Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Garlic Scape and Collard Green Pizza...
There are few things better then a truly good pizza, and I’ve made plenty of tasty pizza’s in my life, but this one beats them all by a thousand miles. The flavors in this pizza are out of this world amazing! It’s truly amazing what you can create when you’re making every effort to use every last bit of fresh produce in your fridge. Collard greens, tomatoes, and non-dairy cheese were all staring at me yesterday afternoon threatening to spoil unless I used them before vacation. A quarter of a jar of garlic and green onion olive oil had been sitting on my counter for the better part of a month. A jar of sun-dried tomatoes sat nearly empty in my fridge, and I had just purchased 4 bunches of garlic scapes from my local grocery.
I was not suppose to buy groceries this week, but when I saw that scapes were back in season I knew I’d have to have them before I left, because by the time I get back they’ll surely be gone. It was a total impulse by, and my stomach not my brain was responsible. When I got them home, I thought “What am I going to do?” I have hardly anything left in my fridge. I stared down the contents of my fridge for a good long while and then the above mentioned ingredients started calling to me. They started saying “pizza, pizza, piiiizzzzaaaa!” Until I just had to listen.
Though this was my own idea, I was skeptical at first. Collard greens on a pizza? I’d never hear of such a thing, and collards - love them though I do - are just one of those things that one immediately identifies with ‘health food’ not pizza. Still, I decided it was better to try and fail and have to through the collards out because dinner was terrible, vs throwing the collards out because they went bad. I can not tell you how amazed I was by the end result. This is literally the best pizza I have ever made, perhaps even the best pizza I have ever eaten and I do not say that lightly. We’re talking mind-blowing, mouth-watering, tastebud-tickling good, so good that you’ll crave it! Even my husband, a pizza eating fanatic said it was one of the best pizza’s he’d ever eaten, and last night he simply couldn’t get enough of it!
Instead of sauce I decided to coat the crust in home-made garlic and green onion infused olive oil. I wanted a lighter, cleaner tasting pizza, and wasn’t in the mood for a heavy acidic tomato based sauce. Of course if you’re anti-oil this may not be the pizza for you, but you can control how much oil you brush onto the crust. You don’t have to go overboard and if you’re only eating a slice or two it’s really not all that bad. You can of course try it with a tomato based sauce though I can’t grantee that it’ll taste at all the same. The infused oil is highly recommend. Also though I list the non-dairy cheese as optional I highly recommend that too. I used Daiya’s Garlic Jalapeno Havarti which was amazing and really kicked the pizza up to a new level, but you could use vegan mozzarella if that’s all you can find. Remember though to use just a little bit, you want it more as a garnish than anything else, the pizza shouldn’t be dripping with it. Just sprinkle on enough that you get a few good bites of it per slice. On it’s own the pizza is hearty and filling, but to make it even more of a meal you could serve it with a nice side salad and perhaps even a glass of red wine if wine is your thing. However you serve it, just be sure to enjoy it! And trust me when I say this comes together a lot quicker then the length of the recipe may imply. Also the topping can be made ahead and saved till needed, which makes it that much easier!
Garlic Scape and Collard Green Pizza
2 Leeks white and light green parts only sliced thin
2 bunches collard greens chopped into bite size pieces
3 Roma tomatoes sliced thin
1-2 Bunches garlic scapes sliced into 1 inch lengths
Garlic and Green Onion infused Olive Oil for brushing ***
1/8 C Shredded non-dariy cheese (optional)
10-15 sun-dried tomatoes sliced into strips
Rosemary sea salt ***
Fresh Black pepper to taste (Optional)
1 ½ Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar to drizzle over top
2 1/4 C All Purpose Flour
1 ½ Whole Wheat Flour
1 pack active dry yeast
1 C warm water
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Preheat Oven to 400'F
- Water Saute leeks, collard greens, and garlic scapes in large pan over medium-high heat. Saute about 10 minutes until veggies are tender and all the water has been absorbed. You want the mixture to be a bit dry. Transfer to a bowl when finished and set aside, or if making ahead refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make the dough, combine all purpose and whole wheat flour, and salt in a food processor and pulse to incorporate.
- Combine Active Dry Yeast with Warm water and set aside for five minutes
- Drizzle the olive oil into the food processor and add the yeast/water mixture. Process until mixture forms a cohesive dough. If the dough is too moist or sticky add in more flour until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
- Remove the dough from the food processor, shape into a ball and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
- After the dough has sat, you can either divide it to make two smaller thin crust pizzas or leave it as is to make one large regular crust pizza.
- Flour a clean work surface and flour a rolling pin. Gently roll dough out into a large circle. Start with the edge closest to you and roll the dough outwards in a circular motion. Flip the dough over and continue rolling outwards in a circle. Flip the dough one more time and continue to roll outwards until the circle is large enough to fit your pizza pan.
- Lightly grease your pizza pan with some non-stick cooking spray. Then gently transfer your pizza dough to the pan. There should be excess dough flowing over the edge of the pan. Roll it up to form a crust around the edge of the pan. Trim some off as needed if the excess is too much.
- Poke your pizza dough with the tings of a fork a few times. Then brush the dough with a generous amount of garlic and green onion olive oil (or regular olive oil) make sure to brush both the base of the dough as well as the crust.
- Place pan in preheated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until dough is firm. Remove from the oven.
- Brush with a little more garlic and green onion oil, then layer sliced Roma tomatoes around the crust. Evenly distribute the collard green, leek and garlic scape mixture over top of the tomatoes. There will be a lot but that’s okay, pile it all one and spread it as evenly as possible.
- Next scatter the sun-dried tomato strips over top of the pizza, and the shredded non-dairy cheese if using.
- Finish the pizza by drizzling the balsamic vinegar over top, sprinkling with Rosemary sea salt and a few twists of a black pepper mill.
- Return the pizza to the oven and bake for 15 or so minutes until the cheese has melted, and the edges of the crust begin to golden.
- Slice and serve hot with a bowl of garlic and green onion olive oil dotted with balsamic vinegar for dipping your pizza crusts! Enjoy!
*** Note - The Garlic and Green Onion Olive Oil is super easy to make and tastes amazing on this pizza. If you prefer you can use regular olive oil, but this oil really does kick the pizza up a notch and infuses it with such great flavor. I highly recommend it, especially since it’s so easy. All you do is pour 2 cups of olive oil in a mason jar. Add 1 cup of sliced green onions (just the green parts) ½ cup of finely minced parsley or basil (or a mixture of both) a pinch of sea salt, and 10-12 garlic cloves finely minced. Screw a lid on tight, give it a good shake then leave it on your kitchen counter for 24 hours to let the flavors develop. So delicious! ***
*** Note - Rosemary Sea Salt is easy to make. All you need is fresh Rosemary springs and sea salt. Remove the Rosemary leaves from the stems and grind in a food processor. Then add to a shaker with an equal (or slightly less) amount of sea salt. Use on everything because it tastes delicious! ***
*** Note - This pizza is only soy-free if you use a soy-free non-dairy cheese.***