Spring Pizza

If this pizza looks familiar it’s because it was made from leftovers from my last post. My point? You can put anything on a pizza. Let me repeat that. You can put anything on a pizza. How dare he put anything on a pizza!? The pizza police might issue a warrant for my arrest but in my defense I can say that over the years I’ve made plenty of leftover pizzas and never had one that wasn’t delicious. Okay, maybe that one time a long time ago with the chorizo, pineapple and sardines but I blame on.. Tequila. Trust me on this, with leftover pizzas the odds are on your side.

Let me deconstruct it for you. A layer of Robiola bechamel tops the pizza dough (which was leftover from a spinach lasagna that I haven’t posted yet) and on top goes asparagus tips, fresh peas, fava beans and a pesto puree. I had three quail eggs who faced an uncertain future in my refrigerator so I found them a new purpose as pizza topping. They seem to be okay with it. I finished the spring pizza with a few thin slices of Coppa, an Italian cured meat from the top of the pork shoulder with bold taste and perfect fat-to-meat ratio. How can this possibly not be delicious?

  • Spring Pizza

  • Makes 2 pizza
    • For Jim Lahey pizza dough:
    • 3 3/4 cups (500 grams) bread flour
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) active dry yeast
    • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
    • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) sugar
    • 1 1/3 cup (300 grams) water, room temp’
    • XV olive oil
    • For the spring topping:
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 2 cups milk
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 creamy Robiola cheese
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup fresh peas, blanched
    • 1/2 cup fava beans, blanched
    • 1 handful asparagus tips, blanched and sliced
    • 1 bunch basil, leaves only
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 or 5 slices of Coppa or Proscuitto
    • 6 quail eggs
    • For the pizza dough:
    • In a bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon mix until blended, at least 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
    • Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface, divide into two halves and cover with moistened kitchen towel for 30 minutes.
    • When ready to cook, roll out the dough on a floured surface to the desired size and thickness. Place on a floured pizza peel or the back of a baking tray. Brush olive oil over the whole surface.
    • For the pizza:
    • Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500’F.
    • In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. About 2 minutes. Add the milk and bring to a boil while whisking. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    • Cut the Robiola cheese in half, remove the rind and discard, dice the cheese and melt it into the hot bechamel. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the egg yolks until smooth.
    • Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch the basil leaves for 15 seconds. Drain and cool in cold running water. Squeeze out the excess water. Place in a blender with the garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper and blend while adding the olive oil until you obtain a smooth puree. Add a few tablespoons of water if necessary.
    • Top the pizza dough with a layer of Robiola bechamel. Top with asparagus tips, fresh peas and fava beans. Slide the pizza into the oven for about 12 minutes. When the crust is golden, carefully break the quail eggs on the pizza and bake for 3 minutes more, or until set. Remove the pizza from the oven and spoon some basil puree in spots. Top with sliced coppa or proscuitto and serve.
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