Beet Crust Pizza

I'm a baker at heart. I love cookies and cakes and pies and anything sweet. My love for baking is what really concentrated my interest in cooking and food in general. When it comes to preparing a savory meal, I usually just rely on recipes I find online, but ever since I started my internship, I've been challenging myself to try to create my own recipes and concepts. 

Using the idea of beet dough for ravioli that Daniel developed a few weeks back, I figured, why not make a purple pizza? 

The beet dough in the ravioli isn't an overpowering flavor, it just seems to add a bit of sweetness to each bite. The main reason for using beets is simply because of the perfect purple color. 

This recipe is easy, and it's detailed at the bottom of the post. 

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I began by juicing two roasted beets and working the juice into a basic pizza dough. Just use the beet juice in place of water. After, I let it rise, rolled it out, and it was ready to go. 

You can find fresh prosciutto at your local deli, and I buy organic asparagus and spinach. The goat cheese is also locally sourced and mixed with chopped, sautéed mushrooms. Use whatever cheese you fancy, I used Parmesan. 

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    For the sake of keeping the asparagus from rolling off the pizza, I peeled and sliced them in half. 

    Daniel made the sauce. He tells me its a basic shallot and garlic confit. For those of us who don't speak culinary, this basically means garlic + cream + butter + flour + shallots all cooked together on a skillet. The secret here is the butter. Use a lot of it. It's okay, you'll be fine. Just do it. 

    The best advice I have for this pizza is just to layer your flavors. I started with the sauce, the thinnest ingredient, and added from there. I wanted the heaviest ingredient, the asparagus, on top. 

    The spinach and asparagus is uncooked as it roasts nicely in the oven. It really adds a crunch to the pizza. A healthy crunch. So bonus there.

    Once it's assembled, I put it in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes. The sides of the dough were browned and the prosciutto was perfectly crunchy. All these colors make me a very happy girl. 

    Heads up: the recipe is a little vague. I maybe sort of made it up as I went along. But that's the beauty of a pizza, you can't just do what you like. There is no baking chemistry involved in the toppings so just do what looks good to you.

    Dough Ingredients:
    1 3/4 cup warm beet juice (between 120-130 degrees to activate the yeast)
    1 package of dry, active yeast
    2 teaspoons salt
    4 cups flour
    3 tablespoons olive oil

    Sauce Ingredients:
    1 tablespoon butter
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 tablespoons shallots, chopped
    1 tablespoon flour
    1 cup heavy cream

    Topping Ingredients:
    2 beets, roasted, juiced
    Handful of fresh spinach, I left the stems on
    4 stalks of asparagus, peeled
    Prosciutto
    Goat cheese, crumbled
    Red onions
    Your choice of cheese, grated
    Olive oil, as needed, for rolling out the dough

    Dough Directions:

    1. Roast the beets at 350 until tender. Once roasted, the skins should peel off easily. Slice and juice. Reserve the juice.

    2. In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm beet juice and allow to activate, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the salt and 2 cups of flour. Pulse until blended.

    3. Add the beet juice mixture, olive oil, and remaining flour to the food processor. Pulse and scrape the sides of the bowl until well blended. 

    4. Once combined, place the dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to set and double in size. About 45 minutes.

    5. Once dough has doubled in size, punch it down and work it until gluten has formed. Divide the dough in half. (Did I mention it makes two pizzas?)

     

    Sauce Directions:

    1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the shallots and garlic.

    2. Add flour and garlic. Whisk together until a paste forms.

    3. Add cream and cook until you reach a thick consistency. 

     

    Pizza Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350, and roll out the dough and place on a greased cookie sheet.

    2. Add a layer of sauce followed by strips of prosciutto, cheese, spinach, and asparagus. 

    Like I stated earlier, building the pizza is totally up to you! Just play with it and do whatever makes you happy. 

    3. Once assembled, bake the pizza at 350 for about 10 minutes or until the crust edges have browned. 

     

    Enjoy this beautiful pizza! Thanks for reading.

    xoxo,
    e