This is MY FIRST POST on the NEW BLOG.
Well, it's not exactly a new blog. It's my old blog. Made new again. I am up-cycling! Reuse, repurpose, recycle! For those of you who don't know, my brother John and I started a food blog back in 2010...what feels like a million years ago. We ran around the trip-state area like crazy people trying all manner of foods (mostly Italian) and telling people about them. I took the photos and wrote the recipes, John choreographed our dance moves:
Oh yes. That happened. My favorite accessory in the above video is the doorknob of John's bedroom butting into the frame. My filming skills have improved since then, though I'm not sure about John's.
And in that vein, John is taking a break from food blogging. But I am reinvigorated! So I'm back and I believe this blog will be better than ever (sorry, John).
The plan for this blog is to focus on Italian food. I know this cuisine best. I have a family history with it, and I've travelled extensively throughout Italy, even teaching cooking classes there.
As this is my introductory post, bringing my old blog back to life, I selected one of my favorite pizza recipes.
I have been deeply involved in pizza. This involvement became even deeper when I purchased, built and operated a mobile pizza truck. I am a fairly capable pizzaiola. "Fairly" doesn't cover it. I'm damn good. I'm all that and a vat of freshly made mozzarella.
And so, today I am here to bring you a slice of Italy, Elana style with a beautiful, beet pizza. I use multicolored beets to make it even more colorful. The taste of this pizza is both earthy and sweet and just a bit tangy from the cheese. You can even rest assured that it's healthy. Healthy PIZZA?! Yes, I said it.
So, let's get started:
Total Time: 1 hour
What you need:
1 round (think 12" in diameter, but feel free to make 2 smaller ones) of store bought or homemade pizza dough
4 beets of various colors (I used candy cane, red and golden)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided (or as needed)
1 package (5 oz) fresh spinach
1/2 cup gorgonzola or goat cheese, crumbled
Prepare the beets:
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Wash, pat dry and trim the leafy ends from the beets. Gently pierce some holes in the beets with a knife and loosely wrap them in foil.
Place on a baking sheet and roast in a 350°F oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. (Larger beets may take longer).
Remove the beets from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool, peel off their skins; slice into ⅛ inch rounds. Set-aside.
Increase the oven temperature to 500°F. If using a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat up along with the oven for 30 minutes before baking on it.
Stretch out the pizza dough on a pizza peel dusted with all-purpose flour to about 10-12 inches in diameter. If you don't have a pizza peel, simply line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly oil the parchment and place your stretched out dough on top.
Place a layer of spinach on top of the dough; top with the beets; sprinkle with the cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Slide your pizza onto your baking stone and into the oven; bake 8 - 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Once you slice the beets, you can re-bake them in the oven so they are extra crispy, like chips!
To do this, Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sliced beets on the parchment and lightly drizzle them with some olive oil.
Roast them in the oven for 10 minutes, flip them and roast another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. You don't want them too dark because you will be putting them back in the oven with your pizza!