Wednesday, July 3, 2013



So this is what you do after you put your beet greens in a pie. Again, not a 'real' pizza to my mind, but still good. I saw a picture in the paper a while back of a pizza with garlic tops, or scapes, on it. They had left the scapes whole which looks cool because they're all wiggly shaped, but the fact is that if you leave them like that, they are bloody awkward to eat. Plus, the blossoms themselves get all papery and unpleasant. My pizza doesn't have curly green ropes all over it, but it does have beet slices.

1/2 recipe of the pizza dough

2 smallish beets
6 or 8 good sized garlic scapes
3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil
cheese is optional
salt & pepper
fresh rosemary

Pre heat the oven as hot as it will go without being on broil.

Peel the beets and slice them extremely thinly. Put them in a covered dish and microwave them until they are tender, toss them with a dash of olive oil and set them aside.

Put a generous splash of oil in a skillet, more than you actually need to cook the garlic tops. Snap the garlic into pieces and saute on medium low with plenty of salt and pepper until the stems are tender.

Stretch out the dough. Gently drain the oil out of the garlic onto the dough and brush it around to coat the surface completely. Add a sprinkle of cheese if you want it, then the beets, then the garlic, discarding the blooms. Mince the rosemary and sprinkle it on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the dough is a little brown.


1. I altered the pizza dough recipe slightly for this by adding a couple tablespoons of olive oil to it, and I think the improvement is such that  I'll keep doing it. It makes the dough less all purpose and more focaccia or pizza specific, but what else do I really use it for?
2. I used a mandolin on the beets to keep the slices even. I have generally mixed feelings about that thing, because it is dangerous, and I'm scared of it, but also because it is a gadget and I disapprove of kitchen gadgets. But it has its uses.
3. If you use cheese, use something that has character. I used something gouda-like and a bit stinky. Parmesan or blue cheese would also be good.
4. Keep the heat somewhat low when cooking the garlic, it burns quite easily. It helps to add a splash of water to the pan and then cover it for about 2 minutes early in the cooking, the steam helps cook them quickly without toughening.
5. There is no reason you shouldn't use a whole recipe of pizza dough and make a bigger pizza. I just know that regardless of what I make, by the time I get it out of the oven David and I will be ravenous enough to eat the whole thing no matter how big it is. So I just make a pizza that is of a size that when we have eaten it all up, we have no regrets about doing it.
6. Garlic tops are also called Serpent Garlic, which is so cool it deserves capital letters!

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