Meyer Lemons & Spiced Celeriac

December 4, 2013

 

 

Fresh mozzarella, sautéed spinach & shallots, pan-fried spiced celeriac (with cinnamon, nutmeg, Moroccan spice blend, cayenne, lemon juice & zest), shredded pecorino romano, Meyer lemon slices, pomegranate seeds

Meyer lemons are a great find at this time of year. They are sort of like a cross between a lemon and an orange—slightly rounder and sweeter than a regular lemon, so they are much more palatable to eat on their own. Of course, it won't be the end of the world for you to use regular old lemons for this recipe. You just may want to slice them event thinner so that they aren't too sour, and also because they have a slightly thicker rind.

 

As for the celeriac (sometimes labeled as celery root in stores), it is a strange and wonderful root vegetable that everyone should try. Raw, it smells and tastes very similar to celery—but roast it or sauté it like we're doing here, and it takes on this warm, nutty flavor. And it all comes in a super gnarly package, which just kind of adds to the mystery of celeriac.

Recipe

 

Ingredients:
1 ball of pizza dough
olive oil
salt & pepper
flour for dusting

semolina flour for the pizza stone
1-2 balls fresh mozzarella
3-4 Meyer lemons
2 cups packed baby spinach
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 large celeriac, peeled, sliced into rounds & then cut into quarters
pinch of cayenne
pinch of Moroccan spice blend (like a ras el hanout or something similar)
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
shredded pecorino romano
½ cup pomegranate seeds

 

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 550° F, or as hot as it will go. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat, and add the celeriac. 

 

Cook the celeriac, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until they are just starting to brown. Then add the spices, along with the zest of one of your Meyer lemons, and the juice of one and a half of them.

 

You can also add up to 100ml of water to the mixture, and let it simmer for about 10 more minutes. You want the celeriac to be nice and tender. When they’re finished, remove from the heat and set aside.

 

Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a second pan over medium heat and add the shallots. Cook them, stirring occasionally, for about 3-4 minutes, until tender. Then add the spinach, season with salt & pepper, and cook for another minute or two, until the leaves are starting to wilt.

 

When your oven is hot, you can begin to prepare the dough, using the instructions on the right. Once you’ve baked it for a minute, brush it lightly with olive oil and tear off pieces of your mozzarella ball until they are spread out evenly across the pizza.

 

Add the spinach and shallots, followed by the celeriac and a sprinkling of shredded pecorino romano. Cut the remaining lemons into thin slices and lay them out to your desired amount on the pizza.

 

Put your pizza back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. When it looks finished, take it out and sprinkle it with pomegranate seeds—then slice it and enjoy!

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HOW TO PREPARE DOUGH

#1 

Start stretching it from the center, then move it around in a circle so that gravity stretches it and creates a natural crust. It helps to put some olive oil on your hands first.

 

#2

Place the dough on your floured surface & push it out with your fingertips until it's the size of your pizza stone. You can fold over the edges to create an extra fluffy crust.

 

#3

When the oven is hot (preheat it with the stone inside), sprinkle some semolina flour on the pizza stone and place your dough on it.

#4

Bake it for about a minute, or until it starts to bubble, then take it out. This last step isn't 100% necessary, but I feel like it adds a little extra crispiness to the crust.

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