Along the Grapevine


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Gardener’s Pizza

This recipe was inspired by one of David Lebowitz’s blogs where he described eating a pizza at a friend’s house which was made simply of fried vegetables on top of a layer of Dijon mustard spread on the dough before baking. I decided to try it using creeping Charlie, something I had never tried cooking with before. The result was very good, and will make that one again, perhaps using mushrooms, eggplant or some other vegetable I have in my garden. I might even consider using other mustards, but the mustard is a must. Its sharpness is a great substitute for cheese!

If you do a search for creeping Charlie, you will find it is something to be got rid of, the pestiest of pests known to gardeners. I am not about to start fighting this one – I would surely lose. It is not unattractive at all, and now that I understand that it has the superior nutritional value shared by many unwanted weeds, albeit not a lot of flavour, I will just remove it from where it interferes with my actual garden, and eat it! There’s a slogan: “If you can’t beat it, …”

It is another of those weeds which enjoys  popularity as a medicinal herb in many countries, and is most often taken as a tea. As with any new food, one should always approach it with caution, just in case of allergies or whatever. So the pizza is garnished with a few of the younger leaves to test flavour etc. I also tried a couple raw just to make sure.

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These pictures should help you identify it. If you have a super healthy lawn, you might have trouble finding it there, but otherwise it is everywhere. If you are in doubt, check with someone who knows, or search more pictures on the many sites covering this subject, such as the one here.

Gardener’s Pizza

Begin with any pizza dough of your choice. I used a whole wheat one for this recipe.

Fry some onions until soft, add zucchini, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper to taste and continue to fry until all the vegetables are soft.

Toss the creeping Charlie leaves in enough olive oil to coat.

Spread the dough with a layer of Dijon mustard. Arrange the vegetables on top, and cover with a layer of creeping Charlie leaves. Bake in the oven as you would for any other pizza (350 until it looks done).

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