Welcome to my first food page. By day, I am an art director at Friday magazine. Working in publishing is where my passion for cooking started. I love to travel and explore different foods, collecting ideas from magazines and online; I’ll spend hours watching 30-second how-to videos researching ideas I can take home to my small but well-equipped kitchen.
Most weekends you’ll probably find me wandering around a vegetable or fish market, shopping for fresh, locally sourced produce. I’m originally from the UK where food shopping habits are very much a one-stop process or repetitive online orders. I have witnessed some hilarious results where my friends have clicked one hundred lemons instead of just ten.
With food waste and food prices escalating, it can put a strain on your weekly food budget. I’m a food bargain hunter, I love trawling the aisles looking for weekly deals. Some of my friends say I’m a food hoarder, but you’ll never see my freezer empty or my cupboards bare.
I’ve lived in the city for four years and I have only ever ordered takeaway food three times; yes, really. There is such a take-out culture in the region... just last week, arriving home I held the elevator door open for a pizza delivery guy. Balancing six huge boxes he was unable to reach the floor buttons, so I asked which floor he needed for the giant cheese-topped delivery.
Stepping out the elevator got me thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I love a pizza, however, what I had just witnessed was too much; the cost, nutritional content (if any), all that packaging that will probably end up down the trash chute. This got me considering my evening meal. Stocked up from the market with tomatoes fresh basil a day earlier I planned to combine that with a few necessary ingredients, a tomato and mozzarella pizza seemed like a perfect evening meal? With minimal packaging, ready in minutes and no sharing, this was my homemade delivery.
TOMATO & ARTICHOKE FLATBREAD PIZZA
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 30-40 minutes
250g mixed cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp of oil for frying
2 large flatbreads
4 tbsp of pesto
4 tbsp of tomato puree
1 red onion sliced
200g of grated mozzarella
2 tsp of oregano
4 deli bought artichokes
Handful of pitted green olives
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
Drizzle of olive oil
Chopped parsley to serve
■ Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
■ Heat some oil in a pan and gently fry the tomatoes until soft. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
■ Line a baking sheet and place a sheet of bread on top, evenly spread a layer of pesto then top with the second bread. Next, spread over the tomato puree. Add the red onion, cheese and oregano. Top with the tomatoes and tear over the artichokes. Finally, add the olives, dust with cayenne pepper and drizzle over some olive oil.
■ Place in oven for 30-40 minutes. Serve topped with some freshly chopped parsley.
— Follow Mark on Instagram @gasmarksix.