the little pot belly that’s promising to keep us warm for the next 6-8 months. Comforting fruit and veg (think pears, beetroot, potatoes, pumpkin), layers and cosy evenings in, not sweating before you’ve even left the house - what’s not to like about Autumn?
Without further ado, Autumn on a plate, is served.
Enough for one pizza
For the puree:
250g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into small chunks
12g vegan butter
1 star anise
100ml vegetable stock
50ml coconut milk
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1-2 red onions
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
4 slices of hard goats cheese
Handful of walnuts
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
For the carrot puree, gently melt the butter in a shallow pan, add the carrots and star anise and stir until the butter coats the carrots. Cook for 10 mins, stirring often until the carrots are glazed and starting to soften. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable stock and pour into the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins until stock is slightly reduced. Now add the coconut milk, bring back to the boil and simmer for 1 min. Remove pan from the heat, take out the star anise and carefully stir in the lemon juice. Season well, transfer carefully to a food processor and blitz in to a puree (alternatively leave in the pan and use a hand blender instead). Consistency should be smooth and quite thick. Set aside to cool.
Now for the onions. Cut and discard the tops and tails of the onions, peel away the outer layer and cut width ways, about 2cm thick. Lay onion rounds flat on the baking paper of a prepared roasting dish. Season with salt and massage each round with a splash of oil and then, balsamic vinegar. Don’t go crazy here, you don’t want the onions to be swimming in Modena’s finest, but be generous all the same. Roast for 40 mins or until slightly charred.
Prepare the rest of the toppings by slicing 4 - 5 slices of the goats cheese, about 1cm thick and roughly chopping a handful of walnuts. Once all the toppings have cooled, take your pre-prepared / store bought pizza base, top with the carrot puree, onions and goats cheese. Pop in the oven for 5 minutes at 200°C until the middle of the pizza is hot to tough and goats cheese starts to melt. Remove from the oven and finish with some rocket and a squeeze of lemon juice.