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Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza

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Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza

Beets and their delicious greens are the topping for this pizza.

©2009 Jessica Harlan licensed to About.com, Inc.
This simple, elegant pizza makes the most of farmer's market beets and their edible greens. The beets themselves are roasted (using an easy, less messy method I learned from the New York Times), and the greens are sautéed, then both are used to top a pizza crust, along with a generous crumbling of goat cheese, which is a classic accompaniment to beets' sweet earthiness. If you can't find beets that still have their greens intact, substitute about 4 cups any tender leafy green, such as spinach, arugula or chard. Use homemade pizza dough, or buy premade dough at your local pizzeria or at a supermarket. (Larger image.)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound beets with greens
  • Extra virgin olive oil ( 3 to 4 tablespoons, divided)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Dough for 1 pizza, either homemade or store bought
  • All-purpose flour, semolina or cornmeal, for dusting
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Cut beet greens from the beets and reserve. Trim the stems from the beets and peel them. Then cut them into 1/2 inch cubes and spread them on the foil-lined pan. (Some juice will come off on your hands and the cutting board, but you can get most of it off if you wash your hands and any surfaces right away) Drizzle the beets with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and papper, stirring or tossing with a spatula to coat completely. Loosely cover the pan with another sheet of aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour, removing the foil after about 20 minutes. Beets should be tender when pierced with a fork. Reserve until you're ready to assemble the pizza.

  2. Meanwhile, remove any tough stems from the beet greens and roughly chop them. Wash them thoroughly and dry them in a salad spinner or by squeezing them gently in a clean dishtowel. In a skillet heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil, tilting pan to spread over the bottom of the pan. Add the shallot and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is translucent. Add the greens and cook, turning with a spatula, until they begin to wilt down. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, until wilted and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. To make the pizza, turn oven temperature up to 400˚F. On a flour-dusted surface, roll or pat pizza dough into a circle, about 10 to 12 inches in diameter. If you have a pizza peel and a baking stone, you can do this directly on the peel, as long as you dust it with cornmeal and shake the peel occasionally to make sure the pizza is not sticking. Otherwise, if you are cooking the pizza on a pizza pan, dust the pan with flour or cornmeal and form the dough on the pan. Brush the pizza with olive oil, and evenly spread the roasted beets and beet greens over the pizza. Sprinkle evenly with crumbled goat cheese. If using a pizza peel and a stone, carefully slide the pizza off the peel onto the pizza stone. If using a pan, place pan in the oven. Bake at 400˚F for 10 to 15 minutes, until exposed crust is turning golden and firm, and goat cheese is beginning to turn light golden. Let pizza rest for a few minutes, then use a pizza cutter or a knife to cut into wedges.

This recipe for Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza serves 4 people.

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