The second dish we chose from Vegan Table is the South of the Border Pizza. The dough is made with cornmeal in and the toppings include pinto beans, salsa, jalapenos and sour cream. Not your typical pizza but full of flavours we enjoy so we were excited to try it. My main issue was which salsa to use. I can only buy decent salsa online and I didn’t get organised enough to order any. So I wondered whether to make it and use a fresh salsa, or buy a bog standard supermarket brand. I decided to do both and make two pizzas. Then I had to decide which recipe to follow for the salsa. I absolutely love the grilled pineapple salsa from Vegan Brunch, so, knowing that there are people out there who choose to eat pineapple on pizza, I went with that one.
I’m generally a disaster area around anything to do with yeast and this was no exception. It’s like it knows I’m scared and plays up on purpose. So the dough was a little tougher than it should have been but I did like the cornmeal in it. Predictably we preferred the tomato salsa version but the pineapple one was OK. I hardly ever like mixing fruit in a savoury meal but this salsa is so good I’ll make an exception.
Here’s Matthew’s verdict about the wine:
Mexican pizza shouts out new world not old for the wine, and we went for a 2003 Maquis Lien from the Colchagua Valley in Chile (Smithfield Wine £8.46), which the seller’s website described as ‘terrific’, ‘super concentrated’, ‘super Chilean’. It is apparently ‘an intriguing mix of 55 per cent syrah, 27 per cent carmenere, 10 per cent petit verdot and eight per cent malbec.’
So the basic choice of wine style was sound: the chilli heat, salsa sharpness and the creaminess of the vegan cheese, as well as the yeastiness of the pizza base wanted a clean full flavoured wine. Sadly, this wasn’t it. Oversold would be putting it mildly. The blend was a rather flabby and surprisingly insipid one, which didn’t stand a chance against the simple clearly defined tastes of the dish. Decanter magazine gave the wine a bronze medal: was that in a field of three? Given the choice of great value Chilean options around, this is not a choice we’d suggest anyone repeats. Any of Vintage Roots’ range of Adobe, Touchstone or Novas reds, all vegan and well under a tenner, would serve you better, or if you’re feeling flush, try the Emiliana Coyam – about fourteen quid and a properly structured blend.
Don’t forget to see how Tami and Jim got on too! We’re moving to Voluptuous Vegan for our next book choice. I’ve already made quite a lot from that book and I’ve loved it all, so I’m excited!