Sampling the Summer on Pizza in a Skillet
By Himanee Gupta-Carlson
I must confess to a simple addiction: I love greens and eggs.
My husband and I raise chickens and grow plenty of greens. However, our gardens often take awhile to get going. As a result, early summer has me coming home from the Saratoga Farmers’ Market with bags upon bags of seasonal greens: spinach, spicy arugula, Swiss chard, pea shoots, garlic scapes, lacy-leaved kales.
This, of course, drives my husband crazy: “How are we going to eat all this stuff?”
My latest answer to that perennial question is on pizza baked quickly in a very hot cast iron skillet. I spotted the concept in Bon Appetit, which featured a recipe for a white skillet pizza with spring greens and an egg. The egg sat beautifully amid the greens, its yolk softly set.
“Have you ever made anything like this?” I asked market photographer Pattie Garrett. “It looks delicious and easy!”
The egg didn’t appeal to Garrett, but the greens did. Over the next few weeks, we each experimented with the recipe, letting our market purchases and personal tastes serve as guides.
My first version incorporated a blend of chopped sunflower, pea, and radish shoots with arugula, green onion, and asparagus. I topped it with small eggs from hens that had just begun laying. While most of the greens were cooked in between layers of cheese, I sprinkled a handful of fresh ones on the pizza after pulling it out of the oven, letting the heat of the pan wilt the greens around the eggs.
“You made it!!,” Garrett exclaimed in response to the Facebook photo I posted. “Looks great!!!”
She followed with an equally delicious version, featuring fresh chard. I then found a thicker, wilder tasting arugula at the Otrembiak’s stall and tried the recipe again, this time allowing the spiciness of the arugula to be the predominant flavor. I added a few slices of summer squash from the Denison Farm.
Garrett is planning to make it next with mushrooms, Havarti cheese and fresh herbs.
The basic recipe accompanies this story. What we like best about it is that the possibilities to innovate are endless. Try it, and share your creations with us.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is at High Rock Park 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
White Skillet Pizza with Swiss Chard
Adapted from recipe in Bon Appetit
Serves: 2 pies
*Ingredients available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market
• 2 garlic cloves, finely grated*
• ⅓ cup olive oil*
• 12 ounces grated low-moisture mozzarella (about 3 cups)*
• 5½ ounces grated Fontina (about 2 cups)*
• Flour for dusting
• 1 pound 6 ounces store bought pizza dough, halved room temperature
• Cornmeal for sprinkling
• kosher salt and ground pepper
• 3 spring onions, thinly sliced, divided*
• 4 ounces young broccoli rabe (trimmed, divided) or 3 cups kale, or Swiss chard, divided*
• finely grated Parmesan*
• 1½ teaspoons finely chopped oregano, divided*
1. Place a rack in upper third of oven, preheat to 500 degrees. Place a 12 inch cast-iron skillet in oven and preheat 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, mix garlic and oil in a small bowl. Mix mozzarella and Fontina in a medium bowl.
3. Using lightly floured hands, stretch 1 piece of dough out on a lightly floured surface to an 11 inch round.
4. Remove skillet from oven and sprinkle pan with cornmeal (enough to cover most of the surface). Carefully set dough snugly in pan, Some of the dough may overlap. Brush dough with garlic-oil. Season with salt and pepper. top dough with 2 cups cheese mixture, half of spring onions, half greens. Top with another ½ cup cheese mixture, season with more pepper.
5. Reduce heat to 425 degrees and bake pizza until crust is beginning to turn golden and cheese is melted, 6-8 minutes. Crack 1 egg onto center of pizza, season with salt. Continue to bake until whites are set and crust is golden brown., 5-6 minutes.
6. Transfer pizza to a cutting board and brush edges with more garlic-oil (reserve remaining garlic-oil for second pizza). Top pizza with Parmesan and half of oregano. Using a microplane grate a little lemon zest over top of pizza. Sprinkle cast-iron pan with cornmeal and make a second pizza with remaining dough and ingredients.