When a friend called me up and asked if I wanted some artichokes, I was like… ‘Um, okay…’ I can probably count the number of times I’ve ever eaten artichoke on half… let’s make that a quarter… of one hand. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen one whole. And I most certainly have never cooked one. But all that changed this last week.
So with artichokes delivered, I had to do some quick Googling to find out how on earth you prepare and cook them, and what I could possibly make with them. The result? This utterly scrumptious Artichoke, Prosciutto & Pesto Pizza.
Thanks to BBC Good Food.com for the recipe which is a definite keeper. I loved the contrast between the starchy artichoke, salty prosciutto, nutty basil pesto and melty, stretchy Mozzarella cheese. My brother and I managed to scoff virtually the whole pizza between us!
While I prepared the artichokes myself, it really did take a heck of a lot of time and I was astonished at how small the artichoke hearts were once all the outer leaves were taken off! Lol. Do yourself a favour and do what the recipe suggests – buy a can! PS: Should you want to prepare your own artichokes (God love ya), here’s a handy link to show you how to prepare and cook them.
I stayed with the recipe as given, though I did make my own pizza base rather than buy it. I used my go-to pizza base recipe which delivers a lovely thin, crisp crust. This time though I substituted spelt flour for the standard flour which worked really well. I also used store-bought pesto as I was in a hurry, but otherwise I’d definitely prefer to make my own.
I’ll be making this again, though I’ll be hunting high and low for canned artichokes next time! Enjoy!
ARTICHOKE, PROSCIUTTO & BASIL PESTO PIZZA
For the pizza base:
- 150 g bread flour (I used white spelt flour)
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast from a sachet or a tub
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100 ml warm water (90ml if using spelt flour)
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling
For the topping:
- 4 tomatoes (12oz, skinned, seeded and finely)
- chopped (I used a 400g can of peeled tomatoes)
- 3 tbsp green pesto, divided
- About 260g jar artichoke hearts or baby artichokes in oil, halved (I cooked 4 fresh artichokes)
- 50 g prosciutto
- 150 g mozzarella, grated or sliced
- 25 g freshly grated parmesan (I didn't use)
- 2 tbsp oil from the artichoke jar (I used extra virgin olive oil)
- Heat oven to 230°C (445°F) and put a baking sheet (or pizza stone) onto the baking tray on the middle shelf. The pre-heated baking sheet or pizza stone will help crisp up the base.
For the pizza base
- Put the flour into a bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in the warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly sticky dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes or until smooth. If not using immediately, put aside and cover with a tea-towel (it doesn’t need to rise, as it’s a thin crust anyway).
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough into 1 large thin round using a rolling pin. Lift the dough onto a lined baking sheet.
For the topping:
- Spread 2 tablespoons of the pesto over the pizza, followed by the tomatoes, leaving a bare rim around the edge.
- Scatter the artichokes and prosciutto over top.
- Cover with the mozzarella and sprinkle with the Parmesan and some freshly ground black pepper.
- Mix the remaining pesto with the artichoke oil and drizzle over top.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the base is cooked through and the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.