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I was in Sydney last week enjoying a reunion with friends who I had not seen for thirty years. Sydney University had decided to incorporate Sydney College of the Arts in the university. As a result they had an alumni ceremony and afterwards we went to the new Art College and this is where I caught up with everyone. It was such a hoot! Strange to see people and their eyes are still the same but the faces have aged,  just like mine!

Another place I love to visit when I’m in Sydney is a homewares shop called Papaya.  It has wonderful things that always look great as props in my food photography. I met a young man there named Michael and when he found out I was a food blogger he asked me to write a vegan recipe for him so here you are Michael.

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RECIPE

For the pizza dough
  • 300g/11oz strong flour, plus a little extra for dusting

  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast

  • 1½ tsp salt

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin 0live oil

Method for the pizza

  1. Put the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the center and add the oil and 175ml/6fl oz of warm tap water. Then mix it all together with a wooden spoon to form a soft slightly sticky ball (I use my hands to mix everything together).
  2. Then throw a little flour on the work surface and knead the dough for eight minutes by hand.
  3. Then divide the dough into three equal(ish) pieces and then use a rolling pin to roll each one out into roughly a 14x40cm/5x15in rectangle. It will be really nice and thin. Put each rectangle on a baking sheet and cover with a clean tea towel or some oiled cling film so they don’t dry out while you prepare the toppings.

Toppings

On this pizza I used hummus, cooked eggplant, olives, rocket and foya Feta.  It is up to you how many of these ingredients you choose however the recipe for the cooked eggplant is here and it is an essential part of the pizza and not easy to buy.

For the cooked Eggplant.

1 Eggplant cut into long slices and left in a colander with salt on it.

1 onion

1 crushed cloves of garlic

olive oil

cumin, coriander, nutmeg, paprika, salt, and pepper, or you can buy baharat spices from Herbies Spices

Method

Wash the eggplant and pat dry.

Fry onion in a heavy pan with lots of olive oil then add spices garlic and the eggplant.

Fry until the eggplant is soft but still holds some shape.

To assemble pizza

Heat oven to 240 C fan forced.

Place dough on a round pizza tray and then cover the base with humus leaving around a 4cm border. Top this with the cooked eggplant and black kalamata olives. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 8-10 mins.

Remove the pizza and place fresh rocket or spinach leaves on top, or both and crumble some tofu feta on top of this. Place lemon wedges and more olive oil on the table so people can add these if they want to. Serve up to table whole and allow everyone to enjoy the process of cutting it.

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