Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Double Crust Pizza with Mustard Greens, Ricotta, and Caramelized Onions

Kirsten made me an amazing birthday dinner and I promised to return the favor. I knew I had to impress and I also know that I make an awesome pizza. What better way to celebrate someone's birthday than make a crazy pizza you've never made before? If you think so too, you're much like me. Fortunately, I have a lot of bravado in the kitchen and just assume everything will work out, even when you change the broccoli raab to mustard greens because that's more easily accessible. It did and we were very happy and very full. The sangria helped, especially because I put them in Kerr and Ball mason jars. Because K and B. Get it? Yeah, I'm awesome. And now, pizza!

Double Crust Pizza with Mustard Green, Ricotta, and Caramelized Onions slightly modified from Herbivoracious:

Serves 4

½ recipe pizza dough (I subbed in ½ c. whole wheat flour)
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 large white onions (or 3 medium), thinly sliced
Kosher salt
1 lb. mustard greens, cut into 1/2" lengths
½ tsp-ish crushed red pepper (I like it spicy!)
1 lb. fresh ricotta (drain if runny)
Zest of ½ orange

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add two tablespoons olive oil, the onions, and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until completely tender and deeply caramelized, at least one hour. If they start to burn at all, lower the heat. You can do this step the day before and refrigerate (which I recommend).

Add two more tablespoons (or just two new ones if you do this the next day, like me) of olive oil and raise heat to medium high. When the oil is shimmering, add the mustard greens, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the chili flakes and cook, stirring occasionally until completely tender. We aren't looking for crisp-tender here, these greens should be fully hammered, about 15 minutes. If it is getting there, add a few tablespoons of water and cover to steam them a bit. Taste and add more salt if needed. I did this and they were perfect. It always amazes me how a huge pile of greens can shrink so much.

Place a pizza stone in the oven (if you have one) and preheat to 475 degrees. Dust a peel generously with cornmeal (if you have one). Roll out half of the dough to a 12 inch circle and place on the prepared peel. I did all of this on a pizza pan I have that my parents gave me when I moved to Portland. It’s not as amazingly perfect as a pizza stone + peel combo, but it does work really, really well. Brush the dough with olive oil. Spread the ricotta over the dough, leaving a 1-inch margin all the way around. Top the ricotta with the caramelized onions, mustard greens, and orange zest. Roll the other half of the dough out to the same size and lay in on top. Press and crimp the edge all the way around. Cut a few vent holes in the top. Brush the top with more olive oil.
Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Rotate it once after about 15 minutes to make sure it bakes evenly. Carefully remove from the oven. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

This is so ridiculously good! The spicy mustard greens are cooled by the ricotta and the orange zest adds some brightness. I’ll admit that Kirst and I each had another piece even though I had made a cake as well because it was just so good! Yeah, you’ll be hearing about that cake soon.

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