Maggy’s been obsessed with pizza for a while, and now I’ve hopped on the pizza train. When you start to see the base as crisp sandwich bread or an edible salad bowl, pizza gets a whole lot broader!
Now I see pizza possibilities everywhere. The other day I was on Pinterest and saw this gorgeous herbed goat cheese tart with roasted beets which inspired me to take beets a pizza direction, and here it is.
Use whatever beets you can find to make the pizza, but for a stunning look, try to find a mix. Watch out for the more common red ones. They’ll stain anything that sidles up to them. Until you lay them on the pizza, keep them segregated.
Like any green, beet greens cook down to almost nothing. What few you get with a bunch of beetroots just isn’t enough to cook. But don’t toss them. They, in fact, make great salad greens. Just shred them finely, toss them with oil, salt, pepper and a little vinegar, and you’ve got a natural bed (or topping!) for the beets.
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad Pizza
I you’d prefer to use an 11- to 12-inch thin-crust store-bought pizza crust, you can! Just adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position, top as instructed and bake the cheese spread pizza in a 450-degree oven until crisp and spotty brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add beets and continue to bake another 5 to 7 minutes.
8 small beets or 4 large ones (a mix of colors is nice) beets trimmed, greens stemmed, both thoroughly washed and dried
1/2 cup each: part skim ricotta and fresh goat cheese
2 large garlic cloves
1 pound store-bought refrigerated pizza dough
Corn meal for sprinkling on pan
1/2 medium-large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
Salt and ground black pepper
Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each beet in foil and place on a small, rimmed baking pan. Roast until tender 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on beet size. When cool enough to handle, remove foil, peel (beet skins should slip right off), slice, (segregating if using different colors) and set aside.
Meanwhile, thinly shred washed and dried beet greens with a chef’s knife. (You’ll need about 4 cups.) Place in a medium bowl.
Mix ricotta, goat cheese, and garlic, adding enough water (1 to 2 tablespoons should do it) to make a spreadable mixture.
When ready to bake pizzas, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a dough scraper or a sharp knife, quarter dough crosswise. Working one at a time, stretch each portion into a rustic 12 – by 3 ½- to 4- inch rectangle; transfer to a large cornmeal-coated baking sheet. Spread each dough rectangle with a portion of the cheese mixture.
Bake until crust is golden, about 10 minutes. While pizzas bake, toss separately the beets and red onion with a light drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Remove pizzas from oven and arrange beets first, and then red onion onto each; return pizzas to oven. Continue to bake until pizzas are crisp and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes longer.
While pizzas bake, drizzle beet greens with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; toss to coat. Drizzle in 2 teaspoons of vinegar; toss to coat again. Taste and adjust seasonings. Top hot pizzas with beet greens; let wilt slightly and serve.