Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tex-Mex Pizza with Poblano Ricotta

Like most people, pizza is one of my absolute favorite foods. I could eat it cold for breakfast and lunch, and hot and crispy for dinner every day. My only dilemma with pizza is finding vegetarian proteins to add. I tend to make an awful lot of tempeh-bacon and pineapple pizza, but occasionally I'm in the mood to switch it up. 

As I sorted through my fridge last Friday night (the eve of grocery shopping), I had just a few options for dinner vegetables: poblanos and cherry tomatoes. I though about making a poblano pesto pizza, but found some ricotta and decided to whirl it up as the base. I love the occasional white pizza with gobs of creamy ricotta! I thought the creamy ricotta paired with the spicy peppers, acidic tomatoes, and earthy beans would make for an interesting (and hopefully delicious!) pizza. 

While it's incredibly nontraditional, it was so delicious. I was eating spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture while I made the dough, something I'll have to revisit for another recipe soon! 

Tex-Mex Pizza with Poblano Ricotta

Whole wheat pizza crust:
1 packet fast acting yeast
1 tbsp. honey
3/4 cup warm water
2 c. white wheat flour (or 1 c. whole wheat pastry and 1 c. unbleached all purpose)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. EVOO

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a standing mixer with the dough hook on, add water, honey and yeast, stir to combine, set aside for 10 minutes.
Add flour, salt, and EVOO.
Turn on low and begin to mix. Add more flour as necessary if dough is too sticky, or 1 tsp. water if it's too dry. 
Knead for 5 minutes, roll into a ball, set into the bottom of the mixing bowl and cover with a damp towel.

Poblano Ricotta:
3 large poblano peppers
1 c. part skim ricotta
1 tbsp. cilantro
Salt and pepper

Halve poblanos and place on a lined sheet pan. 
Place under the broiler, and broil until skin is black and charred, about 8-10 minutes.
Cool, peel off charred skin.
Add poblanos, ricotta, cilantro, salt and pepper to a blender and blend on high until mixture is creamy and smooth.

Prepare remaining pizza ingredients:
1 c. black beans, drained and rinsed
2 c. shredded monterey jack cheese
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 c. halved cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 425* and warm pizza stone (or place a metal pizza sheet pan in the oven to get very hot)
Roll out pizza dough into a circle, place on a piece of parchment.
Slather on ricotta mixture, top with cheese, beans, onions and tomatoes.
Place in the oven on stone or cookie sheet, bake for 20-25 minutes, until crisp on the bottom and cheese is melted and browning on top.