Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Recipe - Scallop Leek Pizza on Za'atar Crust

This week kicks off Middle East and Africa month. This recipe takes some liberties with traditional cuisine (and I changed it a bit too), so it doesn't belong to any one country in particular. But it nearly jumped off the page at me because of an excellent goat cheese balsamic leek pizza I had at a local restaurant. So here's my version of this Mediterranean dish.

I would probably add more za'atar and garlic next time, as it could have been a little more flavorful, but it did turn out quite well.

Za'atar Flatbread
1 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups flour
1t salt
4T olive oil
4T za'atar spice (I found this at Whole Foods in the international aisle, not with the spices)

Whisk the yeast into the warm water and let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes, or until there's a light foam across the surface. The water must be under 120F or it will kill the yeast.

Whisk in the 1/4 cup of olive oil and add the flour and 1/2t of the salt. Stir/mix at a low speed until the flour is combined and the dough forms. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for 7-8 minutes, until the dough is still sticky to the touch but stays on the mixer in one piece.

Lightly oil a large stainless or glass bowl and scoop the dough into it. Cover with plastic and chill for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. The dough should double in volume.

About 2 hours before baking, place the dough and 2T of EVOO on a heavy baking sheet and cover with plastic. Let it rest and rise again for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature.

Press the dough onto a baking sheet, using your hands to stretch and pull it into the corners. I use my knuckles to flatten it out, which also created little craters to catch the spices. First sprinkle with olive oil across the top and then sprinkle with za'atar spice and 1/2t salt. Let the dough rest for at least 20-30 more minutes, uncovered at room temperature.

Scallop Pizza with Leeks and Goat Cheese
2 cups heavy/light cream
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
T olive oil
3 large leeks, white part only, sliced and washed
1/2t fennel seed
1/2t nonflavored, whole-grain mustard
6 scllions, bottoms trimmed, cleaned and roughly chopped
2t minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
10 large dry sea scallops
a couple ounces of goat cheese
large bunch arugula

While the bread is rising, bring the cream and wine to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the cream has reduced by one third and is thick (is will also look a little like it's separating, but that's normal). Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat 1T of the olive oil and sate the leeks and fennel seed until the leeks are tender and soft (about 8 minutes). Be careful not to brown the leeks or they will become bitter. Season the leeks with salt and pepper.

Stir the leek mixture into the cream mixture and add the mustard, scallions, and garlic. Cook a little while longer to marinate the flavors.

Split the scallops in two so you have 20 thin discs.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Take the flattened za'atar flatbread and lay a thin layer of arugula over top (the original recipe had the arugula on the side, not cooked on the pizza) and spoon a thin layer of the leek mixture onto the dough. Arrange the scallop slices over the top and intersperse thin slices of goat cheese in between (this was my addition also). Season with salt and pepper.

Place the pizza in the over and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the edges are crisp and browned and the top is bubbly.


Crabby McSlacker said...

I never would have thought to put scallops and leeks on a pizza, but this sounds wonderful!

NeverSayDiet said...

The pizza looks insanely delicious and I like the idea of making my own crust. If I can make challah, I could do this!

RhodeyGirl/Sabrina said...

ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! how funny, i just posted about zaatar yesterday!!!!!! (leslie of never say diet) told me about your post! mmmm it's sooo gooooood

The Lethological Gourmet said...

Leslie, I soo want to try making Challah! I got a recipe from Mizfit's blog that I haven't tried yet. There's also this Chinese bread that's kind of like a Chinese version of challah that's just awesome, but I don't know what it's called to be able to look it up.

Sabrina, I think I'd had the spice before, but never actually gone out and bought it and man am I a convert now!

Crabby, it definitely isn't the standard kind of pizza, but it was definitely interesting! And I had some of the cream leek sauce left over that I put on pasta with some pork chops and it was yummy...

Barbara Gavin said...

Is that your photo? Did you really make that many?

The Lethological Gourmet said... But I should start taking my own photos of the food now that I have a card reader for my memory card. I thought of it too late on Sunday, after I'd already sliced it up and put away what I hadn't eaten.