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.
Note: you could skip roasting the beets and use pre-cooked vacuum packed (not in vinegar) beets.
In a stand mixer:
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.
Alternatively make the beet pizza dough by hand:
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.
For both dough methods:
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.
Meanwhile, make the beet leaf pesto.
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.
To cook the beet pizza
When you’re ready to cook the beet 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.
For the pizza dough
2 large beetroots with stems and leaves attached if making the pesto
180 ml (¾ cup) warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
350 g (3 cups) plain flour (all-purpose)
1 tsp sea salt
For the beet leaf pesto
50 g (1 cup) packed beetroot leaves (remove the larger pink spines for a greener-coloured pesto)
35 g (¼ cup) pine nuts
2 tbsp vegan or vegetarian parmesan cheese grated (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of half a lemon
1 garlic clove minced
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
Toppings (all optional)
50 g (1 cup packed) beetroot stems, chopped into 1 inch long pieces
180 g (6 oz) goat’s cheese (vegan alternative)
75 g (½ cup) olives, pitted
40 g (⅓ cup) sun-dried tomatoes
3 tsp capers
3 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 large handful rocket / arugula