The Pink Jewel Pizza

One of my biggest nightmares as a food enthusiast is my refrigerator/freezer breaking down on me. The thing is filled with specially curated items that I've picked up on countless shopping trips. Well, that is exactly what happened to me earlier this week. After throwing out half the contents of my fridge/freezer due to um, growths and such, I was feeling quite defeated. The only thing that would perk me up was a food shopping trip. My BFF Gill suggested that this was an opportunity to restock with different items, create masterpieces and, for your sake, blog about it! Of course, that's exactly what I did.

When starting over, buying the basics is easy and than you need to think about what you will create once you get home. I like to walk around slowly and see what catches my eye. If it makes my imagination wake up, you can be sure I will buy it. Well, I was feeling particularly happy when I spotted FRESH FIGS. To me, fresh figs are like jewels. I had to have them. Better yet, I had to make something spectacular. Fresh, sweet, juicy and totally exotic. The perfect ingredient. I couldn't just make my plain-old-best-thing-I-ever-ate Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza! That would be too easy and besides, that recipe calls for dried figs, which you can get all year. I spotted the beets next and since my husband requested Pizza for dinner, what happened next in my kitchen was a no brainer.

We normally associate the word "Pizza" as the classic marinara and cheese version. Dollar slices, satisfying as anything, super cheesy and saucy but let's face it-we all want more out of our pizza. I like to think of my pizza dough as a blank canvas. Just like pasta, pizza can handle almost any topping you throw on it. I was really feeling this Fig/Beet/Ricotta route and without knowing that I was having company, I proceeded to create this unusual, pink pizza. The best comment I received was, "What's this Pink stuff on it? It's so good" (It was the beets of course, he'd never eaten one in his life). Getting someone to eat vegetables that they would normally deem disgusting is a huge accomplishment for me. Having no leftovers though, is the best compliment of all. 

The Pink Jewel Pizza

1 Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
2 Medium Sized Beets
4-6 Fresh Figs
1 Tsp. Thyme
1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1 1/2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Freshly Cracked Salt and Pepper
2 Cups Arugula

Honey Balsamic Reduction

1 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbs. Honey 
1 Tbs. Brown Sugar

Start by making the Honey Balsamic Reduction. This part can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. It can also be used in many other applications so having a nice amount of it to keep in the fridge is great. Add all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce to simmer until the liquid coats the back of a spoon. Keep an eye on it to make sure that it does not burn. It should take 10-15 minutes to get to a syrupy consistency.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface. Peel the beets and than slice on a mandoline for optimal thinness. The beets need to be thin because you will not be cooking them separately and you don't want raw beets on your pizza! Next, slice the figs into thin rounds. To assemble the pizza, add half of the Mozzarella cheese, than add about 15-20 small dollops of Ricotta cheese. Arrange the sliced Beets and Figs on top of the cheeses. Next sprinkle on the Thyme, Salt and Pepper. Drizzle with Olive Oil and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 15-17 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Top with Arugula and Balsamic Reduction. Enjoy! 

Cheese Base-Mozz&Ricotta
Beets-Figs-Thyme-Olive Oil-Salt-Pepper
Just a bit more cheese now... because I love you.
Fresh Out of the Oven!
A Few More Finishing Touches...


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