This recipe was created exclusively to pair with the 2009 Ancient Vines Zinfandel from Cline Cellars. Though the vines are ancient, the wine is a modern dance of pepper and sass, with dark berries and a hint of vanilla. With its 100-year-old roots nested deeply in Oakley, California, notes of eucalyptus are also present.
I made this pizza for the first time at my bi-weekly Supper Club. My guests are guinea pigs for much of my culinary voodoo, like my black bean brownies. While our pizza night included such standards as pizza margherita, mushroom and olive, etc., this one was a surprise hit! Since then, I have featured this pizza many times as a main course, often to friends fighting over the last piece.
The Pizza Dough
1/2 teaspoon yeast
3/4 t. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cup tepid water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1. In a large mixing bowl add the water, yeast and olive oil.
2. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
3. Add the flour and salt, mix into a homogenous ball.
4. Cover the mixture with a damp towel and let stand for 20 minutes.
6. Place on a floured tray and cover with plastic wrap.
7. Let it sit at room temperature for 4 hours or more.
Don't toss those beet greens! See our quick recipe below for turning them into a yummy side dish.
3 large red and golden beets
Arugula, for garnish
1 tablespoon of olive oil or more as needed
1. Trim the beet greens from the beets and wrap the beet in tinfoil.
2. Place in a baking dish and bake at 450 degrees for about an hour, or until tender.
3. Let cool.
4. Remove tinfoil, peel and slice beets paper thin.
Shaping and Baking the Pizza
1. Heat the baking sheet on your oven's highest temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Line the backside of a sheetpan with a layer of parchment paper.
3. Tap the dough center to deflate it then flatten it by pressing it down with your fingers.
4. Grab it along the edges and turn it like you would a steering wheel.
5. Grab the very edge so it is not paper thin in the middle nor very thick at the edge.
6. Give the dough a final stretch with the back of your hands to correct the shape.
7. Set the unbaked crust on the parchment paper.
8. Top with a thin layer of olive oil.
9. Quickly, open the oven, pull the rack out partway, and slide the pizza with the parchment onto the already hot pan or pizza-stone in the oven. Push it back and close the door.
10. After 5 minutes, add the beets and blue cheese.
11. Bake it for another 2 minutes.
12. Top with chopped arugula and enjoy!
Top with pine nuts or for a sweeter pizza, chopped candied walnuts.
Drizzle with a balsamic reduction and add fresh thyme.
Beet GreensRemove the beet greens from the larger stem and chop them into 1" squares. Finely chop 1/4 of the larger stem that is furthest from the beet. Toss with olive oil and crushed garlic over a medium heat until thoroughly cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.
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