Olives and Lemons Spring PizzaApr 29, 2016Posted by Chef LeaPrint
Springtime is just warming up, here in New York State’s Hudson Valley. We’ve had some glorious, sunny days in the past few weeks but we’re not safe from hard frosts yet. That means there’s not much in the way of local Spring produce. Be grateful, you warm weather friends with your green garlic, sweet Spring onions, enticing asparagus, and fragrant herbs from the garden.
In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about transitional pizza pies from the pantry. No matter what the season, there is always olive oil, olives and cheeses. And since I can’t live without lemons, mine have been coming from Florida or California. So here is a light and bright pizza breaking through gloomy days like daffodils.
4 to 6 rounds of pizza dough (about 7 ounces or 200 grams each)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 scant cup dry-cured olives, pitted
1 cup Castelvetrano or Cerignola olives, pitted
2 cups fresh asiago cheese, grated
1 cup whole milk ricotta
4-5 T lemon, pitted
Combine the pitted olives and chop them into small pieces. The dry-cured olives are the stronger tasting. The Castelvetrano is a fresher-tasting olive. Together they create a mellow, balanced harmony.
Chop the lemon into small pieces, using rind and pulp.
If the ricotta seems watery, drain it before using.
Stretch the pizza rounds into 10-12-inch pies.
Drizzle olive oil on top. Sprinkle on the chopped olives and lemon. Top evenly with small, spoonfuls of the ricotta and spread the asiago cheese over the whole pie. Sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper. And as always with a delicious wfo pizza, less is more so show a bit of restraint when topping the rounds.
Fire this in a cooler wood fired oven, about 750 degrees. The flavors seem to meld better with the slightly longer cooking time.
For some contrasting texture, you can sprinkle on some toasted pine nuts or lightly dressed arugula once the pizza is done.
Ci sentiamo presto!