Lemon Cucumbers & Garlic Scapes

July 16, 2014

 

Ricotta, homemade cumin vinaigrette, roasted beets, lemon cucumbers, sautéed garlic scapes

Recipe

 

Ingredients:
1 ball of pizza dough
flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone
olive oil
salt & pepper
3-4 lemon cucumbers, chopped (these are a milder, sweeter type of yellow cucumber)
2-3 beets, trimmed
1 bunch garlic scapes, trimmed & cut into 2-3 inch pieces
Ricotta cheese


For the cumin vinaigrette:
1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil

 

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400° F. Place the beets in a roasting pan (or any baking dish that fits them) and drizzle with olive oil. Add about 2/3 cup of water to the pan and cover with foil. Roast the beets until tender, about 45 minutes.

 

Let the beets cool and increase the oven temperature to 550° F. When they are cool enough to handle, you can rub the skin off with your fingers (or a paper towel if you don’t want to have red-stained hands), and cut them into wedges.

 

While the beets are roasting, you can sauté the garlic scapes. These look a little like green beans once you’ve cut them, but they taste like garlic (albeit a little milder than garlic proper).

 

To sauté them, just melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the scapes and a pinch of salt. Stir them frequently, until they are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

 

Next you can make the vinaigrette. To start, toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Then grind about ¾ of them with a mortar & pestle (or spice mill), leaving the rest whole. Whisk the ground and whole seeds together with the vinegar and olive oil.

 

Now you can toss the beets, cucumbers & scapes in the vinaigrette, and then begin to prepare the dough using the instructions on the right. Once you’ve baked your dough for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil.

 

Top your pizza with clumps of the ricotta, followed by the beets, lemon cucumbers & scapes, and pop it in the oven. Bake until the beets are sweating and the crust is a nice golden brown. Then take it out, drizzle with a squirt of lemon juice (optional), 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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