Artichoke Pizza at the Park
I have a favorite artichoke dip that I order religiously at “The Farm” on Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn. It’s probably unfortunate that I like it so well, considering how very cheesy it is. However, the reason their artichoke dip is good isn’t so much because of the cheese surrounding the vegetable, but because of the multiple, generous, layers of artichoke hearts brightened by lemon and a jalapeno kick for a lingering burst of flavor and heat.
There’s a line that forms outside a pizzaria in the West Village with the name “Artichoke.” People will line up outside, patiently waiting, in the wee hours of the morning. Clearly seeing this pizza as a supreme cheese indulgence — it seems there must be a pound of cheese per slice to go along with a bit of artichoke — I carefully choose to stay away.
Once, after a long night of working, I bought a slice and, wouldn’t you know it, the cheesy sauce was so ooey and gooey that it dripped down and landed on my shoe. I have to admit; it was good. But the vegetable was lost and didn’t need such a heavy handed portion of cheese.
This pizza is one I brought to the park to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The best of both worlds – all the flavor of the dip I love with less (dairy) fat, yet still using some organic, sharp white Cheddar and Parmesan Reggiano. Substituting olive oil, a vegetable fat, for the dairy fat above, and then artichoke hearts combined with lemon zest and jalapeno gave it a full flavor. Lastly, adding baby spinach greens over the top.
- 1 large jalapeño
- 1 9-ounce boxe frozen artichokes—thawed, drained and chopped length wise
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco
- 1/4 cup freshly grated organic sharp white cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 500°. Roast the jalapeño directly over a gas flame, turning, until charred all over. Let cool, then peel and seed the jalapeño and cut it into 1/4-inch dice.
In a large bowl, mix the artichokes with the jalapeño, Parmigiano, organic sharp cheddar, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and Tabasco. This mixture makes enough for one generous artichoke pie, or divide equally and use on a second pizza.
Stretch out your pizza dough on to a large cookie sheet or pizza stone. Lightly drizzle the dough with olive oil and then coat the dough with your hands so the olive oil is evenly distributed.
Dot and decorate the artichoke mixture onto your pizza.
Dress the spinach by very lightly spraying or coating the spinach with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and sprinkle of sea salt. Toss together and then add as the last layer on your pizza.
Bake on a pizza stone or cookie sheet at 500 depgrees until golden brown.