The Accidental Locavore’s friend Cozy had asked about ramps. If you’re not familiar with ramps they’re a trendy locavore Spring obsession-otherwise known as wild onions. They have a taste similar to a scallion but more mellow and not as sharp. Since it had paused raining for an hour or so, I decided to cruise down to locavore heaven, the Union Square Greenmarket, in search of ramps and possibly more rhubarb (for chutney, recipe Friday). Found plenty of ramps and more. For dinner that night, I decided to do a pizza bianco based on a recipe from Food & Wine with the addition of some local bacon and the last, lone corolla potato from farmer Paul. This made one 12″ pizza good for two greedy people.
- 1/2 batch pizza dough
- 10 ramps
- 3 slices of bacon (I used my local favorite from Dickson’s), sliced into 1/2″ strips
- 1 small Yukon Gold or Corolla potato
- Olive oil (use something flavorful here) for brushing
- 1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella (I used a small 1/2 pound ball)
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Set a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Blanch the ramps until they are bright green but still al dente about a minute. Remove them from the pot, pat dry and cut into 1″ lengths (I used the entire ramp and actually preferred the white bulb to the greens).
When the ramps are done, add the potato to the boiling water and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, and when the potato is cool enough to touch cut into 1/8″ slices.
Heat a small saute pan over medium high heat. Add the bacon strips and cook until crispy. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb the fat.
Lightly flour your work surface, roll out the pizza dough to a 12″ circle, about 1/8″ thick. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured (or use a little fine cornmeal) pizza peel or an inverted baking sheet (you want a flat surface so you can transfer the pizza to the very hot stone). Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle the grated mozzarella evenly over the surface. Scatter the ramps, bacon and potato over the pizza and season with salt and pepper. Top with the Parmesan cheese.
Slide the pizza from the peel (or baking sheet) onto the hot stone. A side to side movement is supposed to be better than back to front, however this is still a move I have to master. Bake for about 10 minutes until the crust is browned and crispy. Serve and enjoy.
The locavore rating: 3.5 out of 5. My pizza dough needs work. It didn’t have that good yeasty taste, needed a bit of salt and the crust was too thick. I thought long and hard about using smoked mozzarella instead of regular. On this pizza I used regular and got the smoked flavor from bacon. If you used smoked mozzarella you could skip the bacon, keep it vegetarian and maybe give the ramps a better showcase.
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Your recipes are always exciting and inviting, and I especially like it when you add lots of suggestions afterwards — for flavors and methods; today was terrific!
If you find your pizza stone covered with baked-on stuff. Spray a heavy duty cleaner like Fantastik on it, let it sit for a few minutes and it will come right off.