Pesto Pumpkin Pizza

Cook time 1 hour (+ roasting and resting time)
Servings 6

Ingredients

Base

Oil, for greasing

1 medium Hokkaido pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1kg)

4 tbsp psyllium husk

2 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp salt

100g almond meal/flour

120g buckwheat flour


Topping

Green Pea Pesto, smooth version

Slow-roasted cherry tomatoes (see note)

Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

Cashew Ricotta (see next page)

Green Pea Pesto

250g frozen peas, defrosted

30g tightly packed basil leaves

60ml extra virgin olive oil

60ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)

2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

½ tsp salt


Cashew Ricotta

120g raw cashews (1 cup)

750ml water

1 tbsp lemon juice


To serve

Rocket

Fresh Basil Leaves

Extra virgin olive oil

Pesto Pumpkin Pizza

Method

Preheat oven to 190°C.

Lightly oil a couple of baking trays.

Cut the pumpkin or squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and then cut each half into cubes, removing the skin as you go (if not using Hokkaido). Place the cubes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until the cubes are easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain, then use a fork to ash the pumpkin until smooth but still a little chunky.

Measure out about 500g of mashed pumpkin. Combine the mash with the remaining base ingredients, stir to combine and then set aside for 5 minutes, while the psyllium works its magic.

Divide the dough into 6 balls, press flat and then work into a circular shape with your fingertips. Place on lightly oiled baking trays and cook in the hot oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, top with pesto, tomatoes, olives and Cashew Ricotta and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly before garnishing with rocket, basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Note: to slow roast your own tomatoes, preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius. Lightly oil a baking tray. Slice the tomatoes in half and place on the tray, cut-side up. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar, then roast in the oven for 2-3 hours.

For the green pea pesto, place everything in a high-speed food processor and puree until smooth.

For the cashew ricotta, place the cashews and water in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a cool saucepan, place over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and gently swirl the pan – you don’t want to disturb the curds too much.

Allow it to stand for 30 minutes before very gently transferring it to a large mixing bowl lined with cheesecloth (muslin) – again, being careful not to disturb the curds.

Rest a wooden spoon across the width of the bowl and tie the corners of the cheesecloth over it so that the curds don’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Allow to sit for 12-18 hours, pouring out the whey from time to time, to make sure the bottom of the cheese doesn’t end up sitting in the whey.

If you want to make a double batch, blend the cashews in two separate batches and then combine both batches of cashew milk in the pan.

Instead of hanging the curds from a spoon over a bowl (it will be too big), tie the corners of cheesecloth over a door handle and place the bowl on the floor underneath to catch the drips. Pop a towel underneath the bowl to soak up any splashes.

Transfer to an airtight container where it will keep for about 1 week, if the container is truly airtight. Use as you would any ricotta.