Artichokes are one of those vegetables that I have a strange relationship with. Every year when they come into season, I feel irresistibly drawn to buying them, but I have yet to find ‘that’ recipe that really does it for me. I will keep trying though.
That said I just love the bottled artichoke hearts that one can buy, with their subtle creamy taste, and it is these that I have used in this recipe. Artichoke contains a phenolic compound called cynarin, which has the unusual effect of making anything you eat immediately after a mouthful of artichoke, taste sweet. This phenolic compound affects the sweet receptors in your taste buds. Now this could be bad news if you wished to take a sip of wine every now and again. To combat this potentially disastrous situation one needs to pair the artichoke with an ingredient that offsets the sweetening effect.
So I turned to a very useful book called The Flavour Thesaurus, which is a book that lays out all the flavour pairings that one can imagine. From this I decided on lemon for my pizza. I was very pleased with the end result.
First you need to knock up a batch of pizza dough (the recipe is right here), and nothing could be easier. The pizza dough recipe is one that I have used for many years, is straight forward and works every time.
While your dough is proving, make your topping and have each of the ingredients laid on plates ready to use.
2 tablespoons tomato passata or paste
125 gm/ 9 oz mozzarella, drained and sliced to 3 mm/ 1/8 inch thick
200 gm / 7 oz) cooked artichoke hearts, drained, sliced if large or halved if small
1 red or white onion, very finely sliced
50 gm/ 1¾ oz pitted black or green olives
grated zest of ½ lemon
15 gm/ ½ oz grated parmesan
With your ingredients at the ready and your rolled out and risen dough in the pizza tin, apply a thin layer of tomato passata or paste.
Sprinkle with dried oregano, onion slices, artichoke pieces, black olives, parmesan and finally the slices of mozzarella.
A quick grind of salt and pepper and into a pre heated oven set at 220 C/425 F/ Gas 7/Hot for approximately 20 minutes and no more, or until the crust is turning golden brown.