Earlier this week I read a wonderful article in The Atlantic online by Austin’s own Carol Ann Sayle, co-owner and co-founder of Boggy Creek Farms. In “Eat Shoots and Leaves: A Case for the Whole Vegetable”, Sayle argues that even conscious eaters among us waste a great deal food and money by discarding the greens that are attached to our CSA produce. (The greens attached to grocery store produce are DOA before the veggies even arrive at the store, but that’s another matter.) In her article, Sayle suggested a few recipes for salads that utilize radish greens, beet greens, and more. My imagination was piqued. Inspired by Sayle’s column, I devised this recipe for roasted beet pizza that utilizes the whole veggie. The sweet, earthy flavor of the beets is offset by salty goat cheese, pungent onions and garlic, and slightly bitter beet greens. A whole wealth of flavors is captured in each bite! Many thanks to Carol Ann for the inspiration.
A few notes about the preparation: I found this recipe to be a bit involved for a weeknight. However, by roasting the beets and making the pizza dough the night before, I was able to put dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes! Since this recipe makes enough for 2 medium pies, I was able to put dinner on my friends Nathan and Amy‘s table, too! I owe Amy big time for taking my picture each day as I embark on the 30×30 challenge. If you’re not in the favor-returning market, just prepare one pizza. The dough and all the toppings will keep in the fridge for a few days until you’re ready for pizza number two.
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza (makes two medium pies, each pie serves 2-3 people)
The day before: prepare pizza dough and roast one beet. My favorite pizza dough is NY Times writer Mark Bittman’s; step by step instructions with photos & recipe here. To roast beet, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub beet clean and cut off the greens and root end. Save greens in the fridge for later and discard the straggly root. Drizzle the beet with olive oil and wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil. Bake on a cookie sheet in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until beet is tender. Place whole, roasted beet in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
When you’re ready to make the pizza, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Remove pizza dough from fridge and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare the toppings:
1/2 yellow onion, sliced as thin as you can manage
1 beet, roasted according to instructions above and chopped into small pieces
4 oz. goat cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil for drizzling
salt and pepper
1 bunch beet greens, stalks removed, sliced into thin ribbons
balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Once toppings are ready to go, prepare two cookie sheets or pizza pans with baking parchment. Roll out pizza crusts, one at a time, on a floured surface until they are the correct size for your pans. Mine ended up at 14 x 10 inches, but any size and shape will work. Transfer to the prepared pans.
Brush each crust with a tablespoon of olive oil and top pizzas with sliced onions, minced garlic, chopped beets, salt and pepper. Use your fingers to break goat cheese up, distributing the 4 oz. of cheese evenly between the two pizzas. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, pull the pizzas out and top with beet greens. Bake an additional 3-4 minutes, until greens are bright green and tender. Drizzle finished pizza with balsamic vinegar immediately before serving.