My publishers decided to do another cover for the paperback version of my book Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free (which has just come out). We sat down and thought about possibilities… We came up with a the idea of showing either a bread, a pizza, perhaps a tart or even Salmon en Croȗte. So we shot a new version of the Tomato Tart and we also shot a revised version of the Roasted Onion and Lemon Thyme Tart, adding figs to make it look visually punchy. But, in the end, these looked too similar to the cover for my first book, The Best Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes.
We swapped the image of the Roasted Onion, Fig and Lemon Thyme Tart in the inside of the book, and I tweaked the recipe, too. And we also shot a new version of the Salmon en Croȗte, (and used the new photograph inside, too), but it didn’t work as a cover image. We shot a Seedy Bread and also the Rosemary Focaccia but these, too, didn’t work as a cover image. What did work, though, was the pizza. It came out looking completely delicious and seemed to underline the message of the book – that cooking gluten-free and dairy-free can be truly easy. So we went with it – and I love it. I had changed artichokes and olives for peppers and pine nuts in the recipe, to make it more colourful – and I think the colours now sing and the whole thing looks brilliant!
Chargrilled Pepper, Parma Ham and Pine Nut Pizza
* gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, seed-free, citrus-free
- 6 tbsp passata
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 80g/2¾oz/1 cup drained, bottled or tinned chargrilled peppers in oil, cut into strips
- 50g/1¾oz Parma ham, thinly sliced
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 10 large basil leaves, torn into little pieces
- 30–60g/1–2¼oz/⅓–⅔ cup soya cheese, shaved
- 25g/1oz pine nuts, toasted
- Pizza Dough:
- 85g/3oz/scant ½ cup brown rice flour, plus extra for rolling the dough
- 85g/3oz/¾ cup gram flour
- 30g/1¼oz/¼ cup maize flour
- scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried active yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- To make the pizza dough, sift the flours, xanthan gum, salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl and, using a metal whisk, mix thoroughly. Add the oil and mix in gently. Pour in 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup warm water and, using either a wooden spoon or your hands, mix thoroughly. It will be sticky. Alternatively, sift the flours, xanthan gum, salt and yeast into a food processor. Blend to mix together, then add the oil and blend well. Add 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup warm water, a little at a time, and continue blending to form a soft dough. Process for 3–4 minutes to aerate the dough. Put the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Turn the dough out again onto a lightly floured surface and knead a little, then shape it into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, roll it out into a large circle about 5mm/¼in thick and neaten the edge, using a sharp knife. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
- Put the passata and tomato purée in a bowl and mix well, then spread it over the pizza base and place the peppers, ham, cherry tomatoes and basil over the top. Bake for 12 minutes until the base is starting to turn brown and the tomato sauce is bubbling. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle the cheese and pine nuts over the top, then return to the oven for 3–4 minutes until the cheese has started to melt. Serve immediately.