Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lemon Sauced Pizza with Fresh Arugula, Salumi and Pecorino

Lemons. Shallots. Fresh baby Arugula. Salty-sweet Cheese? Put it on the Pizza!

As I write this the weather in Los Angeles is "end-of-summer hot and dry" days with oddly chilled nights. I was craving food with bright and light flavors (hello, lemons) and yet comforting and fun (gimme bread dough anytime.) That multi-craving inspired this tangy disk of crispy goodness.
Lemon Sauced Pizza w/ Fresh Baby Arugula,
Salumi & Pecorino

My friends and family love my Lemon Pasta that I serve using Handmade Fettucini or Dandelion infused Stracchino. So, I figured, why not try it on Pizza? With all flavor combining, striking a balance that allows the flavors to shine through, but also not overwhelm is the really tricky part.
Yes, the lemon here is tangy, but the shallots and butter warm it up and the fresh greens keep it crisp. The slivers of Salumi or Prosciutto add the earthy umami and the salty protein punch. The cheesy dough keeps it all familiar to our palates. For the Pizza dough, I used the last of some bread dough I had in the refrigerator (made from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.) I rolled it out, let it rest and relax, and started my layering of flavor.This is light enough to serve as appetizer slices, game-day food and brunch fare, too. Feel free to change up the topping greens to spinach or field greens and leave off the meat for a vegetarian choice (maybe crumbled smoked tempeh would be a great addition.)

1 pizza dough (bread machine, artisan recipe or favorite dough recipe)
2 Tbls. butter
1/2 shallot (minced)
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbls. White Wine
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup grated Asiago or Pecorino Cheese
Fresh Basil (or Lemon Basil)

1) In a large skillet on Med. heat - melt the butter and add the minced shallot. Cook til soft, about 3 minutes.
2) Add the lemon juice, zest and white wine. Continue stirring over Low/Med heat (to de-glaze the pan and incorporate the flavors.) Season with a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

3) Add the cream and stir until the sauce is thickened (about 5-8 minutes.) Remove from the heat and let cool.

4) Preheat the oven to 475F. (Put a Pizza stone into the oven on Middle rack if using one.) Roll out your Pizza dough to a 12-14" circle and allow to rest for 5 minutes on your corn meal dusted Pizza paddle or oiled pizza pan.
5) Bake the Pizza dough for 5-8 minutes as a way of par-baking it. It shouldn't be enough time for the edges to brown, just for the middle to firm. This will help seal the dough and support the sauce better. If you're using a Pizza stone, slide the dough off the paddle onto the heated stone to bake it. If using a baking pan, put the pan into the pre-heated oven.

6) Remove the par-baked Pizza and reduce the oven temperature to 375F. Spread the lemon sauce over the Pizza edge to edge (use the amount to your taste, you may not want all of it used.)

7) Sprinkle half of the cheese over the Lemon Sauce and return the Pizza to the oven to fully bake (about 10" or until crispy edges and bubbly cheese.)
8) Remove the Pizza and top with Fresh Baby Arugula, torn leaves of Basil, slivers of Salumi or Prosciutto and more cheese (grated or slivered). Finish with a light drizzle of good Virgin Olive Oil.


myFudo said...

What a pizza,must tasty!

Kasia said...

Awesome recipe. My mouth is watering heavily ;) Need to try it, and need it soon. Thanks a lot!