I think a proper Margherita Pizza is one of the best things in the world. I’ve hypothesised that it’s so wonderful purely because of it’s simplicity – the stars of the show are the crisp dough, the sweet, tart tomatoes and the creamy mozzarella with a pop of freshness from basil. This yellow tomato margherita pizza is a twist on the classic that has all of those elements but with an extra touch of deliciousness!
I’ve eaten so many pizzas from across Europe, the UK, and even the USA. But unsurprisingly, the ones that have really stood out to me have all been from Italy. Again, it comes as no surprise that the standout was from Naples, the birthplace of pizza. We bought it from a little street stall and ate it on our train journey from Naples to Pompeii. It couldn’t have been any better!
There are several components to a great pizza. The first, and arguably the most important, is the pizza dough itself. This yellow tomato margherita pizza uses a no-knead method, which is absolutely perfect for those of you who don’t like the heavy kneading needed usually (which is all of us, right?!) It has high hydration (meaning that the dough is wet) and as a result it has a gorgeously light texture with air-pockets in all the right places, and a crisp base which makes a slice just the right amount of floppy!
Next is the sauce: Instead of the classic red tomato sauce, I’ve opted for a beautiful yellow instead. I’ve used my homegrown Golden Classic Vine tomatoes. They have a beautiful fresh and sweet flavour with the perfect amount of juiciness! I opted to roast them in the oven with a pinch of seasoning, a drizzle of olive oil, and nothing else. This really lets the natural sweetness of the tomato shine through.
Gardening and the Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic
I haven’t spoken much about world events on this blog thus far. I wanted to try and keep it lighthearted – a place to escape from the world and immerse yourself in a passion for food. Nevertheless, I feel like this post is the perfect one to talk about what’s going on in the world. It’s the year 2020, and we’re all in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Unprecedented things are happening, it seems like the world is changing around us – and we’re changing too.
In October of 2019 my partner and I moved into a new house. One of the most important things to me was that it had ample outdoor space for me to grow some plants and flowers. We don’t have a lawn so what we can grow is still a bit limited, but I’ve managed to make do with a container garden and make my little slice of paradise here in the city. When the pandemic struck I was beyond thankful to be living in a house rather than our old apartment, and to have any outdoor space at all.
When I was a child our family had an allotment plot which looked over the urban vista – you could see all the way to the sea and all the way to the moors. I loved going there after school to work on the ground or on lucky days, collect a harvest. We used to snuggle on camp chairs and watch the sun go down over the city. It really instilled a love of gardening in me, and I’ve really missed not being able to grow anything except windowsill herbs in the last few years.
I’ve always had a bit of a rebellious nature that carries through into everything I do, but I’m quite a traditionalist at heart! I love keeping old skills alive, whether that be sewing, bookbinding, and yes, cooking. With the advent of modern technology and an ever increasing workforce, so many people don’t have the time to learn these skills anymore. So how does this relate?
Well, with so many people stuck at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been rediscovering joys like bread making, gardening and home renovation. I’ve seen so many pictures of people proud that they’ve harvested their first ever crops of tomatoes, peppers and chillis. It’s incredible to see and I was so happy to share this joy with so many people around the world! I genuinely hope that some positives can come from this extremely distressing period of time – namely, discovering the love of gardening and home-cooking.
There’s a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.Leonard Cohen (Anthem)
Can you make this Yellow Tomato Margherita Pizza Vegan?
Yes, this Yellow Tomato Margherita Pizza is so easy to veganize! Because the dough-base is naturally dairy-free and vegan, all you have to do is change the toppings slightly. Opt for a cheese-less pizza and instead jazz up the toppings with a basil pesto (my personal favourite additional), or additional vegetables.
If you’re desiring a more classic cheesy taste, there are lots of amazing Vegan brand cheeses on the market. For instance, I recently had a delicious pizza made with this Violife Vegan Cheese which was honestly quite indistinguishable from dairy cheese, although it wasn’t like mozzarella. I have recently discovered that they also offer a mozzarella flavoured variation though which sounds particularly promising! If you don’t like substitutes, you can also make your own vegan cheese – cashew cheese is a much beloved one to try!
Can I use a Red Tomato sauce?
Of course you can! You can make exactly the same recipe using red cherry tomatoes. Naturally, the result won’t be exactly the same as the flavour profile of different varieties of tomatoes are different. If you want, you can also just use your favourite tomato sauce and just use the dough recipe. However, I really recommend trying out this yellow sauce recipe – it’s perfect in it’s simplicity and has an incredible rich and sweet flavour. You can use homegrown tomatoes or just buy them from a good supermarket.
This Yellow Tomato Margherita Pizza is …
- A unique take on a classic
- Quick and Easy
- Accessible, requiring minimal ingredients
- A great medium crust pizza with a light texture and amazing crispness
This Pizza Dough requires no kneading.
It’s true! People often think of pizza as being a time consuming thing to make from scratch, but this recipe is unbelievably easy. You only need to leave the dough to rise for around 2 hours, and there’s absolutely no kneading involved, so it’s mess-free and quick! In other words, because there’s no kneading or exhaustive wrist movements involved, it means that it’s a great recipe for people suffering from arthritis or whom simply don’t have time.
Not only that, but although I’ve cut down massively on the rising time there’s no compromise in flavour and texture. If you leave this dough to rise and develop over 2-3 days in the fridge you’ll have a proper classic Neapolitan dough with large bubbles – but even this cheat version is fantastic. It has a light, aerated texture and a crisp base that has just the right amount of chewiness. You have to try it to know it!
Yellow Tomato Margherita Pizza
For the Pizza Dough:
- 50ml Warm Water
- 1/4 tsp Yeast
- 1/4 tsp Granulated Sugar
- 125g White Plain Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 75ml Warm Water
- Drizzle Olive Oil
- 5-10g Flour (for kneading)
For the Tomato Sauce:
- 220g Yellow Cherry Tomatoes
- Drizzle of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- Pinch of freshly ground Black Pepper
- 210g Mozzarella, thickly sliced
- Fresh basil, torn
- Few Basil leaves, to top
- Begin by making the pizza dough. Firstly, add warm water to a small jug. The water should be warm-hot, not boiling but a little hot to the touch. Water that is too hot can kill the yeast and water that’s too warm won’t activate it. Secondly, add the yeast and sugar to the water. Don’t mix – just set to stand for 10-15 minutes, or until your yeast becomes foamy and bubbly on top. If the yeast doesn’t reach this point it hasn’t activated, so try again before continuing with the recipe.
- Once the yeast has bloomed, add plain flour and salt to a large mixing bowl. Gently pour in the bloomed yeast along with an extra 75ml of warm water. Gently begin to bring the dough together with your hands until everything is mixed. Don’t knead the dough. It will be extremely sticky, which is what we want. Spread a drizzle of olive oil over the top of the dough, cover with clingfilm and set somewhere warm to rise for around 1 hour 30 minutes.
- After around 1 hour 20 minutes, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Pop your pizza tray into the oven on the middle shelf. Also, line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and then pop in the oven. Cook for around 10 minutes, or until the skins are just blistering off the tomatoes.
- To rest the pizza dough again, add the extra flour onto a work surface and turn out the dough. Again, don’t knead the dough. Just add enough for the dough to be not quite as sticky and so you are able to bring it together into a ball. Cover with an upturned bowl and set to rest again for 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Now that your roasted tomatoes have cooled, simply add them to a blender (without any extra water) and blend to a smooth sauce. If you have unblended skins in your sauce, simply pass it through a strainer for a completely smooth texture.
- To shape the pizza, add a drizzle of olive oil to a sheet of baking paper and spread it with your fingers. Place your dough ball onto the oiled surface and using your fingers only, gently push it into shape. Pushing and stretching instead of rolling helps preserve the bubbles in the dough, making for a lighter pizza.
- To top the pizza, spread your tomato sauce on-top of the dough, leaving a small gap at the edge for a crust. Add your sliced mozzarella and a few torn pieces of basil.
- To cook the pizza, increase the heat to 250 degrees centigrade and move the pizza tray or stone to the top of the oven. Carefully slide the pizza (on the baking paper) onto the pizza tray/stone and close the oven. Cook for around 5 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the mozzarella has melted.
Serve with fresh basil on top and a drizzle of olive oil or freshly made pesto.
What to serve with this Yellow Tomato Margherita Pizza?
You can elevate this pizza even further by drizzling some homemade vegetarian pesto over the slices before serving. One pizza is enough to feed one, and if you have a pasta dish alongside it as well then the pizza would be enough to feed two.
If you want to prepare an Italian style buffet, serving the pizza alongside these delicious Mushroom Arancini would be a great choice.