Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Garlic Scapes and Pizza

I get very excited when the garlic scapes appear at the store...they are incredibly delicious, especially to a garlic lover!  They look sort of like a mass of twisted green wires when they are all in a pile, but scrumptious wires they are!  What they are is actually young garlic, for those of you who are wondering what the heck I am talking about.  They are harvested before they develop the white garlic bulb...and are more mild than a full grown clove of garlic.  My favorite way to eat them is roasted in the oven in a bit of olive oil when they are crispy...but I also enjoy them in a pesto!  So tonight when I was making my pizza I decided to make a pesto out of them and spread it on the crust under the toppings.  I had some Italian Sottocenere cheese with truffle that I thought would be wonderful on the pizza along with a bit of mushrooms, shallots and pine nuts.  I am always trying new interesting cheeses, and this one did not dissapoint! It was creamy, buttery and melted wonderfully...and of course the truffles were a delicious addition.  The pizza as a whole was wonderful with the scape pesto, exotic cheese and mushrooms all married together on the cracker thin crust.  My only complaint was that it was gone too quick! 

Pizza with Garlic Scape Pesto, Mushrooms, Pine Nuts, Italian Sottocenere with Truffle, and Mozzarella Cheeses

Makes 2 10 inch pizzas
2 whole wheat pizza crusts store bought or home made (see my recipe below)

16 garlic scapes
olive oil

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
juice of 2 large lemons
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
4 oz Italian Sottocenere with Truffle or other melting cheese with truffle
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
a few fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

A good quality pizza stone is essential to a crispy crust. Place the stone on the highest rack in the oven, then crank up the heat as high as possible at least an hour before baking the pizza (but if you don't have a stone, still use the top rack, but you will need to leave the pizza on a sheet pan to bake). Line a sheet pan with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. Toss scapes with a little olive oil, and scatter on the pan. Roast for about 10-15 minutes in the hot oven until softened and browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  In a food processor, combine scapes, about a Tbsp olive oil, pine nuts, lemon juice, and sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Process until smooth, adding water if necessary.  In a large non-stick skillet, heat about 1 Tbsp olive oil, and add shallots, cooking until softened about 4 minutes, then add mushrooms and cook until tender and starting to release juices.  Remove from heat.  To assemble pizzas, place one piece of the dough on a piece of parchment paper, spray rolling pin with non-stick spray and roll out as thin as possible (about 10 inches is best) Repeat with other piece of dough using another sheet of parchment. Sprinkle salt and pepper over crust, then spread each with pesto, and scatter over the mushrooms, shallots, then the mozzarella and Sottocenere. Using a pizza peel, or an upside down sheet pan, carefully slide the dough (keeping it on the parchment) into the oven. Bake for about 3-5 minutes, or until crust is starting to brown and cheese is bubbling. Carefully slide the parchment onto a sheet pan or pizza peel to remove from oven. Scatter the basil over the pizza and serve!
Amy's Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
Makes 8 10 inch crusts

4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Pkgs rapid-rise yeast
2 cups warm water

To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center, pour in the water and then dissolve the yeast in the water. Gradually stir the flour into the water mixture, until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface, then knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Oil a large bowl with olive oil, then place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area, such as near the oven, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk. When dough has risen, punch down and divide into 8 pieces. You can either freeze the dough in individual portions (just place in ziplock bags and take out the night before you want to use it, then it will be ready to use the next day), or set aside to use right away. If making the recipe above, you will need two crusts.


Belinda @zomppa said...

I love the pesto!

Elin said...

This must be delicious ! Can see that the ingredients are great combo. Thanks for sharing :)

Duchess said...

Looks amazing! I'm definitely going to try it!