October 28, 2013

I'll be the first to admit that this pie was a little outside of my wheelhouse. Usually it's Ashley doing the veggie pies while I stick to the important stuff, you know, smoked and/or cured meats. But after the idea for beet "pepperoni" popped into my head (the inspiration was my "genius" realization that sliced beets and sliced pepperoni are both red and round), and I found myself trying to approximate the mighty pepperoni with a beet.  Go figure.

To infuse a beet with the smokey, salty, savory, spicy character of a pepperoni, I grabbed some dried shiitake mushrooms (make sure you get good ones as they are more smokey), some smoked paprika, and a butt load of salt. I sliced the beets into approximate pepperoni thickness, put them in a bowl with some of the dried shiitake, smoked paprika, salt (don't fear the salt; pepperoni is salty), and some soy sauce (to punch up the savory meatiness factor), and poured enough hot water over top to cover. Then I covered the bowl and put in the fridge overnight. 
The next day, I'll be damned if those beet slices didn't taste like meaty, smokey circles of pizza toppin' goodness. I drained and diced up the shiitakes, topped the pie with the beets, mushrooms, and a little pesto made with kale, smoked almonds, and a blast of anchovy paste. Tossed a little burrata and pecorino on top for good measure.  The resulting pie was quite a treat.
Beet "pepperoni" Pie


for "pepperoni"
3 Beets (roasted and peeled)
Small Handful Dried Shiitake
1 tbls. soy sauce
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbls. sea salt
 1 tsp. smoked paprika
hot water

for pesto
1 small can hickory smoked almonds
1/2 bunch kale
1 tbls. anchovy paste
1 clove minced garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbls. olive oil
1 tbls. soy sauce

Slice the beets into approximately the thickness of a slice of pepperoni. place the beets, and all the other "pepperoni" ingredients into a small bowl, and pour almost boiling water on top to cover. Cover the bowl and place in refrigerator for 3-4 hrs. (better if over night). Next, remove from fridge, drain liquid. Set aside.  To make the pesto, cut up kale into small enough pieces that a food processor can get a hold of it. Place all ingredients for pesto into a food processor, and pulse until in is a uniform, semi-chucky, pesto like consistency.

Roll out your dough, top with pesto, died mushrooms, beet slices, mozzarella, pecorino, and bake at 550+ degrees until bubbly cheese, and charred perfection.  Enjoy.

***Also, as an ending note, special thanks to my new boss for giving me a pull of his sourdough starter.  Ash and I have been using it in our pizza dough with great results.  It's got a nice savory, mushroomy type thing happening. The resulting raw dough reminds me of fresh mozzarella cheese.***

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