No matter the season, we probably all agree that there is nothing better than crispy, cheesy pizza layered with your favourite topping. Since barbecues have spruced up alfresco settings the recent years, this spring its time to install an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven to put your culinary skills to the test and impress not only your family and neighbours but all your friends with freshly baked, light and crispy pizza to devour in your very own backyard. Wood-fired pizza ovens will give any dish a delicate smoky flavour and once you’ve hit the right temperature you can batch cook delicious crispy pizza bases with delectable toppings.
Even though pizza is great food the year round, seasonal toppings will not only save you money but make your crust taste better at the same time. As spring is rolling in with trees and flowers beginning to bloom and the weather is warming up, the local farmers market will offer an array of fresh and green ingredients to top your pizzas with. No doubt spring season opens up a whole new world for dressing up your perfect crust, we have put together three of our best pizza recipes for you to enjoy and say goodbye to heart-warming comfort food and welcome the oncoming summer months with newly harvested light vegetables.
All spring pizzas feature basic pizza dough for the base and should be baked in your newly installed wood-fired pizza oven at the soaring temperature of about 400C for about 2mins.
Chicken and leek pizza
Ingredients: pizza dough, 1 Tbsp melted butter, 3 large leeks sliced into rings, 2 cups shredded roasted chicken, ½ cup shredded Fontina cheese, 1/3 cup halved black olives destoned, olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper
Method: Fire your oven up to maximum temperature and let cool down to about 400C. In a large skillet melt the butter and cook the leeks until softened for about 5mins. Set aside and let cool before you stir in the chicken, olives and half the Fontina cheese. Season the mixture generously with salt and pepper. Roll out your dough, brush with olive oil and spread the chicken and leek mixture on the pizza. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and season with freshly ground pepper before baking to perfection.
Asparagus and goat cheese pizza
Ingredients: pizza dough, 1/2kg green asparagus, 250g goat cheese, olive oil, freshly ground black pepper
Method: Let your pizza oven cool down to a temperature of about 400C. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus, and roast it on a lightly oiled baking tray in the oven until slightly charred. This should take about 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut the stalks into 4-centimetre pieces once cooled down. Mix the goat cheese with olive oil and roll out your dough into 4 pizzas. Smear the cheese onto the bases leaving a rim of about 1cm and scatter the asparagus over the cheese. Bake in the oven until cooked through but not brown.
Swiss chard and pancetta pizza
Ingredients: Pizza dough, 1/2kg sliced pancetta, 4 cups Swiss chard stems and tough ribs removed and cut into 2cm pieces, 1/2 kg Fontina cheese shredded, olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper
Method: Preheat the oven to a temperature of 400C. in a large skillet cook the pancetta over high heat until browned and most fat is rendered. Let cool on paper towel and then break up the strips. Toss the Swiss chard in the remaining fat, add the pancetta to it and half the Fontina. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Roll out the dough and scatter the topping over the pizza, leaving about 1cm at the edges. Brush the edge with olive oil and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pizza. Bake until the crust is golden and cheese bubbling.