summer savory crostata
Farmer’s market, CSA, or grocery store. Regardless of preferred shopping method you’ll find one thing fairly consistent during the summer months: the panoply of fresh vegetables on hand is nothing short of thrilling. On a recent shopping trip the impulse to stock up on as many as possible was too hard to deny. The result? A meal saturated in summer goodness.
Utilizing an array of veggies – vine-ripened tomatoes, orange grape tomatoes, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, and fresh herbs, with a few white peaches tossed in – we pulled together two savory crostatas and a simple salad.
Claiming the middle ground somewhere between a pizza and a calzone, the folds of the crostata allow you to stack up your toppings without fear of them escaping, while the opening on the surface enables your cheese to bubble and brown. So, decked out toppings and oozing cheese? That would be a yes.
The first of our recipes for summer savory crostatas can be found after the jump…
You can always use store bought pizza dough, but be sure to roll it very thin so that your toppings (I suppose technically fillings) aren’t overwhelmed.
If you want to go the homemade route, this is an easy, light, and very tasty recipe:
Whole-Wheat Pizza Crust – from Canyon Ranch Cooks (makes two medium crostatas, good for sharing)
- 1 cup water (warmed to body temperature)
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
1. Mix water, yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil in the bowl of a standing mixer or food processor. Using the electric mixer’s dough hook – or the dough blade of the food processor – add flour gradually and mix on medium-low (or with pulses for the food processor) until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour if too sticky.
2. Lightly coat a medium bowl with olive oil. Form dough into ball and place in bowl. Cover and let sit in warm place for 1 hour. (NOTE: if you want to make the dough ahead of time stop after the dough has sat for 1 hour, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in fridge. It can be kept overnight.)
For the fillings you are only limited by your personal tastes and preferences. This was our first:
Potato, Proscuitto, and Manchego Crostata (makes one medium crostata; uses 1/2 of dough recipe above):
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed well but not peeled
- 1 medium vine-ripened tomato, sliced
- 1/4 cup of kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
- 1 – 2 oz procuitto, torn into pieces
- 2 oz Manchego cheese, thinly sliced
- 1 oz fresh mozzarella
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- Pizza dough (1/2 of recipe above)
For cooking the crostata: You can use either a baking sheet or a pizza stone. If using a pizza stone follow the manufacturer’s instruction for heating.
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Caramelize the onions. Heat 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over low heat. Add onions and allow to cook on low heat for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (NOTE: Once the onions are in the pan you don’t need to do much, just have patience. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat in order to speed up the process. Caramelized onions take time – and they’re worth it.)
3. Cook potatoes. In medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool, then slice 1/8-inch thick.
4. Roll out your dough on a well-floured surface. Roll until dough is 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to parchment paper.
5. Assemble the toppings. Place slices of Manchego cheese on bottom, allowing an inch-and-a-half to two-inch border of dough. Top with caramelized onions, followed by alternating slices of tomatoes and potatoes. Add olives and proscuitto. Top with slices of mozzarella and sprigs of thyme.
6. Fold edges of dough up over the sides of the toppings, pleating the dough as you go. Pinch folds of dough together to keep in place. Lightly brush top of crust with olive oil and sprinkle with sea or flake salt.
7. Carefully slide the crostata, still on the parchment paper, either onto the baking sheet and into the oven, or directly onto your pre-heated pizza stone. Cook for 15-20 minutes, rotating half way through, until the edges of the dough are golden and the cheese is bubbling.
Next week the summer veg celebration will continue with a second type of crostata, as well as an asparagus-peach salad. Be sure to check back. Vegetables are good for you.