When I saw that the theme for this month’s River Cottage rocks was bread I started to panic…I don’t have a good track record with bread!! Then as I flicked through my rivercottage veg book I found his section on pizzas and well I LOVE PIZZA so I took this as an opportunity to try out a few of his pizza recipes. The River Cottage Rocks challenge is set by Jo over on her blog Jos Kitchen, there you can find the challenges, round ups and also other food blogger related topics such as recipes and product reviews.
The recipe can be found online here. This is a recipe which I have ignored for ages, mainly because I just saw the words “Kale” and “Onion” and thought hmm not very exciting! But looking at it with fresh eyes I noticed that Hugh describes the kale as going “crispy like the seaweed you order at a Chinese” and I instantly knew I had to make this! That “seaweed” (actually just deep-fried thin strips of cabbage I imagine) is so delicious and easily one of my favourite things to munch on from the takeaway, so I suddenly had a new-found excitement to try this.
Ok so since this challenge was focused on Bread I will start by talking about the pizza dough before moving on to the very interesting toppings. I have a favourite go to pizza dough recipe which I use every time and Hugh’s didn’t look too different but once mixed it definitely felt different. I made 1/3 of the mixture because his makes 3 pizza bases although he does urge you not to do this because it is easily freezable (sorry!). It was very soft (almost like a little dough cloud) and although easy to work with, it was very delicate. Hugh mentions in his instructions that you should try not to add too much flour so I followed this. I left the dough to rise for a few hours whilst I go on with other jobs and in that time it doubled in size nicely.
Once cooked the dough was wonderfully crisp but not too hard and it was delicious. Perfect contrast to the crispy kale topping – which was DELICIOUS!! Soft onions, tangy garlic and crispy kale were a perfect balance of pizza topping. You pre cook the toppings to wilt the kale and soften the onions which gives a nice mellow flavour.
A good vegan style cheddar would work well with the kale, I think a parmesan etc would be too strong however. I think next time I make it (and there will definitely be a next time very soon) I will add double the amount of toppings because I found some of it to be a bit bare. Although I didn’t follow Hugh’s recipe for the toppings I just chucked a handful of this and that on so that serves me right!
He suggests you could also add mushrooms which I think would be nice, I’m tempted to do my own version of this with red onion, olives, mushrooms and chilli flakes.