Sunchokes, Potatoes & Ramps

May 1, 2020

 

 

Roasted mustardy sunchokes & red potatoes, chili-ramp oil with fried capers & anchovies, homemade ricotta, preserved lemon juice

After a very long hiatus, Pizza Tuesdays is back! I feel confident in guessing that we're not the only ones spending a lot more time at home lately, so this quarantine seemed like the perfect time to return to the root of any great home life: pizza. And while this particular pizza is covered in very seasonal ingredients (thanks to our amazing CSA, Farm to People), I promise it will be quarantine- and pantry-friendly.

 

Because this pizza is, at its heart, simple. And ripe for substitutions! Don't have ramps? Use leeks, scallions, spring onions, garlic—any kind of allium you have! The sunchokes and potatoes can easily be just potatoes. And the ricotta could be subbed for goat cheese, feta, or any kind of mild-ish soft or crumbly cheese. The anchovies are optional! The capers could be olives! The preserved lemon could just be regular lemon! We actually only got the idea for preserved lemon juice because we ran out of lemons and had saved the briny juice to make fancy martinis. This is the beauty of quarantine cooking. You can do literally whatever you want, no one is even around to judge you. The chili oil was inspired by a recipe in Alison Roman's Nothing Fancy cookbook, and that's because this pizza is what that book could have been called: a mix of ingredients that actually do sound pretty fancy but are put together in a way that's surprisingly easy. Rolls off the tongue. Anyway, stay safe everyone, and just keep eating pizza.

 

Recipe

 

Ingredients*:

1 ball of pizza dough

olive oil

salt & pepper

flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone

~1/2 cup or so of ricotta or other soft cheese (ours was from another quarantine project: this Instant Pot homemade ricotta recipe)

1 bunch ramps, trimmed & divided (reserve a few whole ones for topping the pizza, see below for how to prep the rest)

spoonful of juice from a jar of preserved lemons (or just a squeeze of lemon juice)

pinch of lemon zest (optional)

 

For the ramp oil:

1/4 cup olive oil

remaining ramp bulbs, chopped (save the greens, see below)

1-2 tablespoons capers

2 oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional)

~1 teaspoon chili flakes, depending on your preferred spice level

 

For the roasted tubers:

1/2-1 lb red potatoes** (or any potato you like), sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/2-1 lb sunchokes,** aka Jerusalem artichokes, sliced 1/4-inch thick

enough olive oil and Dijon mustard to lightly coat the tubers (this will depend on how many you have, but just mix a ratio of about 3 parts olive oil to 1 part mustard)

salt & pepper to taste

reserved ramp greens, roughly chopped (you could sub an herb like thyme, oregano or tarragon here if you don't have ramps—it'll taste different but still be delicious!)

 

*See the intro blurb above for some substitution ideas. 

 

**You definitely won't need a full pound of each of these, but just work with whatever you have and save any surplus for a breakfast hash the next morning. Just make sure your olive oil mixture is enough that they're lightly coated, but not drenched.

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Add your sunchokes, potatoes & ramp greens to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together your olive oil & mustard, seasoning with salt & pepper to taste. Toss it all together and lay them out as flat as possible on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, flipping a couple times throughout, until the tubers are fairly soft and just starting to brown. They'll go back in the oven later, so don't overcook them here. When they're done, increase your oven temperature to 550° F, or as hot as it will go.

 

Meanwhile, prepare the ramp oil. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a small or medium skillet over medium high heat. When it's shimmering but not smoking, add your chopped ramp bulbs. If they're sizzling like crazy, you can turn the heat down to medium low here. Cook, stirring nearly constantly, until they are golden brown all over. 

 

Next, add the capers, anchovies & chili flakes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another minute or two, until the anchovies have melted and the capers are starting to pop. Turn off the heat and pour the oil into a small bowl. Just before you're ready to use it, add a spoonful of preserved lemon juice.

 

When your oven is hot, you can start preparing your dough using the instructions on the right. After you've baked it a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil. Arrange your sunchoke and potato slices so that they're alternating and just barely overlapping, making concentric circles until you get to the center. Or, you know, just throw them on however you like, it's your pizza. 

 

Next, dot your pizza with evenly spaced dollops of ricotta. Lay a few whole ramps on top of everything, then drizzle with your chili-ramp oil. Bake until the crust is a nice golden brown and the ramps are starting to crisp up on the edges. Take it out, sprinkle a bit of lemon zest (if using), and enjoy! 

P.S. You can now follow Pizza Tuesdays on Bloglovin!

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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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