Recipe: Tomato & Thyme Pizzas

This recipe for Tomato & Thyme Pizzas has been donated to London Mums by chef, author and Montessori culinary ambassador, Chantelle Nicholson. Making your very own pizzas from scratch is a great thing to do. You will see the dough ‘grow’ then when you bake it, it smells amazing! You can make a pizza for each of your friends or family, and in different shapes too.


Ingredients to make four small pizzas:For the pizza dough:

100g wholemeal flour

150g plain white flour

1/2 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp active dried yeast

1/2 tsp honey

160ml warm water

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing


4 large tomatoes

Pinch salt

4 sprigs thyme

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

80g grated cheese



To make the dough, place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix until smooth and the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn onto your bench and knead until smooth and elastic-like.  Cover and leave somewhere warm to double in size.  Roughly chop the 4 large tomatoes and place in a bowl with the salt, vinegar and half of the thyme leaves from the sprigs. Put the mix into a small saucepan and place on a medium heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes soften. Blend to a chunky sauce.

Preheat oven to 190?.

Divide the dough into 4 even pieces and roll out on a floured bench to 2cm high and the shape you want to make; this could be a circle, oval, rectangle or heart, for example. Place each pizza base onto an oiled baking tray. Top with the tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, the rest of the thyme leaves and the cheese. Bake for 6-10 minutes until golden.


The recipe’s origins 

The Garden Dip recipe has been donated to London Mums by the Montessori St Nicholas charity. They have collaborated with Chantelle Nicholson to introduce recipes that can be created by children. Inspired by the Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden which opens at RHS Chelsea in May 2019, the recipes show the importance the Montessori approach places on both hands on learning, and engaging children with the natural world.

Instead of a play kitchen, Montessori nurseries and pre-schools will give their children access to a real one with real working tools to slice, chop, wash, pour and strain. Montessori teachers are guides who nurture freedom and self-development in a carefully prepared environment. As part of the Montessori day, children aged from three upwards might make bread rolls, chop vegetables, prepare the morning snack and pour juice into a glass – and clear up afterwards.

Run by Chantelle Nicholson, Tredwells was one of the first restaurants in the UK to have a five-course tasting menu for small children – with different tastes and textures – as well as fine linen and fragile glassware. Reflecting on the recipes and her new role as culinary ambassador Nicholson says:

“I grew up in New Zealand surrounded by a bountiful, natural garden, which fuelled my passion for fresh, nutritious food. Working with the Montessori St Nicholas charity, I see how important it is to get children comfortable with, engaged and interested in food at a young age, including how it is grown. It is vital for children to learn to have a go in the kitchen – cooking with garden or windowsill grown produce is a great way to do this, and these recipes have been designed to show the end result is achievable and delicious.”

2019 marks the centenary year of Montessori in the UK; Early Years education pioneer Maria Montessori always advocated cooking with children as a great way to learn. The recipes reflect Montessori’s child first approach to education and the importance the approach places on engaging children with the natural world.  Nicholson’s first four Montessori recipes include the Garden Dip with crunchy veg, cheesy green kale pesto spaghetti, tomato and thyme pizzas and sweet beetroot & chocolate cakes

The Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden, hosted by the Montessori St Nicholas charity, will be at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show 21 – 25 May 2019.   

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