Pesto, Potatoes & Burrata

May 17, 2018

 

 

Basil & ramp pesto, roasted paper-thin potatoes, fresh burrata, fried red chiles & ramps, lemon zest, za'atar, watercress

It's ramp season, baby! I don't care that they are no longer the trendy allium of the moment (nor do I know what is, that is a very specific category), I will always get excited about ramps being around. Part of it is that they seem to pop up for such a short time, so—like quince, blood oranges, Meyer lemons—I feel a sense of urgency to buy and use all of them, and the novelty never wears off. But as wild leeks, they also have that extra legit just-foraged vibe—which, as someone who has taken a single Urban Foraging class, I am naturally drawn to. And if you want an actual substantive reason to love ramps: you can use the whole thing, and you should! The bottoms are onion-y and garlicky and even a little nutty, and the leaves are tender and a bit sweet, less like a bitter radish green and more like a chive.

 

Anyway, this pizza is all about the brightness and freshness of the season, plus some nice earthy potatoes that soak up the green pesto, and fried chiles to give it a bit of a kick. And the burrata. I don't need to sell the burrata.

 

Recipe

 

Ingredients:

1 ball of pizza dough

olive oil

salt & pepper

flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone

1 small bunch of ramps*, leaves set aside for pesto, bulbs trimmed and sliced thinly on a diagonal

1-2 red chiles, sliced

1 russet potato, thinly sliced (ideally on a mandoline if you have one)

1 large ball of burrata

za'atar for sprinkling

lemon zest for sprinkling

small handful of watercress or other microgreens

squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

 

For the pesto:

2 cups basil

ramp greens (see above)

2 tablespoons pine nuts, plus more for serving

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup grated parmesan

 

*I know I talked up ramps for a really long time, but if you can't find them, this pizza won't be ruined. Just fry some shallots with your chiles, and if necessary, add a little extra basil to your pesto.

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 550° F, or as hot as it will go. Start by making the pesto: add the greens, pine nuts and garlic to a food processor (or pesto-capable blender) and pulse until minced. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add the cheese and pulse to combine.

 

Next, heat about a quarter inch of olive oil in a small saucepan over high heat (you could also use a pan, but I find that the saucepan helps prevent hot oil splatter here). Once it's hot, lower to medium heat, add the chile and ramp slices and fry for about 5-10 minutes, or until crispy. Take them off the heat and let them drain on paper towels.

 

Now you can prepare your dough using the instructions on the right. After you've baked it for a couple minutes, take it out and spread an even layer of pesto across the pizza, followed by the thinly sliced potatoes, overlapping so they cover the whole pizza. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkling them with salt, pepperza'atar and a pinch of pine nuts. Pop it in the oven and bake until the crust is a nice golden brown.

 

Take your pizza out of the oven, and gently tear your burrata into generous dollops, spooning it on top of the potatoes. Top with the fried chiles, ramps and a few more pine nuts if you like, followed by a sprinkling of microgreens, lemon zest and another couple pinches of za'atar. Finish with a little squeeze 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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