Broccoli Raab and Ricotta Cream Pizza
We start with rich and smooth ricotta cheese and heavy cream for a luscious base. Then we top it with caramelized onions for sweetness, Meyer lemon for its bright zing of citrus flavor, and the herbaceous bitterness of broccoli raab adds an interesting element to round out the exciting palette of flavors. This is another great summer pizza that can be served as an appetizer or entrée.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, onions and salt. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and sweet, but still showing some red color.
Form one dough ball to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Depending on your personal preference, place the dough on a pizza peel with enough flour or corn meal beneath to allow the pizza to slide easily — or assemble your pizza on the work surface and then slide the peel underneath at the last minute. Either way, the less time the dough spends on the peel, the less likely it is to stick.
Fold the whipped cream into the ricotta. Use a soft spatula to spread half of it onto the pizza. Top with half of the shallots and onions, half of the lemon slices and half of the broccoli raab. Transfer to the oven or grill and cook until the crust is done.
Drizzle with olive oil before serving.
How to make pizza in the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven
(3 minute cooking time)
Preheat the oven with the upper and lower burner controls set to HIGH for 35 minutes. Turn the lower burner control to LOW before cooking your first pizza. Your total cooking time should be 2 to 3 minutes. Note: you can begin cooking in as little as 20 minutes, but your total cooking time will increase to as much as 5 minutes.
Transfer the pizza to the oven. The edge of the pie near the fire will cook the most quickly. Rotate the pizza a quarter turn as the crust near the fire reaches your desired color, about every 30 seconds. Check the bottom of the dough at every turn to evaluate the color. If the bottom of the dough reaches the desired cooking point, insert a pizza screen under the pizza to keep the crust from browning further. I like the bottom of my pizza to be golden brown with a smattering of black, caramelized accents. If you do find yourself using the screen, you may wish to switch to using a Tipo 00 Italian flour in your dough recipe. This flour, traditionally used in Neapolitan pizza, has a much higher burning point than conventional flour.
Remove and serve when the perimeter is golden brown and beginning to blister.
How to make pizza on the Grill
(10 minute cooking time)
Preheat the grill with the hood closed and a pizza stone on the grill grate in the indirect cooking zone until the stone is thoroughly heated to 500ºF. This can require up to 1 hour. (Most stones must be used in the indirect zone. Very few can be placed directly over the fire.)
Transfer the pizza to the stone. Close the hood and cook for about 10 minutes. Rotate as needed for even cooking. Remove from the grill when the crust is golden brown.
Note: Because of the extra prep work involved in caramelizing the onions and shallots, this recipe is written to yield 2 pizzas.
- 1 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 28 ounces, split into two equal parts
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Three large shallots, sliced lengthwise
- 2 small red onions, sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped (for this small amount, I suggest whipping the cream by hand with a whisk)
- 1 Meyer lemon, sliced as thin as possible, peel and pith removed
- Tender tips and leaves from 4 to 5 stems broccoli raab, chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil