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Beet, Leek and Goat Cheese Pizza

Wed Apr 16, 2008

Beet, Leek and Goat Cheese Pizza

Beet, Leeks and Goat Cheese Pizza

Every time you flip through your favorite cooking magazine or cookbook, you’re looking at a recipe that’s been tested and re-tested and then tested again, sometimes over generations. All of the kinks have been worked out—the ingredients measured to the tenth-of-an-ounce, the cooking times dialed to the second, the methods determined and then refined. When you’re making up the recipe yourself you have two options. You can wait to write about the dish until it’s all sorted out. Or, you can lay it all out on the table en medias res. A little peek into the oven while the dish is only half-baked, as it were.

Inspired by the gorgeous crimson-colored beets and bright green leeks I bought last Sunday at the Hollywood farmers market (and the Saturday Night Live Top Chef skit with Christopher Walken), I decided to create a beet pizza minus the stale peep foam. The ingredient list was simple, crust, roasted beets, leeks, goat cheese, toasted pistachios, mint and a little salt and pepper. The combination seemed good, on paper, but I wasn’t sure how it would play out on crust.

The first problem I had was with the pizza dough. I tried a new recipe from the Silver Spoon, which looked gorgeous but came out really dry. It tasted more like a RyeKrisp cracker than pizza dough. I also decided that the beets and goat cheese would be best room temperature. So I seasoned the leeks and baked the pizza, then topped it with the beets, cheese, nuts and chiffonade of mint. While not cooking the beets on the pizza was a good call, not warming the cheese probably wasn’t. The flavors all gelled, but nothing stuck. Literally. Beets, pistachio shards and clumps of goat cheese tumbled off the pizza like Jack and Jill down the hill. It was not my finest dinner and cleaning beet stains off the table was maddening to say the least.

I’m not done, though. I plan to try this dish again. I’ll sort out the dough, caramelize the leeks and cook the cheese (and maybe add some shredded mozzarella, too). Nonetheless I’m glad it didn’t work. There’s a lot of joy in the mishaps. And even more in the re-defining. A dish, you know, is like a person—it needs time to evolve.

In the meantime, if you’ve got any thoughts, please share!

From the kinks: Happy Experimenting!

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3 Responses to “Beet, Leek and Goat Cheese Pizza”

 
  1. White On Rice Couple Says:

    This is the perfect pizza for me: beets, leeks, goat cheese, nuts , herbs and messy. I enjoy eating with my hands and often find myself picking the topping off my pizza before I take the first bite. It’s not uncommon to find food tumbling down the hill, onto my lap. I might be clumsy, but I really do enjoy my food!
    I’ve had so much luck with the pizza/flat bread recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes cookbook. There’s no turning back for me now!
    I can’t wait to for my garden beets to finally get bigger. When they do get to at least the size of my thumb, I’ll certainly try your pizza in addition to the baby beet greens on top. Thanks for the rec on using mozzarella cheese, but I won’t use too much because I still want to be able to pick off my topping. Merci Beaucoup!

  2. Kimi Says:

    I gave your blog an Exellent rating! If you would like to pass this along and get the badge, just check out my blog posting!

  3. mustafa Says:

    thanks for this sharing

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