Heart-to-Heart Valentine Pizza
Spinach-artichoke dip (with artichoke hearts, brie de nangis, Greek yogurt, Monterey Jack, sun dried tomatoes, shallots, garlic, thyme & paprika), grated Parmesan, roasted red pepper hearts
Ingredients: 1 ball of pizza dough olive oil flour for dusting salt & pepper 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained 8 ounces artichoke hearts, finely chopped 5 ounces Brie de Nangis (we got this on a recommendation from Di Bruno Bros, but you can ask your local cheesemonger for a similar buttery brie if you can’t find it) ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, at room temperature ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack a few tablespoons grated Parmesan ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, plus 1 tablespoon of the oil they’re packed in ¼ cup shallots, finely chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, minced ¼ teaspoon dried thyme ¼ teaspoon paprika 2-3 red bell peppers
Directions: Preheat your oven to 350° F. In a large skillet, heat the oil from the sun dried tomatoes over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for a couple minutes, until translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the sun dried tomatoes, thyme & artichoke hearts, and stir for another 2-3 minutes. Add the thawed spinach and cook for a few more minutes, until completely wilted and warmed through.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the cheese, yogurt and paprika, along with salt & pepper to taste. Grease a couple of ramekins and fill them with the mixture, sprinkling the top with Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, and then turn the broiler on to brown the tops (you can wait and do this step when the dip is actually on the pizza, or do it both times if you want the Parmesan extra crispy).
Take the dip out and increase the oven temperature to 500° F. Place your bell peppers on a sheet pan and bake them for about a half hour, turning them once or twice during roasting. The skin should be charred and wrinkled. Take them out and cover them with aluminum foil so that the skins can start to steam themselves off.
When the peppers have been roasted, increase the oven temperature to 550° F. You can start preparing your dough using the instructions on the right. Instead of using our normal pizza stone, we used a heart-shaped pan for this pizza. If you don’t have one, you can still form the dough into the shape of a heart and put it on your regular round pizza stone.
Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins completely and remove the stem and the seeds within. Pull open the peppers and lay them flat on a cutting board. You can use heart-shaped cookie cutters, or just cut them into hearts using a sharp knife.
After you’ve baked your dough for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil. Now spoon out the spinach artichoke dip and cover your entire pizza generously with it. You can sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese on top to get that crispy texture.
Lay the heart peppers in whatever configuration you want and put the pizza back in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown (again, turning on the broiler at the last minute if you want). Take it out and enjoy this aphrodisiac of a pizza for a romantic Valentine’s Day evening!
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