Healthy pizza toppings to have on high rotation

Zucchini, pancetta and buffalo mozzarella pizza.
Zucchini, pancetta and buffalo mozzarella pizza. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Pizza divides people. Crusts thick or thin? Light on the toppings to allow the doughy goodness to shine or try to hide those carbs under a mountain of ingredients and grated cheese? Diverge and risk your pizza eating behaviour be deemed outrageous;  judged as a crime against good sense and taste. Perhaps the focus should be on pizza. In all its incarnations, it's a glorious beast. Fuel for the belly and the soul. Here we've lightened them a little, and introduced more heat and fire and fresh veg crunch. 

Basic pizza dough

Ingredients

400g wholemeal flour

150g semolina

generous pinch salt

380ml warm water

7g dried yeast

1 tsp castor sugar

1 tbsp olive oil

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Method

Add the flour, semolina and salt the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Combine the remaining ingredients in a jug and set aside until foamy on top.

Turn mixer to medium and slowly pour in the water/yeast mixture and beat for a few minutes or until dough comes together and appearance is smooth. Turn out, lightly oil the inside of the bowl, return dough and cover for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Divide dough into four pieces. Roll out for pizzas then set aside to rest again for 30 minutes or until lightly puffed.

Zucchini, pancetta and buffalo mozzarella

Ingredients

1 pizza base

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp Greek yoghurt

3 zucchini

juice and zest of 1 lemon

½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil

100g pancetta

1 ball buffalo mozzarella

¼ bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C

Spread the pancetta on a baking tray lined with baking tray and bake for 5 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove and keep a few large pieces whole. Finely chop the remaining pancetta.

Spread the pizza base with tomato paste and Greek yoghurt.

Finely slice one zucchini using a mandolin or peeler. Layer these pieces across the tomato and yoghurt base.

Finely julienne the remaining two zucchinis and add to a bowl with the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, finely chopped pancetta and parsley. Toss to combine then set aside.

Put the pizza base on a pizza stone or baking tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden and the zucchini has taken on some colour. Remove and top with the coarsely torn mozzarella and zucchini salad as well as the few larger pieces of crisp pancetta. Serve immediately.

Roast pumpkin, goat's curd and zhoug pizza.

Photo: Katrina Meynink

Roast pumpkin, goat's curd and zhoug

Ingredients

1 pizza base

2 tbsp tomato paste

¼ jap pumpkin

olive oil for roasting

75g goat's curd

coriander leaves, roughly chopped to serve

Zhoug (makes just under 1 cup)

1½ bunches coriander, leaves picked

8 cloves garlic, peeled

5 green chillies, seeds removed (or keep seeds if you like more heat)

3 cardamom pods

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to season

Method

Preheat oven to 200C.

Place the sliced pumpkin on a roasting tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with oil then roast in the oven for 35 minutes or until the pumpkin takes on some colour and softens. You want it to hold some shape so check it once or twice to ensure it hasn't turned to caramelised mush.

While the pumpkin is cooking prepare the zhoug by placing all ingredients in a food processor and blitz into a rough paste. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

Spread the pizza base with the tomato paste. Layer the cooked pumpkin then crumble over the goat's curd.

Place pizza on a pizza tray or baking tray and cook in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pizza base is cooked to your liking.

Remove and drizzle over the zhoug, top with freshly chopped coriander and serve immediately.

Harissa, broccolini and lemon pizza.

Photo: Katrina Meynink

Harissa, broccolini, lemon and whipped feta

Ingredients

1 pizza base

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 bunch broccolini

1 tsp olive oil

1 lemon, finely sliced

¼ cup harissa relish (make your own using Karen Martini's recipe)

Whipped feta

2 tbsp Greek yoghurt

juice and zest of ½ lime

½ cup feta

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Spread the tomato paste and half the harissa over the pizza base. Place on a pizza stone and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until the base is mostly crisp and golden. Working quickly, remove from the oven and add the broccolini. Drizzle the oil over the broccolini and a squeeze of lemon juice. Return to the oven and cook for 2 minutes. 

While it is cooking, add the whipped feta ingredients to a blender and blitz until combined and a creamy consistency.

Remove the pizza and add a dollop of whipped feta and the remaining harissa relish. Top with a few slices of the lemon and serve immediately.

Chermoula chicken, beetroot and hummus pizza.

Photo: Katrina Meynink

Chermoula chicken, beetroot and hummus

Ingredients

1 pizza base

2 tbsp tomato paste

4 tbsp hummus

1 small chicken breast, poached, meat shredded

1 to 2 tbsp chermoula spice (we used Herbie's spice blend)

1 large beetroot, peeled and shredded

¼ bunch coriander, leaves picked, finely chopped

¼ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, finely chopped

Micro herbs (optional)

2 finger limes (optional)

½ tbsp olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Spread the pizza base with the tomato paste. Place on a pizza stone or baking tray and roast until crisp and golden. 

While the base is cooking combine the chicken, chermoula, beetroot, herbs, finger lime pearls and olive oil in a bowl and toss gently to combine. Check seasoning and add more chermoula if required.

Remove pizza base and while still hot, generously spread the hummus across the base. Top with the chermoula chicken mixture and serve immediately.