Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rhubarb Pizza

If you have to get into trouble with the pizza authenticity police, why not do so with panache and bake this Rhubarb Pizza.  I can see some book or magazine calling it a "heart-healthy" tart because it has no butter.  But I hate this concept.  Taking butter out of a tart is like changing its DNA.  Why try to make it into something it's not.  Just leave it alone and eat it in small quantities on special occasions.  Calling my little rhubarb creation a "pie" would be silly too.  Most of you know what a rhubarb pie is, and it's not this.  So I'll stick with pizza.

I think the talk of authenticity in today's global culture is just funny.  Food is constantly changing and evolving and it was doing that since the beginning of time.  The real question is whether your dish has integrity or not.  Integrity means different things to different people.  To me it means that only the taste was taken into account when a dish was created -- not nutritional value, not the speed of preparation, and not minimizing special equipment or skill.  For example, if you buy a pre-baked crust in the store, top it with Prego Tomato Sauce, and sprinkle it with cheese, you've got yourself a pizza, but I doubt it would have much integrity.

My rhubarb pizza was born in my last pizza class.  After 4 savory pizzas, we were ready for a change.  In each class, we experiment with some sweet topping.  So far, we've tried apples with cinnamon, kumquats (tiny sour oranges) with rosemary, and rhubarb with pistachios.  All have been well received, but my favorite was rhubarb.  I made it for my family yesterday with the addition of a few kumquats.

Rhubarb Pizza

1 recipe pizza dough (start this a day ahead)
8 oz rhubarb (about 2 large sticks), trimmed and sliced extremely thin on a diagonal
3 kumquats, sliced thin, seeds removed
1 oz (about 2 Tbsp) sugar, plus more for sprinkling before baking
1/8 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp roasted pistachios, chopped

  1. Follow procedure for preheating the oven and shaping the dough
  2. In a small bowl, combine rhubarb, kumquats, 1 oz sugar and cinnamon.  Toss to combine and let sit at least 15 minutes.  Rhubarb will release a lot of liquid.
  3. When the stone has been preheating for 30 minutes, gently squeeze handfuls of rhubarb and kumquats and spread on top of the shaped pizza dough.  Don't discard the sweet liquid, it's delicious reduced to a syrup and added to drinks or used on top of yogurt.  Sprinkle the pizza with additional tablespoon of sugar and bake according to instructions in the pizza recipe.
  4. Sprinkle with pistachios and serve immediately.  It's best hot.


Gary J Moss said...

Butter is not bad for your heart! This is a theory in the process of being demolished after fifty years of wrong science. Only those stubbornly wedded to their dogma or those who like to use stupid truisms in their pitches continue to propagate this misinformation.

Thanks for the recipe, butter and all. I love rhubarb in so many ways!

Carole said...

Hi there, this is a lovely rhubarb dish. I hope you'll add it to the Food on Friday collection over at Carole's Chatter