pizza

grape giving

Schiacciata

Shopping in supermarkets made me forget how precious food is for a while there. Growing our own food again was the best reminder. Planting something, caring for it, saving it from earwigs and rogue free range chickens, and finally harvesting it, put me firmly back into the loop of appreciating just what plants do for us. It seems a deal that’s pretty much skewed in our favour too; a little water, some horse poo and a place in the sun is exchanged for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Which brings me to the fact we’ve been eating grapes for three meals a day of late. This is the first year our vines have said ok, fair’s fair, you’ve loved us from our infancy across the last 5 years, and now here’s enough food to see you through Summer. It’s a beautiful thing. I feel like I’m in an advert for local tourism when I walk away from the row of vines with handfuls of grapes wrapped in the makeshift bucket of my t-shirt. The dialogue of thanks between me and the vine while I’m picking, is not something I can imagine getting away with in the fruit and veg section of a supermarket.

So, fresh grape juice and grapes in smoothies and bowls of fresh grapes make for easy breakfast options, then lunchtime salads of grapes and cashew cheese, walnuts and greens are a winner, but dinner can get a bit trickier. Enter schiacciata. Never has ‘squashed’ bread been so good.

We used a sneak of sourdough from our mix of baking for the Farmer’s Market for the base, but you can easily use any favourite pizza dough recipe, or even make things a bit gnarlier with some wholegrain additions. The thickness of the base can be anywhere from a focaccia size to a flat bread but because I cooked this in our sandwich grill and couldn’t get anything too thick in there, I went with more of a traditional pizza base thickness.

As a quick side note, a couple of very clever friends put the hemp food cover you can see over the dough, in my hands this week and I have to share the joy of no more plastic cling film. Hemp, beeswax, tree resin and organic cotton. Washable and reusable. How cool is that? Check out Abeego if you want more info. Ok, community service announcement over!

 

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Schiacciata

 

1 generous bunch organic red seedless grapes

fresh organic rosemary

Himalayan salt

Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Organic pizza dough

Extra flour for rolling

 

 

After you have made your base and let it go through its rising time, roll it out into 2 pizza bases on a floured board.

Place onto the grill, or onto a pizza stone if you are planning on cooking it in the oven, and press the grapes into the dough, along with the fresh rosemary sprigs.

Cook to your liking and serve seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil.

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pizza. but not as we know it.

Pizza with Ruby Chard, Pomegranate & Walnuts

It rained and rained today. All day. Delicious. There were endless pots of tea and the fire loafing along to keep me company, along with what has to be one of the most comforting sounds in the part of my brain that registers such things. Rain on a galvanised roof. Isn’t it the best? I think if we ever have to leave this lovely farm on the hill for any length of time, I’ll pack a takeaway piece of corrugated iron and a watering can for my heart’s sake.

I watched the farmers sowing seed in the paddocks surrounding us yesterday and I knew we’d be in for a decent downpour. They’re the best barometer. It’s such a craft to be that in tune with nature. Another one of those things I aspire to these days. Can’t help thinking my farming intuition is still a way off though, after we had seven little chicks run out of the lavender bush yesterday. They’d just hatched into the world like a bundle of ping pong balls going in every which way. I had no idea their Mumma was brooding them into existence for the last 21 days. She did have an excellent hidey hole but I felt a little guilty at missing her making her way in to the chook yard each night for nearly a month. Ooops. No harm done, and more chooks as a result, but no elephant stamps for instinctual farming on my behalf. So I headed to back to more familiar ground. I made pizza.

Gluten free, and cheese-less, with ruby chard. You’re probably feeling sorry for me now. It’s really good though. A little smattering of pomegranate seeds and some of our homemade raw coconut yoghurt, with fresh walnuts and the greenest olive oil you ever did see from the Farmer’s Market. Woodfired, with the rain pummelling the roof. Did that help?

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Pizza with Ruby Chard, Pomegranate & Walnuts

makes 2 pizzas

 

500g organic GF whole flour mix

1 tbsp organic flaxseed soaked in 2 tbsp hot water

2 tbsp organic savoury yeast flakes

1 tsp sea salt flakes

15g dry yeast

50g extra virgin olive oil

3/4 – 1 cup warm water

 

1 bunch organic ruby chard, chopped

1 tsp sea salt flakes

30ml extra virgin olive oil

handful of organic new season’s walnuts

seeds from one organic pomegranate

 

coconut yoghurt (optional)

 

To make the dough, add the flour mix, savoury yeast flakes and salt to a large mixing bowl. Then combine the soaked flaxseed mix with the dry yeast, olive oil and warm water. Stir to incorporate.

 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and knead together until you have a smooth ball of dough. Or as smooth as gluten free flours get!

 

Let the dough rise in a warm spot for an hour or so. Pre heat your oven to 200C. Even better, use a woodfired oven if you have one and preheat a pizza stone if you have one of those too.

 

Roll half the dough out between 2 pieces of baking paper and then place the base onto a hot pizza stone and into a preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes.

 

Add the roughly chopped ruby chard, stems and all, to a large bowl and pour over the 30 ml of olive oil and the teaspoon of salt flakes. Massage the chard with your hands until the oil and salt have worked their way into the greens. About 2 – 3 minutes.

 

Once the base is partially cooked, remove from the oven and add the ruby chard and walnuts. Return to the oven to cook for a further 10 – 12 minutes to just wilt the spinach and toast the nuts.

 

When ready, remove the pizza from the oven and add dollops of coconut yoghurt, pomegranate seeds and a good glug of olive oil.

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