Thursday, November 06, 2008
ROASTED FALL VEGETABLE AND RICOTTA PIZZA
Wow. I’m down with putting potatoes (and more potatoes) and squash on pizza, and everyone knows roasted onions and garlic are splendid on anything, but I was skeptical about the carrots. Not to fear; this recipe from Everyday Food, which I mainly selected because I had leftover ricotta to use up, is one of those fabulous “I wish I’d thought of it sooner” combos. Paired with creamy cheese, these sweet, tender, caramelized vegetables make a great topping for a crisp crust. The result is a sophisticated and surprisingly rich pizza—after two pieces, my taste buds still wanted a third piece, but my belly was quite sated (a green salad makes a nice accompaniment to lighten things up).
This one is definitely being added to the pizza repertoire. Even though it takes some time to cut and roast the vegetables, barely any work is required of you after that, so this is still a pretty easy recipe that’s manageable on a weeknight. I think sweet potatoes would be a nice addition to the vegetable mix, maybe instead of the butternut squash if it’s not in season or you don’t want to futz with peeling and seeding it. I loaded my pizza pretty heavily with vegetables and still had about a cup of them left over, but I just stuck them in the fridge and ate them later in the week as a side dish with something else. Oh, and the original recipe calls for 2 cups of mozzarella—I cut it down to 1½ cups and might consider reducing it still further in the future. The cheese is nice and adds some needed moisture to the starchy vegetables and crust, but 2 cups is a lot, especially when you’re also using a cup of ricotta. The original recipe also calls for a final drizzle of olive oil before putting the pizza in the oven, but I also skipped that as unnecessary and didn’t miss it—it felt a bit like gilding the lily to be pouring oil on top of cheese.
For the roasted vegetables:
1 pound (about ½ medium) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound small red potatoes (6 to 7), well scrubbed and quartered
½ pound red onions (1 to 2), peeled and quartered
½ pound carrots (3 to 4 medium), halved lengthwise, if thick, and cut into 1½-inch lengths
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1½ tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
For the pizza:
1 pound pizza dough
6 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (1½ cups)
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Spread vegetables and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with oil, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and pepper to taste. Roast until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes, tossing them halfway through.
3. Brush a pizza pan (I use 9x12) with oil, roll out dough, and transfer to pan.
4. Sprinkle dough with half the mozzarella. Scatter vegetables on top (you may have extra vegetables left over), then dollop with ricotta. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and rosemary. Bake until bubbling and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Time: 1½ hours
Leftover potential: OK. The crust won’t be as crisp on the second day, but the toppings are still just as tasty.