A Guest Post from BigSister
Can you believe The Tumbleweed Contessa doesn’t like pizza? How does one not like pizza? I don’t understand. Accordingly, I keep trying to invent combinations to trick her into liking something pizza like. Let’s see if she likes this one. She also claims not to like goat cheese but sometimes she likes things that have goat cheese as an ingredient. Huh? Welcome to my world of trying to please your mother.
The beets, garlic, rosemary and arugula are fresh from my garden. I killed my squash. Apparently I did not get the TWC’s squash growing genes. I got most of the other ones from her though.
Roasted Beet and Garlic Pizza Topped with Arugula Salad
- 2 individual pizza crusts (7 inches)
- 1 large or 2 small fresh beets-tops removed
- 1 head of garlic top removed + 4 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary
- 1 medium ball of fresh mozzarella (in case I lose my nerve)
- 4 ounces of crumbled goat cheese (in case I am feeling brave)
- arugula (enough to make a salad for 2….I can’t ever figure leafy vegetable measurements)
- 4 tablespoons of roasted walnuts
- balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Roast the beets and garlic. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and put in a 375 degree oven for an hour to an hour and a half. They are done when easily pierced with a knife. As soon as they are cool enough to touch, peel them under running water to avoid stains in your kitchen and hands. At the same time roast the garlic. Slice the top off the head of garlic and place in center of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place alongside the beet(s) for about an hour. Remove and let cool. Leave the oven on for baking your pizza.
Slice the beets very thinly using a sharp knife or mandolin. Holding the garlic head face down over a small bowl, squeeze the sides until the roasted cloves pop out into the bowl. Using a fork, mash the garlic cloves to create a paste.
Make the sauce. While the garlic and beets are roasting, create the sauce. This is a simple infused olive oil. Place ½ cup of olive oil, crushed red pepper, chopped rosemary plus the 4 cloves of garlic into a small pan. Heat for 15 minutes over low heat. Turn off heat and let sit until you are ready to assemble the pizza.
Make the toppings. Wash and dry the arugula and tear into bite size pieces. Also, while the garlic and beets are roasting, toast the walnuts. Place the walnuts in a small pan over medium heat until you can smell them, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
To assemble: Place the crust on a cookie sheet. Remove the crushed garlic cloves from the oil and baste the crust generously with the oil. Distribute the garlic paste and spread evenly between the two crusts.
Place the sliced beets on top evenly. Sprinkle with goat cheese or lay thin slices of the mozzarella on top of the beets and crust.(As pictured below, I wanted to compare the tastes side by side.) Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the goat cheese is puffy or the mozzarella is bubbly. Sometimes I broil it for a minute at the end.
Remove pizzas from the oven and top with arugula and walnuts. Just before serving, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and, if you choose, leftover oil. If not, save it for salad dressing some other time. Serve with a knife and fork.
I am glad that I tested this before I tried it on mom. Next time I would slice the beets even thinner (noted in the ingredients above). The goat cheese half tasted great but so did the mozzarella so I’ll let you be the judge. Think she’ll go for it? I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime…I am going to take this to It’s So Very Cheri’s Sunday Party.