This vibrant beet pizza is eye-catching and delicious. Plus, it uses the entire beetroot – from root to leaf – in the pizza, beet leaf pesto and toppings.
I’m passionate about reducing food waste, so I created this eye-catching beetroot pizza to make use of every bit of a bunch of fresh beetroots: from stem to leaf.
I’ve roasted the beetroots and then pureed them before mixing them into a simple pizza dough, then I’ve used the green leaves to make a tangy pesto. I then snipped the vibrant purple stems and scattered them over the pizza to add colour and a lovely texture.
The flavours of this pizza all come together with rich, salty goat’s cheese and a crown of peppery rocket. With capers and olives, the flavours of this pizza are as intense as the colour.
I’ve made this beet pizza quite a few times and my family all love it. The kids like eating purple pizza, but we also make it when we have guests coming.
You can make the pizza dough the day before and let it rise in the fridge, so you just have to roll it out, add the toppings and pop it in the oven for 10-12 minutes and it’s ready to eat!
The beet leaf pesto can be whizzed up in just a few minutes, and it’s a fantastic way to use up beet leaves. It’s always such a shame when you see beetroot shorn of their stems and leaves in the supermarkets, but luckily my local greengrocer and farmer’s market have piles of beets with their leaves and stems intact.
- 2 large beetroots with stems and leaves attached
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) warm water
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 350g (3 cups) plain flour (all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 50g (1 cup packed) beetroot leaves (remove the larger pink spines for a greener-coloured pesto)
- 35g (¼ cup) pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Zest of half a lemon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 50g (1 cup packed) beetroot stems, chopped into 1 inch long pieces
- 180g (6 oz) goat’s cheese
- 75g (½ cup) olives, pitted
- 40g (⅓ cup) sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 teaspoons capers
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 large handfuls rocket (arugula)
- Preheat oven to 200c/400F.
- Cut the stems from the beets, leaving an inch of stem still attached. Save the beet leaves and stems to use later.
- Wash the beetroots and wrap each one in foil, then place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until soft. Allow the beets to cool slightly, then rub off the skins with paper towel.
- Puree the beetroot in a food processor or mini chopper, and set aside. You will need 150g (½ cup) of the beetroot puree.
- Pour the water into the bowl of the stand mixer, then sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it stand for a few minutes until the yeast has dissolved.
- Insert the dough hook, add 150g (½ cup) of the pureed beetroot, plus the flour and salt to the yeast water and knead with the machine for a few minutes until the dough forms a sticky ball. It will be a very soft dough, but if the dough is still too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it is manageable. Don’t add too much or it will affect the end result.
- Pour the water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let it stand for a few minutes until the yeast has dissolved.
- Add 150g (½ cup) of the pureed beetroot, plus the flour and salt to the bowl of water and stir until it forms a loose dough.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured countertop (on floured baking paper if you have a wooden countertop to avoid the beetroot staining) and knead firmly for 5-10 minutes or until it’s smooth, (though it will be a soft sticky dough). If the dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it is manageable. Don’t add too much or it will affect the end result.
- Put the dough into a large lightly oiled bowl, then turn the dough over so both sides are covered in oil and cover with clingfilm. Place the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise for 1 ½ hours.
- Wash the leaves and stems well, then remove the green leaves from the stems and set the stems aside to use later.
- Remove any large pink stems that run through the leaves and discard.
- Add the beet leaves as well as the other ingredients, except for the olive oil, to a food processor and blitz until fine. While the motor is running, add the olive oil slowly until it becomes thick. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
- When you’re ready to cook the pizza, preheat the oven to 250C/ 480F, or as high your oven will go.
- Divide the dough into thirds and then roll each one out on a lightly floured piece of baking paper, as thin as possible to fit the size of your baking tray. Transfer the pizza and baking paper to the baking tray.
- Spread the pizza base with ⅓ of the beet leaf pesto, then top with ⅓ of the toppings. Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil.
- Place the pizza in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the base is crisp and the edges have begun to brown.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.
- Pile the pizzas with the rocket/arugula and serve hot, cut into slices.
I created the recipes for this beet pizza for Leisure Cookers as part of their Leisure Tribes to Table campaign to ‘set your inner foodie free’. They recognise that consumers are becoming more adventurous with different styles of food, as well as cooking and entertaining at home. The aim of the campaign is to help boost confidence in the kitchen and bring out the passionate side of feasting. The Leisure Feasts initiative uses the concept of food ‘tribes’ (meat, fish, vegetarian and baking) to help people get the most out of every meal. Along with three other bloggers and food writers, I’ll explore food trends.
Leisure chose me to be the face of their vegetable tribe. Fitting, right?! I do love my veggies (in cake, at breakfast, for snacks…). The point of the campaign is to find food trends, so my vegetable food trend is ‘Root to Leaf’. Using every edible part of produce is such an important way to help reduce food waste, improve our cooking creativity and make the most of what we have.
This beet pizza is a perfect case for eating this way. Instead of using a shop-bought jar of pesto, I used the beet leaves to whiz up a quick pesto. I could have also turned them into a salad, or sauteed them with garlic as a side dish. It’s exciting to use up parts of plants that might otherwise be binned.From cauliflower leaves and broccoli stalks, to root vegetable peelings and potato skins, with a bit of creativity, you can make a meal from ‘waste’.
Keep an eye on my twitter and instagram feeds! In a few weeks, I’ll be hosting a few Tribes to Table events with Leisure Cookers and the Guardian newspaper, cooking my beet pizza and chatting about eating root to leaf. I’ll be sharing the fun across my social channels, so look out for the hashtag #TribestoTable.
I absolutely love my new Leisure Cuisinemaster range cooker (pictured). I’ve had it for a few weeks now and it is a dream. It’s so handy with the three ovens and grill, so I’ve been able to bake a cake in one, while dinner is in another and something is heating on the grill. It has five hobs and also a cast iron griddle section.
We’ve recently redone our kitchen so I spend soooo much time in there, buzzing about, cooking, chopping and chatting to the kids as they draw while my husband plays the piano in the corner. I love how my kitchen is the heart of the home, and my cooker is the heart of my kitchen.
Just look at me there, so happy cooking vegetables!
Disclosure: I created this recipe for Beet Pizza with Beet Leaf Pesto as part of the Tribes campaign for Leisure Cookers. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to mess up my kitchen and write Veggie Desserts – Healthy Food and Lifestyle. White background beet pizza images by Uyen Luu for Leisure. Images of Kate Hackworthy by Bill Bradshaw.