Friday, September 26, 2008

Guest post by Jane: Friday Night Is Pizza Night 2 - Roasted Corn and Avocado Salsa with Tender Chard

Roasted Corn and Avocado Salsa with Tender Chard (adapted from James McNair’s Vegetarian Pizza)

This Mexican-inspired pizza was made mainly with ingredients from the Riverdale farmers’ market along with the obvious exception of the avocado. Tender young chard needs no cooking and makes a welcome alternative to lettuce in any salad. Dry-roasting the corn caramelizes the sugar and deepens the corn flavour. Well worth the extra effort and the dirty skillet. Serve pizza with lime slices on the side for a fresh hit of juice to balance the sweetness.

For the crust – substitute ½ cup (125 mL) hard whole wheat and ½ cup (125 mL) cornmeal for 1 cup (250 mL) of all purpose flour. Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) mild ground chile pepper and 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin to the flour and mix in well. See last Friday's basic crust recipe for ingredients and method.

Pizza Topping
1 cup (250 g) fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 sweet pepper (green, yellow or red)
¼ cup (60 mL) pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup (60 mL) cilantro, finely chopped, more for garnish
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced jalapeno pepper or chipotle in adobo sauce
¼ cup (60 mL) black or green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
4 tbsp (60 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice (half a juicy lime)
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch tender young chard
1 avocado, diced just before serving
1/3 cup (75 mL) feta or menchango cheese, crumbled
1 lime, sliced in quarters or eighths

While dough rises, make salsa. Heat skillet without oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add corn kernels and stir frequently until brown spots appear on corn, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Roast sweet pepper directly over gas flame or under pre-heated broiler, turning frequently until skin is charred all over. Transfer to medium bowl, cover with plate and let stand 10 minutes. Rub away charred skin, cut pepper in half, remove seeds and membranes, dice, return to bowl and add corn. Toast pepitas in toaster oven for 5-7 minutes at 350 F (180 C) or dry-roast in skillet until lightly browned. Add to corn and sweet pepper. Add cilantro, jalapeno or chipotle, olives, lime juice, salt and pepper, mix together, cover and set aside at room temperature.

Heat oven to 500 F (260 C).

Pizza Base
1 unbaked crust, rolled out
olive oil for brushing on dough
6 oz (175 g) cheddar, Monterey Jack or other cheese of your choice, grated

Transfer dough to pizza pan and brush lightly with olive oil. Distribute cheese evenly on dough. Place in oven.

While pizza base bakes, remove stems from chard, wash and spin-dry. Place several leaves together, roll up and slice cross-wise into thin strips (chiffonade). Repeat until all chard is cut. Dice avocado.

Remove pizza from oven when edges and underside are nicely browned, about 10–12 minutes. Place crust on cutting board, top with chard. Add avocado to salsa, stir gently to mix and scatter salsa evenly over chard. Strew feta or menchango and extra cilantro over top, slice and serve immediately with lime slices on the side. Makes 8 slices.

No comments: