Blackened Leeks, Mustard & Asparagus

May 3, 2016

 

Fresh burrata cheese, garlic confit, blackened leeks, sautéed asparagus, mustard breadcrumbs, chili flakes, lemon-mustard sauce

This pizza was inspired by a recipe we found in Bon Appetit magazine for blackened leeks & asparagus. I love the charred flavor of the blistered, softened leeks, and along with the light crunch of the asparagus and the tang of the mustard and lemon, it's all perfectly balanced by the creamy burrata. And, because why not, we topped it off with some spicy chili flakes. 

Recipe

 

Ingredients:

1 ball of pizza dough

flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone

olive oil

salt & pepper

fresh burrata cheese (enough to spread over a pizza)

a pinch or two crushed red pepper flakes

2-3 medium leeks, white & pale green parts only, halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

flaky sea salt

 

For the breadcrumbs:

2 tablespoons mustard seeds (we used half black mustard seeds, half yellow)

1/4 cup whole grain mustard

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup canola (or other neutral oil)

a couple slices of country white bread, cut into small cubes

 

*For the confit:

1 cup garlic cloves, peeled

1 cup olive oil

 

*Feel free to cut this down, as you will really only need a couple tablespoons of it for the pizza, but it's a super versatile ingredient that is worth just having on hand if you make the whole amount.

 

Directions:

*Begin by making the garlic confit: just combine the peeled garlic cloves & the olive oil in a small saucepan and let it sit over low heat for about an hour, until the cloves are nice and soft. Keep in the fridge until you're ready to use it.

 

Next, preheat the oven to 350° F for the breadcrumbs. Toast the mustard seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until they begin to darken and pop, about 5 minutes. Set aside until they're cool, then grind them in a spice mill or with a mortar & pestle.

 

Now combine the ground seeds with your whole grain mustard, wine & oil. Whisk the mixture together and season with salt & pepper. Add it to a bowl with the bread pieces and toss to coat evenly.

 

Spread the bread out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until dried out and slightly toasted, about 20 minutes (stirring halfway through). When they're finished, take them out and increase the oven temperature to 550° F, or as hot as it will go.

 

While the oven is heating up, heat a large, dry cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until smoking hot. Add the leeks to the pan, cut side down, and press to make sure they make contact with the hot skillet. Cook these until blackened on the cut side, which should take about 5 minutes.

 

Next, reduce the heat to medium and add the butter, rotating the skillet so the leeks sizzle and get fully coated in butter. Carefully transfer the cooked leeks to the plate (leaving the butter in the pan), then add the asparagus to the skillet.

 

Season the asparagus with salt & pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spears are bright green and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add the lemon juice, zest and mustard, tossing evenly to coat the asparagus. 

 

Next, prepare your dough using the instructions on the right. After you've baked it for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with some of the garlic confit, smashing any whole garlic cloves to spread them out. Dollop some of the fresh burrata on top and sprinkle that with a couple pinches of chili flakes.

 

Add the leeks & asparagus, spooning any leftover lemon-mustard sauce on top of the asparagus. Top with the mustard breadcrumbs, a pinch of flaky sea salt and a little extra burrata if you like. Bake the pizza until the cheese is melty and the crust is a nice golden brown, then take it out and enjoy!

*Note: the garlic confit makes extra (see ingredient note) and can be made well in advance of your pizza and kept in the fridge if you want to save time

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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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