Pan-roasted purple baby artichokes & Jerusalem artichokes, Manchego cheese, white beans, black wrinkly olives, Brazil nuts, parsley, lemon-garlic aioli
This pizza was inspired by two vegetables that share a name but almost nothing else: artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes. Turns out they also share a love for lemony flavors, and taste delicious together. Baby artichokes are a great find this time of year, because you can eat them more or less whole, without having to worry about getting all those annoying hairs out so you don't scratch your throat. And if you can find them in purple, all the better!
We've also been on a huge white bean kick lately—are white beans trendy? I feel like they are kind of the new chickpeas. Anyway, they act as a great flavor middleman in general, and here they balance out the acidity of the olives and lemon perfectly. Brazil nuts are also a great find—and they make my personal favorite non-dairy milk—but if you can't find them, it's totally find to sub out another crunchy nut of your choosing.
1 ball of pizza dough
salt & pepper
flour for dusting
semolina flour for pizza stone
hunk of manchego (~4oz), shaved
1/4 cup wrinkly black olives, roughly chopped
1/2 can cannellini beans (or other white bean), rinsed & drained
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Brazil nuts (or another nut), roughly chopped
pinch of lemon zest
For the pan-roasted 'chokes:
~1 tablespoon truffle oil
6-8 baby artichokes (we got purple ones from our local store, The Greene Grape in Brooklyn)
1/2 pound sunchokes, scrubbed & sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 sprig thyme
1/2 lemon plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the aioli:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
zest from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove
Preheat your oven to 550° F, or as hot as it will go. To prep the baby artichokes, first squeeze your lemon half into a small bowl of cold water, then drop the squeezed lemon into the water. Working one at a time, cut off the top third of each artichoke and peel the stem, trimming it to about half an inch. Pull off the tough outer leaves to reveal the tender yellow (or in our case, lighter purple) ones underneath. Quarter them lengthwise and drop each one in the lemon water as you finish.
Next, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil plus a small glug of truffle oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sunchokes* along with some salt & pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 12-15 minutes.
While these are cooking, you can make the lemon aioli. (We're doing the cheater's version here to save time, but feel free to make this from scratch with eggs if you have a favorite recipe.) Combine the mayo, lemon zest and garlic in a blender and puree until smooth. Now add the lemon juice and pulse until fully combined. Store in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
When your sunchokes are ready, deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of the white wine, scraping up any brown bits as you stir. Let the wine reduce and become syrupy for a couple minutes—if it feels like it's evaporating too quickly, you can add up to 1/4 cup water. Season with salt & pepper and transfer the sunchokes to a plate.
Wipe out your pan with a paper towel and heat the same amount of olive and truffle oil over medium heat. Drain and pat your artichokes dry and add them to the pan. Cook, turning occasionally, until they are crisp-tender and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic & thyme sprig and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Deglaze the pan again with the remaining white wine, along with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, adding a bit of water as needed. Reduce the liquid until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the sunchokes, white beans, olives, Brazil nuts & about half the parsley, stirring until warmed through & combined. Remove the thyme sprig, season to taste, and set the mixture aside for now.
Prepare your dough using the instructions on the right. Once you've baked it for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil and top with an even layer of your shaved Manchego cheese, followed by a generous layer of your artichoke mixture.
Bake until the cheese is melty and the crust is a nice golden brown, then take it out and drizzle the pizza with your lemon-garlic aioli. Sprinkle the remaining parsley and some lemon zest on top, then slice it up and enjoy!
*Note: If you want to save some time, you're welcome to cook the artichokes and sunchokes at the same time. Just start the sunchokes first, and when they're getting close to browning, you can add the artichokes and turn down the heat slightly. Deglaze with the whole 1/2 cup of wine (and the lemon juice) at once.
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