Zaza's Perfect Poached Artichoke Pie
At first Zaza isn't quite sure what to make of artichokes. They are kind of pointy. What parts do you even eat? And how? Can you put them on a pizza?
You sure can! You can steam artichokes or peel them down to the hearts.
Zaza decides to steam them. Mostly because she thinks steamed artichokes lend themselves nicely to becoming ball gowns.
And who doesn't like a ball gown?
Once you are done prancing around the house in your gown, break out the pizza peels and add these extra ingredients for Zaza's Perfect Poached Artichoke Pie:
Makes eight 4-5” mini pizzas
2 large rounds homemade or store bought pizza dough, separated into 5 mini dough balls.
1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
freshly ground black pepper
red pepper flakes
Heat the oven to 500 degrees. If using a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat up along with the oven for a half hour before baking on it.
Prepare the artichokes according to the recipe on the next page.
Stretch out your dough on a cornmeal-dusted peel into mini pizza sizes:
about4-5” in diameter, and brush the tops with olive oil.
Spread the ricotta cheese over the top of the dough in a thin, even layer.
Place two of the artichoke quarters on top of the cheese, per mini pizza.
Drizzle some Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil over the top, and sprinkle with a little sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and an extra squeeze of lemon juice.
Slide your mini pizzas onto the stone in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and garnish with more freshly chopped mint and parsley.
Instructions for the Artichokes:
Trim the artichokes. Using a sharp knife, cut off the tough outer leaves, removing about two inches of leaves from the artichoke. Also trim one inch from the tops of all the artichokes. Cut the trimmed artichokes into quarters, scraping out the fuzzy heart and stem area.
Rub the artichoke quarters with lemon, and add the all the trimmed artichokes to a bowl filled with cold water and the juice from 1 lemon.
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil in saucepan on your stove top over medium-low heat. Add the crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, mint, parsley and lemon slices and allow to simmer softly for about 3 minutes.
Pour 3/4 cup each of wine and 1/2 cup water to the pan. Drain the artichokes from the bowl of water, and season them with a sprinkle of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Add them to the saucepan and increase the heat to medium.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer, covered for about 20-25 minutes. The artichokes should be tender. Remove them from the heat and reserve for the pizza.
Alternately, this pizza is fantastic on the grill. If you’d like to grill this pie, heat up your grill and oil the grate.
Before you begin, it’s handy to have a few things in place: Position all your topping in bowls alongside the grill. It may be necessary to pull up a small table next to the grill for this purpose. Make sure your cheese is waiting in a bowl, as well as the poached artichokes. Have some extra olive oil handy, the chopped herbs, salt, pepper and lemon. It’s also a good idea to have some tongs and oven mitts at the ready (things get hot) and a platter or cutting board for your finished pizza.
Instead of dusting a peel with cornmeal, brush both sides of the stretched-out pizza dough with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Place the stretched-out dough (without toppings!) directly onto the grill grate, and close the lid. Let it bake for about 2 minutes (this goes very quickly!).
Open the lid and using the tongs, flip the crust to the other side. Starting with the cheese, place all the toppings on the pizza as neatly and quickly as possible. Don’t forget the seasonings! Close the lid and allow to bake for another 2-3 minutes.
Finally, remove the pizza from the grill (use those tongs again) and place it onto a serving platter. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top. Serve!