This has quickly become one of our favorite dishes this summer. The fresh, bright flavor of those green leeks paired with milky ricotta and a hit of fresh lemon zest just hits the spot. Cut into little squares, this is a great dinner party appetizer - though a big slice and a glass of prosecco makes a mighty fine dinner for two.
We slip some thinly sliced potatoes in between the layers of ricotta and leek, and then a sprinkle of thyme brings the flavors together. The lemon zest gets added right when the pizza comes out of the oven so the aroma is still bright and fresh when you slide a piece on the plate.
Leek, Ricotta, and Lemon Zest Flatbread
Makes 2 pizzas
2 large leeks
1 red-skinned waxy potato
1 16-ounce tub ricotta cheese
4 sprigs thyme
1 batch pizza dough or a ball of store bought
1 cup shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
zest from two lemons
salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 450°. If you have a baking stone, place this in the oven now. ***This can also be done over on the grill outside. Check out instructions for this here.***
Trim the roots off the leeks and then slice each leek into very thin rounds. Place the leeks in a large bowl and fill with water. Toss the leeks with your fingers, separating the individual rings. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the dirt to settle to the bottom.
Set a saucepan over medium-high heat and add a teaspoon of oil. Transfer the leeks to the saucepan using a slotted spoon, add a healthy pinch of salt, and cook the leeks until they are bright green and wilted. Set aside.
Separate the dough into two pieces. Set each ball of dough on a piece of parchment and roll them out into rounds. Brush each round with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Begin to layer on the toppings. Spread each pizza round with half the ricotta cheese. Scatter the thyme over top. Arrange the potato slices in overlapping layers and top with a layer of leeks. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over both pizzas.
Slide the pizzas one at a time into the oven. If your pizza stone isn't big enough, bake individually. If you're not using a pizza stone, slide the pizzas onto cookie sheets and then into the oven to bake.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating once, until the edges are golden and the leeks have started to crisp. Transfer the pizzas to a cooling rack and remove the layer of parchment. Toss the lemon zest over the surface of the hot pizza (or zest the lemon directly onto the pizzas). Allow to cool slightly, then divide into individual portions.
(Images: Emma Christensen)