Monday, June 18, 2012

Balsamic Pizza

I was thinking of making a savory galette after reading about them in the L.A. Times.  However, I put on a bit of manicotti weight and did not think it was a good idea to have pie crust for my next adventure.

This did give me the chance to use the goat's milk quark, and it worked splendidly.  The experiment cost me about $5, but I got over half a pound of cheese out of it, which is at least $8 at the market.  More like $12.  If that's too rich for you, either go for the less-expensive mozzarella or cut the amount in half.  Or both.

The dough is a basic low-fat wheat dough.  It can be used for any pizza.

1 C whole wheat flour
1-1/2 C or more flour
*1 Tb honey
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 lb shallots
1/4 lb crimini (or portobella) mushrooms
1 C frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 Tb oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 C pine nuts
8 oz chevre

1.  Dissolve yeast and honey in 1 C 100º water and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.  In stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine water with the wheat flour.  Beat to make a batter, about 2 minutes.  Add 1 C white flour and 1/2 tsp salt and beat again to make a very thick batter.  If too thin to work with hands, beat in another 1/2 C white flour before turning out dough to a board.

2.  Turn out dough onto well-floured board and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, adding as little flour as necessary.  Turn in lightly oiled bowl to coat all surfaces of the dough and place in a warm area until doubled, about 45 minutes.  Punch down and let rest for 10 minutes.

3.  While dough is resting, thinly slice shallots and mushrooms and mince garlic.  Heat a large skillet and toast the pine nuts with a little salt.  Remove nuts from pan and set aside.

4.  Grease a non-stick cookie sheet, or use a silpat, or use a well-seasoned pizza stone with corn meal scattered on it.  Whatever you can think of to keep the dough from sticking.  Roll or press out dough into a pizza shape and place on cooking surface.  Preheat oven to 400º.

5.  Drizzle oil into that large skillet you just used and heat on medium.  Sauté onions until they soften.  Add garlic, mushrooms, spinach, rosemary, and 1/4 tsp salt and cook until mushrooms are wilted as much as you like on your pizza.  Add balsamic vinegar and bask in the awesomeness of the aroma until most of the moisture has been absorbed.  Remove from heat.

6.  Spread veggie mixture evenly over pizza dough, leaving half an inch around the edges for the crust. Dot top with crumbled chevre, then sprinkle with pine nuts.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until crust is done and well-browned.  Cut and serve immediately.

makes 1 large pizza (at least 4 servings, but I'm not going to judge)

Difficulty rating :-0

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