February is our anniversary month so we decided that to celebrate we would pretend that we were actually going out for a meal. Obviously all of the restaurants around us are still closed and are not set to open until the end of March. Although there are rumours that this may be pushed back again depending on how quickly people can be vaccinated. But luckily for us, Pizza Express do pre-made pizzas which are on sale in (i think) most supermarkets.
Oddly enough I think this is the first time I’ve actually seen the gardenia pizza on sale near us. They usually only have one or two options and they are both meat. So I was quite excited to try this. Personally I have always preferred Zizzi to Pizza Express but as they have got a lot more vegan options now I may have to try again once we are allowed back into restaurants.
This pizza was surprisingly really nice. I have found that while I hate olives normally, I really like olives when they are mixed as part of a meal. This pizza also has artichokes, mushrooms and spinach. Honestly it does sound like a bit of a shambles, where someone just tried to grab as many exotic vegetables as possible to shove onto a pizza…but somehow it all works really well. The flavours all compliment each other and you don’t get an overwhelming taste of one ingredient compared to others. The artichokes also gave a nice ‘meaty’ texture, so I imagine this would be a good option if you wanted a vegan pizza that didn’t taste or have the texture of a vegan pizza.
The only downside is that, as with most pizzas, it is very light on the cheese. As in…there was barely any. I think people are under some false assumption that we vegans are not as in love with vegan cheese as dairy cheese lovers are. Trust me….we are! I thankfully had a bit of left over grated cheese from another meal so I added a ‘small’ handful to it. It really did amplify this pizza so I don’t know why they always scrimp on the cheese.
Also…the Pizza Express dough balls are also vegan friendly. Get rid of the garlic butter tub that comes with it and make your own vegan version, and these make a really good side dish. In all honesty I could live off these dough balls for the rest of my life and be the happiest I think I could ever be.