A while ago, I had to go to a schmoozy work lunch with clients at an Italian pizzeria. I figured I'd just ask for a veg pizza minus cheese, but saw bruschetta pizza on the menu and couldn't resist - and damn, it was good. I came home and experimented with it and it's easily one of my favourite vegan pizzas - looks kind of fancy, tastes brilliant, almost no effort and minimal ingredients. Awesome. Also, you can easily prep the mix and dough the night before and bake and assemble when you feel like it. Great for leftovers!
Bruschetta Mix (makes enough for one pizza - easily doubled/tripled/etc!)
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn roughly into small pieces (use your hands!)
2 medium-to-large tomatoes, diced
1/4 medium onion, diced very finely
Approx 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Super simple. Prep everything, throw into a bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and season. Toss to combine and let sit for a little while. The longer it marinates, the nicer it'll be! If it seems liquidy, don't worry - that gets drained before it hits the pizza, so nothing gets soggy.
Pizza Dough (from Masterchef.com.au)
This makes enough for 2 bases. If you like, double your bruschetta mix! Nobody likes half a packet of yeast lying about. Also, if you have a favourite dough recipe - use it! I just like the simplicity of this one.
3 cups (400g) plain flour
2 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp olive oil
Place flour, yeast and salt in a bowl and mix. Gradually add the water and olive oil then knead by hand for 7-10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes to an hour until it doubles in volume. Knead dough gently for a few minutes to remove some air. Divide dough in two and roll out pizza bases. Sprinkle a little flour on the bench before rolling to prevent dough from sticking.
For the top of your pizza dough:
A generous drizzle of olive oil (or your favourite oil)
Salt, pepper, a little garlic, dried herbs of choice (I like rosemary/thyme/oregano/basil and a sprinkle of onion powder)
Preheat your oven as high as it'll go, with your pizza stone (or tray - I always use my stone, but I'm sure you could bake normally too) inside. After ~10-15 min, remove the hot stone. Place your rolled out base onto the stone as is, making sure it fits and doesn't overlap or flop over the stone's edges. Season your base generously with herbs, salt, pepper and garlic, then drizzle olive oil over and rub evenly over the base. Bake in the oven for approx. 10 minutes or until golden on the underside and crisp/hollow sounding if tapped. Don't let the herbs burn, that tastes nasty. Trust me.
Remove from oven and slip your pizza base onto your plate. Quickly drain the bruschetta mix in a strainer until most of the liquid is gone, then smooth it onto your pizza. Cut, serve and enjoy! Easy!