Caramelized Jerusalem artichokes with preserved lemon, harissa, onions, bell peppers, yogurt sauce, pomegranates, mint & feta
1 ball of dough
flour for dusting
semolina flour for pizza stone
salt & pepper
handful of pomegranate seeds
For the caramelized sunchokes:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons water
about 1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, cut into ½-inch pieces
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon lemon zest (Meyer lemon would be ideal if you can find it, otherwise regular lemon zest will work just fine)
For the yogurt sauce:
½ cup Greek yogurt
up to 9 tablespoons buttermilk (this depends on how drizzly you want the sauce, it should be thinner than yogurt but not too soupy)
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of salt
1/3 cup crumbled feta
about 2 tablespoons chopped mint & cilantro, plus extra mint for garnish
For the harissa mixture:
2 tablespoons harissa
1 yellow onion, diced
1-2 bell peppers (orange, yellow or red), diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon (or 1 tbsp lemon zest & 1 tsp lemon juice if you can’t find preserved lemon)
Preheat your oven to 550° F, or as hot as it will go, and let your pizza stone heat up as it preheats. Sprinkle some flour on the countertop where you plan to place the dough.
Next, start with the sunchokes. Heat the oil and butter in a saute pan over medium heat, then whisk in the sugar. As soon as the sugar dissolves, take the pan off the heat and whisk in the water (carefully, as the mixture will probably splatter a bit).
Add the sunchokes to the pan, tossing to coat, and then return the pan to the heat. Cover it and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sunchokes are almost tender. Then uncover the pan and increase the heat to medium-high, sauteing for another 5 minutes until tender. You’ll want to toss them frequently so they get browned on all sides without burning. Season with salt & pepper to taste, sprinkle on the lemon zest, and set aside.
Next (or meanwhile, if you’re great at multitasking), start making the harissa mixture. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over high heat and add the onion, peppers and harissa. Stir for a couple minutes or so, until the onions are translucent, and then add the preserved lemon and lower the heat. Simmer and stir for another couple minutes until the flavors are nicely infused, then season with salt and set aside.
For the yogurt sauce, simply whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl, and let sit in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
To prepare the dough: pick it up and start stretching from the center, and then move it around in a circle so that gravity stretches it and creates a natural crust. I find that it helps to put some olive oil on your hands first. Then place the dough on your floured surface and 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–this probably isn’t best practice, but the crust is my favorite part, so I say live a little.
When the oven is hot, sprinkle some semolina flour on the pizza stone (this will help keep your crust crispy on the bottom) and place your dough on it. Bake it for about a minute, or until it starts to bubble. Then take it out and brush it with a light layer of olive oil.
Spread the harissa mixture evenly across the pizza, followed by enough of the yogurt sauce to cover about two thirds of it. Next, add the Jerusalem artichokes and pop it in the oven. Bake until the crust is a nice golden brown, then take it out, sprinkle it with pomegranate seeds and fresh mint leaves, and enjoy!