Roasted garlic as base to dates and chestnuts as toppings: Most unusual pizza combinations

Your favourite food just got yummier, healthier and inimitable


Purva Grover

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Pink pizza base at VIBE Cafe
Pink pizza base at VIBE Cafe

Published: Fri 18 Feb 2022, 12:24 PM

Last updated: Sun 20 Feb 2022, 11:04 AM

Everyone loves pizza. Period. In 2022, food gurus suggest we’ll just love it a tad more. Dubai will see pizzas inspired by different geographical locations, varied base types, a rise in wood-firewood, handcrafted types, and not to miss the strangest of toppings from eggplants to chestnuts! “We completely agree! Pizzas are making a comeback this year, but, what we believe is that the new wave of pizzas isn’t going to rest on the laurels of decadence, but instead become dietary staples that people can enjoy every day,” confirm Ehsan and Kamila Hosseini, owners, Lopo Pizzeria, Dubai.

Move over cauliflower

Until recently, everyone was obsessing over how cauliflower (base) had made its way to the world of pizza, however, in 2022 that’s old news. For, a whole bunch of veggies are vying for attention. “We’ve been dreaming up funky toppings since the very start of Pitfire. To our knowledge, we are the only restaurant in town that uses roasted garlic as a base for a pizza (The Pitfire Primo),” shares Michele Johnson, co-founder, Pitfire Pizza. VIBE’s concept revolves around giving a healthy twist to our favourite junk food and that’s where the idea of Slim Thicc was born and it’s been their most successful launch to date. “The pink plant-based pizza base took a year to master to perfection. It’s 70% cauliflower and 30% beetroot, it’s guilt-free!” says Noora Saeed, founder, VIBE Café, Dubai.

Who moved the cheese?

Mozzarella may be the most common pizza cheese type, but that too is happily giving way to others. Chef Nicola, Bussola Pizzeria, Dubai, speaks of the Burrata E Bresaola, “Freshly cooked from our wood-fired oven, the star of this pizza is the Burrata cheese that makes it special, combined with other elements such as Mozzarella cheese, beef bresaola and rocket leaves.” At VIBE Café, you can sample different pizza flavours from Keep Calm and Curry On (soft cottage cheese and Monterey Jack cheese), Holy Macaroni (goat cheese, 4 cheese macaroni, Mozzarella), and Cauli Flowah-Powah (vegan Mozzarella).

How big are you on fusion?

Jugal Parekh, owner, Yummy Dosa, Dubai, which serves 100 plus variations of dosas, speaks of an Open Cheese Pizza Dosa and adds how it is one of their bestsellers. “Knowing that people love pizzas, we introduced this Italian fusion variety. It’s inspired by the Indian version of vegetarian pizzas sold by street-side vendors.” Think a crunchy thin layer of dosa batter coated with Schezwan sauce plus chef’s secret pizza sauce, and topped with loads of veggies and Cheddar. Adds Parekh, “We slice it into eight pieces and serve it on a circular wooden tray along with two types of chutneys, coconut and tomato chutneys.” Johnson adds how they’ve done some amazing collaborations with brands like Sticky Rice when they created the mind-blowing Green & Red Curry Chicken pizza and the Pad Krapow Beef pizza, and with Pickl they created Dubai’s first-ever Cheeseburger pizza!

Bite on, guilt-free

No, you don’t have to cut out your favourite meal, if you’re working towards losing a few kilos, for the pizzas from iDiet by are perfect to indulge in as they are low calorie and also work for those looking to alter their lifestyles for the healthier options. “The Green Keto Pizza includes 6g of carbs, it is 455 kcal, 35g of protein and 30g of fat. The base is created with almond flour, eggs and cheese, then topped with a handmade spread of basil, fresh spinach, nuts, fresh Mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes,” shares Saeed Karam, co-founder and manager, iDiet. She adds how the pizza is rich in both flavour and nutrients and can be served with fresh Mozzarella and cherry tomatoes on top, or with avocado slices and pecan nuts for an extra boost of healthy fat. “We offer vegan, vegetarian, and most recently a range of keto pizzas,” adds Saeed.

Playing with dough

A big attraction and component at Lopo is their slow-fermented dough made from stone-ground Italian flour, “It diminishes that dreaded over-bloated feeling you get after eating most pizzas,” shares Hosseini. It’s interesting to note that the Burrata E Bresaola is made with the traditional homemade Italian dough and is unique in itself for they use the white sauce as the base instead of the more common tomato sauce. Rocca Eggplant Pizza from iDiet is special for its guilt-free dough, made using whole grain flour packed with fibres and vitamins. “The sauce is homemade using fresh tomatoes without any additives/ preservatives and the cheese topping is low fat. The grilled eggplant, rocket leaves and fresh basil enrich it further, with 30-50g of carbs, 15-25g fat and 20-30g proteins,” adds Karam.

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