Friday, July 19, 2013

Farm Fridays: Scallion, Chard and Corn Pizza

Man, has it been HOT around here! I normally enjoy hot summer weather, but a heat index of 102 is outside my comfort zone. When I went to the farm, I was relieved that there wasn't much available in the pick-your-own fields. I was dripping with sweat just from picking a few dozen flowers. I feel for all the farm workers who had to be out in this weather all week. Farm work is hard on a good day - this week must have been brutal for them!

I first made this recipe a few weeks ago when Jeff was out of town, so I had it all to myself. I appreciated getting to eat it all (not in one sitting, of course), but I was also sad that I didn't get to share the wonderfulness that is awesome food. So I was happy to be able to make this again when Jeff was actually at home, so we could enjoy it together.

I also kicked things up a notch (not that any Smitten Kitchen recipe really needs alteration - but I felt like making it more of my own). I changed up the crust to a whole wheat dough with some dried basil and made it more of a pizza than a flatbread. I switched up the leeks for the scallions I picked up at the farm and added a final sprinkle of paprika over the top of the pie. The result was a really lovely summer vegetable pizza. I didn't even miss the sauce!

Be aware that this recipe makes enough dough for two pizzas - one for now and one for later!

Scallion, Chard and Corn Pizza
1 c bread flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 oz instant yeast (sometimes labeled "bread machine" yeast)
3/4 c warm water (ideally 115-125° F)
1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp olive oil
3 large scallions (about 1 1/2 c), sliced
6 oz chard, sliced into 1/2" ribbons
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 ear corn, kernels sliced from cob
1/4-1/2 tsp paprika
2-3 oz goat cheese

Add the flours, basil, salt, sugar and yeast to a large bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the olive oil to the water and pour into the bowl, mixing until all dry ingredients are moistened. Knead dough for 5-8 minutes, until it forms a smooth, flexible ball (you can use a stand mixer here, but I always find the dough stays too sticky and I end up hand kneading it for a while anyway).

Cover dough and put in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, get your pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500° F (yes, now - when the stone preheats in the oven for a long time it gets hot enough to deliver a quick-cooked pizza with a nice crispy crust).

Shortly before the dough is fully risen, chop your vegetables. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil. Add the scallions to the heated oil and saute 5-6 minutes, until softened.

Add the chard and cook 2-3 minutes, until wilted, then add the corn for about a minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove your dough from its bowl, punch down slightly and divide in half. Reserve one half of the dough for a future use (I put it in a ziplock bag and toss it in the freezer - the next pizza's a lot less work!).

Take the other half of the dough and roll and stretch it into a circle as large as your pizza stone (mine was slightly larger so the edges hung off a bit - if this happens to you, you can roll the edges slightly to create a more emphatically raised crust)

Transfer the crust to the pizza stone (if it's nice and hot, you don't need cornmeal or oil underneath - it will cook very quickly and just slide off when it's done). Spread the topping evenly over the surface of the pizza, leaving an inch or so around the edges. Sprinkle the pizza with paprika, then crumble the goat cheese over the top.

Bake 8-9 minutes, until crust is crispy and cheese turns slightly golden. Slice and enjoy!

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