We’re a nation of pizza lovers. And why wouldn’t we? Quick in the oven, toppings for everyone’s taste and the ideal sofa dinner with minimal effort, pizza is one of those crowd-pleasing meals that’s as versatile as it is delicious. But rather than fall back on the classic pepperoni, ham and pineapple (controversial), cheese and tomato, why not try pimping up those bases with these pizza topping ideas that will challenge your perceptions of how good a pizza can be.
Think roasted red peppers, harissa olives, wild garlic! What about spicy ‘nduja or a British made mozzarella? These are five of our favourite pizza topping ingredients you have to try for yourself:
1. British Mozzarella
We all love oozy Mozzarella on our pizzas, but we don’t love the air miles. Luckily for us, Laverstoke Park Farm over in Hampshire is challenging its Italian competitors with a British mozzarella that’s got all the creamy, fresh goodness of a ball of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana D.O.P from Italy’s Campania region, but with fresh milk from local, free range cows. “Our mozzarella is 100% organic and our animals spend more time in the fields than buffalo do in Italy. Plus, we can get our mozzarella to the customer the day we make it”, says cheese-maker Jody Scheckter.
For a simple yet magical mozzarella pizza, tear mozzarella onto a tomato-based pizza, finish with basil leaves and black pepper and bake for 10 minutes at 180°C. Some of the best things in life are simple.
This one’s perfect for those who like it spicy. ‘Nduja (pronounced “n-do-ya”) is a melt-in-the-mouth, soft pork sausage loaded with chillies and smoked paprika. Hailing from Calabria in Italy, this spicy sausage has been adapted by London-based charcuterie makers, Black Hand.
It’s as good on a cheeseboard as it is dotted over pizza with a tomato base and creamy Mozzarella. As it cooks, ‘nduja literally melts its chilli-fat deliciousness into your base. Unreal. Bake for 10 minutes at 180°C.
Not just for vegans, jackfruit has the texture of artichoke hearts and a sweet, almost fruity taste that lends itself to BBQ sauce. Combine the two and smother your BBQ jackfruit onto a pizza base with roasted red peppers, halved cherry tomatoes and Mozzarella for a kicking sweet-but-savoury flavour combo.
If you’re avoiding dairy, vegan Mozzarella works well here, too. Whack it in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C. Perfection.
British charcuterie is having a moment and it’s a movement that’s only getting bigger, spearheaded by butchers, farmers, and curious cooks across the UK. With particular attention paid towards heritage animal breeds, ethics and sustainability, charcuterie is the ultimate artisan product and we’re big fans of tearing it onto pizza. Marsh Pig are the guys behind this delicious coffee-cured bresaola, made using rare breed cattle from East Anglia, marinated with rosemary, thyme, and juniper berries. If you fancy a pork charcuterie meat, try this ridiculously delicious truffle-infused lardo or zingy Somerset cider chorizo.
Top your pizza base with tomato sauce, bresaola, mushrooms, and mozzarella (in that order) and pop it into the oven for 8 minutes at 180°C.
Yep, you read that right. We really do want you to put potato on your pizza. It’s an authentic Italian pizza topping (and for good reason) as they turn wonderfully crisp in the oven. Cut your potatoes (we used Maris piper) nice and thin and parboil for about 5 minutes so they’re soft enough to pierce with a fork, but not so soft that they’re falling apart.
Lay onto your pizza base instead of the usual tomato, cover with good quality extra virgin olive oil and grate Parmesan over the top. This is good just on it’s own (trust us), but for even more punch try topping with a few torn anchovy fillets, roasted garlic and black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes at 180°C. It’s a special one.