Beet pizza is eye-catching and delicious. The vegan pizza crust recipe is bright purple from the addition of beets (you can't taste them). Plus, it uses the entire beetroot - from root to leaf - in the pizza, beet leaf pesto and toppings.
2large beetroots with stems and leaves attached if making the pesto
180ml(¾ cup) warm water
1tspactive dry yeast
350g(3 cups) plain flour (all-purpose)
For the beet leaf pesto
50g(1 cup) packed beetroot leaves (remove the larger pink spines for a greener-coloured pesto)
35g(¼ cup) pine nuts
2tbspvegan or vegetarian parmesan cheesegrated (optional)
Zest of half a lemon
Pinchof salt and pepper
Toppings (all optional)
50g(1 cup packed) beetroot stems, chopped into 1 inch long pieces
180g(6 oz) goat’s cheese (vegan alternative)
75g(½ cup) olives, pitted
40g(⅓ cup) sun-dried tomatoes
Salt and pepper
3large handful rocket / arugula
Preheat oven to 200c/400F.
Cut the stems from the beets, leaving an inch of stem still attached. Save the beet leaves and stems to use later.
Wash the beetroots and wrap each one in foil, then place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until soft. Allow the beets to cool slightly, then rub off the skins with paper towel.
Puree the beetroot in a food processor or mini chopper, and set aside. You will need 150g (½ cup) of the beetroot puree.
Note: you could skip roasting the beets and use pre-cooked vacuum packed (not in vinegar) beets.
In a stand mixer:
Pour the water into the bowl of the stand mixer, then sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it stand for a few minutes until the yeast has dissolved.
Insert the dough hook, add 150g (½ cup) of the pureed beetroot, plus the flour and salt to the yeast water and knead with the machine for a few minutes until the dough forms a sticky ball. It will be a very soft dough, but if the dough is still too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it is manageable. Don’t add too much or it will affect the end result.
Alternatively make the beet pizza dough by hand:
Pour the water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let it stand for a few minutes until the yeast has dissolved.
Add 150g (½ cup) of the pureed beetroot, plus the flour and salt to the bowl of water and stir until it forms a loose dough.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured countertop (on floured baking paper if you have a wooden countertop to avoid the beetroot staining) and knead firmly for 5-10 minutes or until it’s smooth, (though it will be a soft sticky dough). If the dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it is manageable. Don’t add too much or it will affect the end result.
For both dough methods:
Put the dough into a large lightly oiled bowl, then turn the dough over so both sides are covered in oil and cover with clingfilm. Place the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise for 1 ½ hours.
Meanwhile, make the beet leaf pesto.
Wash the leaves and stems well, then remove the green leaves from the stems and set the stems aside to use later.
Remove any large pink stems that run through the leaves and discard.
Add the beet leaves as well as the other ingredients, except for the olive oil, to a food processor and blitz until fine. While the motor is running, add the olive oil slowly until it becomes thick. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
To cook the beet pizza
When you’re ready to cook the beet pizza, preheat the oven to 250C/ 480F, or as high your oven will go.
Divide the dough into thirds and then roll each one out on a lightly floured piece of baking paper, as thin as possible to fit the size of your baking tray. Transfer the pizza and baking paper to the baking tray.
Spread the pizza base with ⅓ of the beet leaf pesto, then top with ⅓ of the toppings. Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil.
Place the pizza in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the base is crisp and the edges have begun to brown.
Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.
Pile the pizzas with the rocket/arugula and serve hot, cut into slices.
TIPS FOR BEET PIZZA
I like to roast the beetroot, but you can also use store bought vacuum sealed beets (not in vinegar) to save time.
It’s easiest to make the pizza dough in a stand mixer, but you can also knead by hand.
If you can’t find fresh beets with the stems and leaves, just use store bought pest0 (look for vegan/vegetarian if required)
Don’t like olives or capers? Use any toppings you like!
You can make the pizza dough the day before and let it rise in the fridge, so you just have to roll it out, add the toppings and pop it in the oven for 10-12 minutes and it’s ready to eat!
Once the dough has risen, you can freeze it for up to three months. Then let it thaw in the fridge before using.
For vegan use vegan cheese and parmesan, if desired. Or try my vegan parmesan cheese. It’s super easy and delicious.