Herb Wholemeal Pizza with Asparagus, Baby Leeks and Mushrooms

Ingredients

Dough

  • 250 g (8 oz) wholemeal plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon fast-action yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, finely chopped, such as basil, thyme and marjoram
  • about 150 mls (¼ pint) warm water

Topping

  • 200 g (7 oz) each tender green asparagus, baby leeks and oyster mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil garlic, crushed – optional
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 175 g (6 oz) mozzarella cheese
  • hard cheese for grating

Method

Put the flour, yeast and salt in a food processor and blend together, then add the herbs and process briefly once more. Gradually add the water (you may, or may not, need it all) until you have a soft, springy dough that is not too wet, nor too firm. The dough should stick to itself, rather than to your hand. Let the dough rest in the food processor while you prepare the vegetables.

Trim the asparagus and leeks, and steam or boil them for a minute or two, until not quite tender. If the oyster mushrooms are large, tear them into pieces, and fry them in half the olive oil. You can add crushed garlic, if you like, and the chopped parsley.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes, and roll it into a round or rectangle, depending on what you are baking the pizza in, or on. Brush with the remaining oil. Slice the mozzarella, and arrange the cheese, asparagus, leeks and mushrooms on the pizza.

Grate on some hard cheese, and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for 20 minutes.

If you prefer, you can spread a tomato sauce on the pizza before adding the vegetables, but I rather think it is better without. Goat’s cheese makes an excellent substitute for mozzarella; even if it does not have the same melting and stringy quality, the flavour is marvellous with asparagus.

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