Updated: Jan 3
The world is in lockdown mode during this pandemic, sadly. And almost everyone has lots of vegetable leftovers in the fridge or freezer. I know I have lots. Quite frankly, I am running out of ideas on what to do with that. I had already made vegetable stock and soups. That's the moment in which I would browse thru' recipe books or YouTube for ideas.
Jamie Oliver's Reverse Puff Pastry Pizza caught my attention. Or perhaps the word "pizza" made my eyes and mind focus more. Lol! Anyway, this recipe is in his cookbook "Veg". It is available on Amazon.
The great thing about this recipe is you can use whatever vegetable you want or have on hand. I personally feel that the important key elements are tomatoes, onion and garlic. The rest is just a balance of colors. I also added mushrooms cos it gives that umami flavor profile and elevates this whole dish. Of cos, you can use whichever kinda mushrooms you have on hand.
In order to keep this dish 100% vegan, I am using vegan puff pastry and cheese. You don't have to if you are not a vegan. Fresh mozzarella or even burrata is a great cheese for this puff pastry pizza.
On a side note, use a neutral oil when baking the vegetable. Olive oil has a very low smoking point, so it is not advisable to use it for baking. Only use extra-virgin olive oil for final drizzling. And yes! That last balsamic glaze gives this whole dish an extra oomph!
Cherry Tomatoes Halved, About 20
Leafy Greens (I am using cabbage) Julienned, A Small Handful
Carrots or Zucchini / Eggplant Oblique Cut, A Handful
Mushrooms (I am using shiitake) Coarsely Sliced, A Handful
Chili / Bell Peppers Coarsely Sliced, A Handful
Red Onion, 1
Garlic, 3 Cloves
Herbs (I am using scallions), A Handful
Sea Salt, Pinch
Black Pepper, Pinch
Dried Mushroom Powder, Pinch
Canola / Grapeseed / Sunflower Oil, A Drizzle
Store-bought Frozen Vegan Friendly Puff Pastry, About 200g
Vegan Mozzarella Preferably Emborg, A Handful
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Preferably Alce Nero's, A Drizzle
Balsamic Glaze Preferably Alce Nero's, A Drizzle
Cast Iron Skillet/Pan, or Baking Dish/Casserole, or Baking Tray
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius or 350 fahrenheit.
Once you have sliced and cut your leftover vegetables, brush the skillet or baking dish or even the baking tray with canola oil or any neutral oil.
Add in all the vegetables.
Quarter the onion and peel them layer by layer.
Crush the garlic.
Add the onion and garlic into the vegetable mixture.
You can use any green herbs you have on hand.
I only have scallions, so I will be slicing them coarsely and adding in the white parts only. I will save the green parts for garnishing later.
Season well with salt, pepper and mushroom powder.
Drizzle some more canola oil over the top.
Toss to coat everything well. I am just gonna use my hand.
Wack into the oven and bake for about 40 to 50 mins or until the vegetables are lightly charred, but not burnt.
Depending on the size of your skillet/baking dish or tray, 5 mins to baking time, roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick.
The shape doesn't have to be perfect.
Carefully, remove the skillet/baking dish or tray from the oven.
Fish the garlic out.
Remove the flesh from the skins.
Return the flesh into the vegetable mixture, distributing them evenly.
Scrape the edges with a spatula to loosen the vegetable a bit and also to make space for the puff pastry.
Cover the vegetables with the rolled puff pastry.
Tuck the sides in. Trim off any excess. Do not worry that it doesn't look beautiful at this point.
*Be extremely careful, as it is piping hot.*
Adjust the temperature of the oven as per the store-bought puff pastry packaging instructions.
Wack back into the oven and bake until golden brown.
Remove from the oven.
Run the edges with a knife to loosen the puff pastry.
Place a larger board or plate on top of the skillet/baking dish or tray.
Carefully and swiftly flip.
Give it a light tap.
The puff pastry pizza should come out beautifully.
Immediately, scatter some vegan cheese over the top.
Garnish with some herbs, I am using scallions.
Drizzle some olive oil and balsamic glaze over the top.
Slice and serve immediately.
*To make your own balsamic glaze, simply heat 1 cup of high-quality balsamic vinegar to a simmer. Continue cooking until it has reduced to 1/4 cup or thick and coats the back of a spoon.*