Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Market + Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza

Another great weekend purchasing veggies and other goodies at the markets of Brooklyn.

First, from Saturday: another pint of blueberries, more amazing sugar snap peas from Evolutionary Organics, rhubarb (!!), summer squash, kirby cucumbers, and assorted green and yellow beans.

And from Sunday: an enormous head of lettuce, a bunch of cilantro, assorted apples, a small sourdough from Amy's Breads, and the most delicious goat cheese of all time from Coach Farm. For real. It's amazing. Next time there will be aged goat cheese, which I tried at the market stand -- oh my Lord. The triple cream aged goat cheese, obviously, is incredible. It will be a splurge purchase one of these weeks, no doubt.

Doesn't this photo look so Parisian? As if it should all be tied up in a basket for a picnic on the Seine. Yes?

Onto the new projects. How could Smitten Kitchen's post about this pizza not make you drool? I'd invited my roommates from my junior year of college (Dance Party Junior Senior No Pants LoRise, holler back!) over for a late brunch on Sunday, and clearly needed to impress them by making this pizza from scratch, dough and all.

I chose Barbara Kingsolver's recipe for pizza dough over the one from Smitten Kitchen, mostly because it makes two batches and because it uses a mixture of wheat and white flours, which seemed like a better bet than an all-white dough. I love Barbara Kingsolver, and her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle definitely inspired me to start purchasing more at farmer's markets. She writes of tales and recipes from her family's year of eating locally, including their Friday night homemade pizza tradition.

Barbara Kingsolver's Friday Night Pizza Dough (makes two twelve inch pizzas):

3 tsp. yeast
1½ cups WARM water
3 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2½ cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour

To make crust, dissolve the yeast into the warm water and add oil and salt to that mixture.

Mix the flours and knead them into the liquid mixture.

Let dough rise for 30 to 40 minutes.

Once the dough has risen, divide it in half and roll out two round 12 inch pizza crusts on a clean, floured countertop, using your fingers to roll the perimeter into on outer crust as thick as you like. Using spatulas, slide the crusts onto well floured pans or baking stones and spread toppings. Bake pizzas at 425° for about 15-20 minutes, until crust is brown and crisp.

And now for the Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese pizza itself:

1 batch Simplest Pizza Dough or a store-bought pizza dough that will yield one small (approx. 11 to 12 inches across), thin pizza
1 lemon
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
Few leaves of fresh basil, cut into thin slivers (had chives, so used those instead)
1/2 medium yellow zucchini, sliced as thinly as you can pull off
1/2 medium green zucchini, sliced as the same as above
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Roll your pizza dough into a thin 12-inch circle and lay it on a tray or stone that has been dusted lightly with cornmeal. (I just used parchment paper instead.)

In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese with the juice of half your lemon.

Season it with salt and freshly ground pepper, and spread it over your pizza dough.

Scatter fresh basil slivers over the cheese. Arrange your zucchini coins in concentric circles over the goat cheese spread, overlapping them slightly. You can alternate their colors, if you’re feeling fancy.

Squeeze the juice of the second half of your lemon on top of you zucchini, then drizzle with olive oil and finish with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes (your baking time will vary, so please watch carefully), or until the edges of your pizza are golden brown and the zucchini looks roasted and a little curled up at the edges.

Having never really made a dough from scratch before, this recipe felt like quite the endeavor. It ended up being relatively easy, and enjoyable to boot. Who doesn't like squishing dough between their fingers and watching it magically double in size?

The pizza came out great. The lemony goat cheese combo is awesome, and the dough is puffy but hearty. Great stuff, and I'll definitely use the dough recipe again with other toppings.

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