Pizza with Oven-Baked Root Vegetables and Parsley Pesto

Healthy and hearty, make this next time you’re craving pizza – minus the guilt factor.


For the dough

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 250 ml warm water, at ~43C
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing and drizzling
  • 250 – 300 g (2 1/2 – 3 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the parsley pesto

  • 60 g (2 1/2 cups) flat-leaf parsley, washed
  • 125 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 65 g (1/2 cup) pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbs Pecorino, or Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the toppings

  • 3 medium heirloom carrots, peeled and split into four long wedges
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and split into four long wedges
  • 80 g (3/4 cup) grated mozzarella


Step 1.
For the dough: Stir together the yeast, water, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Set aside until frothy, about 5-10 minutes.

Step 2.
Stir in the salt, olive oil, and about half the flour until well combined. Gradually stir in most of the remaining flour, saving about 50 g, until a rough dough forms in the bowl.

Step 3.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to a soft, smooth dough, adding the reserved flour as needed if it’s too sticky, about 6-8 minutes.

Step 4.
Place the dough in a clean bowl that’s been greased with some olive oil, turning the dough to coat it. Loosely cover with a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Step 5.
Turn out the dough and divide it into two pieces, placing one piece on a lightly greased rectangular baking tray. Wrap the remaining dough in cling film and chill or freeze for another use.

Step 6.
Cover the dough on the tray with a damp tea towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Step 7.
For the parsley pesto: In the meantime, combine all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor or blender.

Step 8.
Blend on high until smooth. Adjust the seasoning to taste with more salt and pepper as needed. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Step 9.
For the toppings: Parboil the carrots and parsnips in a saucepan of salted, boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and spread out on kitchen paper.

Step 10.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 30 cm | 12″ long oval and lift it back onto the baking tray.

Step 11.
Arrange the root vegetables on the rolled out dough and scatter the mozzarella on top. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with a little salt.

Step 12.
Bake until the dough is cooked through and golden-brown underneath, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into slices, serving with the pesto on top and on the side.

Serves 2-4