Nettle and Tomato Pizza

Nettle & Tomato Pizza


It’s Sunday and I’m skint – benefit day tomorrow – but I fancied something….y’know….different. Frustrating, as I only had the good old standbys in the house.

I set a batch of wholemeal bread dough to rise, went for a walk through my favourite, secluded (ok, “private”) woodland and picked a load of nettle tops that were still young and bright in the shade, thinking maybe nettle soup, or spicy gram flour fritters with nettles as a spinach substitute.

Back home, watching an old episode of “No Reservations”, the thought sprang unbidden – ‘Nettles? Spinach? Nettle pizza?!’

How could I resist?

I opened a can of chopped tomatoes, added 3 cloves of garlic (2 mashed, 1 sliced thin), a small chopped green chilli, a dash of balsamic vinegar, sea salt, black pepper and a glug of oil, brought it to the boil then left the pan on as low a heat as possible for about an hour, stirring once or twice.

The oven was whacked up to full – somewhere in the mid-200s – with a baking tray on the top shelf and left to get up to heat while I knocked back the bread dough, sliced off a tennis ball sized lump then left the bread for it’s second rise and the pizza dough ball on the worktop for 10 to 15 minutes.

The nettles I’d tipped into a colander over a pan, poured boiling water over and steamed for a few minutes, thus keeping their bright colour.

Then it was simply a matter of shaping the pizza base, laying a couple of curls of greenery around it and pouring over about half the tomato sauce, followed by a few shavings of parmesan and a final trickle of oil.

It only needed 10 minutes in the oven, if that, and it was good. Very good indeed.

The cost of the electricity probably outweighed the cost of the ingredients.

Which led me to another thought. A few months back I worked out that it costs .30p in electricity for me to bake bread. This is a fixed cost, of course, whether I bake one loaf or four. In fact, I reckon I could bake eight at a time. But I’m not about to bake lovely fresh bread then freeze it. What a waste.

So how would I go about selling it? Doubtless I’d be contravening countless tax and food hygiene regulations if I sold it out the back door, but I’m not concerned about that.

The problem is, I don’t know anyone locally, let alone know them well enough to ask, “Hey, want to buy some bread?”

So, what to do?

I’ll give it some thought.

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