Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Oh green tomatoes and pattypan squash. There's been so much of you this summer! It seems like every time I open my refrigerator door hoping irrationally to find some chocolate (irrationally because I didn't buy any chocolate), there you are instead. And you're so demanding all the time. You require some kind of preparation, always hinging on whether or not I can work up the energy to stop being lazy about you. So I turn to pizza.
But more specifically, I turn to a pizza dough recipe from my secret little weapon, The Nordic Diet by Trina Hahnemann, because she always comes through with the rye crusts. Plus, it gives me an excuse to barrage you with pictures of Norway from the trip we took there in June, but about which I have yet to write. (I'll get there. See the "I'm lazy at heart" caveat above.)
Although there seems to have been a little disagreement between my 1 ounce of active dry yeast (that's 4 packages, people) and her suggestion to bloom it in 1/4 cup lukewarm water. First, there's no way that much yeast is ever going to bloom, or activate, in only 1/4 cup water. It will instantly become paste. I was also not convinced that you'd in fact need a full ounce, so on my second attempt I cut it down to 2 packages (or 1/2 ounce) active dry yeast and bloomed it in 1/2 cup water. Much better. I'll concede that it's possible she meant some other kind of fancy European yeast, but active and dry is the way we do it in the US.
The second problem with this pizza is that, as already mentioned twice, I'm lazy. No, it's true. I really, really am. And I just didn't feel like making a tomato sauce with, you know, herbs, and flavoring and stirring. So I blended canned puréed tomatoes with half of the caramelized onions I used as a topping and called it a day. It just felt easier.
Rye Crust Pizza with Green Tomatoes and Summer Squash
Crust adapted from Trina Hahnemann's The Nordic Diet
For the crust:
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
3 cups rye flour
Scant 1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Set it aside for a few minutes so it has a chance to bubble. This wakes up the yeast and gets it ready to go. Once the yeast is bloomed, add it to the bowl of a standing mixer along with 2 tablespoons of the rye flour and 1 tablespoon of the all-purpose flour. Stir these ingredients together until they form a paste, cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Uncover the bowl and stir in the rest of the water, then the rest of both of the flours and the salt. Mix with the paddle attachment until it starts to come together like a dough, then switch to the dough hook and kneed until smooth. Remove the bowl from the mixer, re-cover with the towel, and let rise for 2 hours.
For the pizza:
Oil for the pan
1 15-ounce can puréed tomatoes or tomato sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, passed through a press
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 large pattypan squash, cut into 1" cubes
2-3 green tomatoes, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of basil leaves, torn into pieces
1/2 - 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and cook for a minute until it becomes fragrant. Add the onion and cook until caramelized to the degree that you prefer. I keep it going for at least 10 minutes, but you could go for longer if you want. Season the onions with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Pour the puréed tomatoes into a blender and add half of the caramelized onion. Blend until smooth and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425F. Roll the pizza dough out to two thin squares of about 14 inches each. Transfer each to a greased baking sheet. Spread the tomato sauce on both crusts, then add the rest of the caramelized onions on top. Pile the squash and green tomato cubes on top of that, followed by a handful of basil leaves. Grate the Parmesan cheese over the top and slide the sheets into the oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are roasted through. Slice and serve