Posts Tagged ‘watercress pizza recipe’

Hug a Root


With the warm weather officially here, I’ve decided to do a great springtime favorite of mine.

This pizza is filled with all the alpha dogs of the vegetable world; I started by using some great purple kohlrabi, crunchy parsnips and salsify combined with the wonderful oniony springtime ramps topped with some great wild watercress picked near a spring at Shews Orchard along with some Integration acres chevre that I both used straight-up and in a sauce made with ramps, lemon and reduced chicken stock. All this is atop a pizza crust made with Shagbark Milling Company spelt crust.

Lets get started! This is all you’ll need.

2 medium parsnips

2 medium salsify roots

Juice of one half lemon

1 1/4 cup chicken stock

1 medium kohlrabi

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 and a half cups fresh chevre goat cheese

One handfull fresh spring ramps

Half handfull of fresh spring watercress

Preheat oven to 485 with an upturned heavty cookie sheet or pizza stone on the middle deck. Using the easy dough recipe for dough (and use spelt flour instead of bakers flour,) cut one, nine ounce dough ball and reserve for forming later.


Peel both the parsnips and salsify on a cutting board. You will have to place the salsify in water with the juice of one-half lemon to stop browning of the salsify flesh. (This lemon water will be used later). Cut the roots into coins.


Place the roots in a pan filled with heated one and a quarter cups chicken stock and cook for 8 to 12 minutes until just al dente. Strain the roots of the broth and reserve the broth.


Cut the kohlrabi at both ends. Remember that the “woody” side of a purple kohlrabi is on the bottom, (side where the stems are shooting away from), so cut this end thick. Turn the kohlrabi and cut through the skin with a knife with a downward mothion following the natural curve of the vegetable. (Like carving the skin off an orange.) Cut the kohlrabi into thin discs.


Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a pan under medium heat and place the kohlrabi in the pan with a pinch of salt and saute for 7 minutes or unitl browned on both sides. Place on a paper towel for topping.


Clean the ramps by cutting the root ends off and pulling down the purple collar near the bottom. Slice the ramp from the white end up into small pieces. The large leaf ends will go on top of the pizza and the small root ends in the sauce.


Pour the chicken broth into a pan and reduce until the broth is almost gone, (3 tablespoons or less). Reduce the heat and place half of the chevre and one tablespoon of the lemon-water in the pan and stir with a whisk. Add the chopped ramps and turn the heat off. The sauce will thicken. That’s okay.


Form the pizza into a disc and place on parchment. Top with the kohlrabi, then the parsnips and salsify followed by the rest of the non-sauced chevre.


Place the ramps on the pizza and into the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, always keeping an eye on the bottom crust. With spelt, you cannot tell sometimes from the cornicione, (crust). When out of the oven,  place the watercress on top of the pizza, then dollop the sauce atop the pizza and enjoy the fruits of spring!





Take one seven-ounce dough ball from the Easy Dough Recipe on this blog.

Ramp Salsa Pizza with Spring Watercress and Applesauce!


I love ramps sometimes more than people. Encounters with both can be pungent, stinging and fleetingly aggressive but unfortunately, its against the law to put humans on a pizza.

“What’s a ramp?” The well dressed man asked as he pointed at the long pizza al metro I was selling at the Athens Farmers Market last Saturday.

 This monster had 40 diagnally placed ramps atop crumbled Parmigiano Reggiano and sharp Sicilian Caciocavallo. I had also placed some fat Amish asparagus at intervals along the pizza also topped with four large islands of ramp salsa, Stanislaus Valorosso tomatoes and local Shagbark popcorn coated with Gruyere cheese. It was huge,gorgeous, greeny green.

“It’s a wild leek.” I explained loudly to counter the irritatingly tappity, tap, tap of the cold rain against the roof of my tent.

“What’s a leek.”

“A large version of a green onion.”

“So lemme get this straight, you gotta pile of large, wild onions on a pizza?”

“Yep.” I shivered as the 47 degree breeze made my damp clothes harden.

“Hmmm, I don’t know if I should take a chance on a slice of tha…whooaa now, is that popcorn?”

“Yea, it adds a wonderful textural counterpoint and its blanketed in Gruyere cheese…”

“Kinda freakish if you asked me. What’s that green stuff under the counterpoint popcorn?”

“Ramp salsa.”

“Pretty redundant, don’t you think?” He said as he popped another free bread sample in his pie hole.

“Redundancy is a state of mind sir.” I explained horribly. 

“Not when you’re dealing with stinky onions, gotta sample of that pizza?”

“No, I’m sor…” I said as the side of his mouth went up and he shook his head from side to side just before he turned to leave.

“Onion pizzas usually suck.” He mumbled as he walked away.

I looked at the pizza and smiled. It was my only friend around here.

Unlike that conversation, ramps are more predictable and much less annoying.  They sneak in quickly in the cold of spring, wave thier floppy flags under the shade of the forest and spread thier wonderous oniony stench into the wind, then they are gone.

Here’s a great ramp pizza and thanks to Shews orchard, I have some great wild watercress that grows near thier spring and some of thier fab applesauce. I will pair these ingredients with just picked asparagus, gruyere, lemon and some Prosciutto di Parma cooked till nice and crispy. This pizza, while not the one described above was devoured by me and my Jake…hence the smiles.

For the Pizza:

One seven ounce dough ball from the easy dough recipe on this blog.

Ramp salsa recipe (below)

Prosciutto di Parma crisps recipe (below)

3 ounces of Gruyere cheese

2 tablespoons of apple sauce

One small bunch of fresh watercress

 For the Ramp Salsa Preparation:

9 whole ramps, washed

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice from half a lemon

2 teaspoons salt or more to taste 

One stalk of spring garlic (please do not use bulb garlic if you cannot find, just use one tablespoon less oil.)

5 or 6 fresh asparagus spears

1.5 tablespoons honey


Cut the roots off of the ramps. Put all ramps and oil  in a blender or bucket with an immersion blender and blend on high until liquidy. Add the juice from the lemon half and salt.


Cut the root off of the green garlic then in long matchsticks. Cut the length of each matchstick once then twice. Turn the long ribbons and cut crossways producing a small dice. Add garlic to the ramp pesto liquid.


  Cut asparagus three quarters up the stalk from bottom. Cut down the stalk without the bud in half then turn the cut stalk and cut across to produce a small dice. Add chopped asparagus and 1.5 tablespoons of honey. Taste and add extra salt or honey to taste. This should be a fairly chunky salsa so you can always add more asparagus if needed.

For the Prosciutto di Parma Crisps Preparation:

1.5 to 2 ounces Prociutto di Parma

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 quarter cup white wine or Appalacian deglazer- (water)

reserved asparagus tips


Cut the prosciutto in strips and in a bowl, add extra virgin olive oil (add more if you have very lean prosciutto.) Place in a pan under medium heat and saute’ for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn heat down and toss frequently because the meat will stiffen and crisp up very fast. (Needless to say, do not walk away from this process.)


When the prociutto is crisp, pull from the pan on a paper towel. Keeping the medium-high heat on, add one quarter cup of white wine or water to deglaze the pan. As the liquid bubbles, scrape the pan unhinging all the gnarly bits. Add the asparagus tips to cook in this wonderful flavor bath for only three minutes. Cut each spear legnthwise and reserve with the prosciutto. Keep the liquid reducing until you have only 2-3 tablespoons. This will be brushed on the pizza crust as a

For the Pizza:

Pre-heat oven to 495. Using the easy dough recipe in this blog, take one dough ball and bang out into a round disc. Place on a pizza screen or some parchment.


Brush the reduced Prosciutto di Parma sauce directly onto the dough and then the gruyere. Add the asparagus spears in a sunburst pattern then the ramp salsa. Place in oven for 12 minutes or until done. In a seperate bowl toss the watercress in the applesauce and place on the cooked pie. Sprinkle the crispy Prosciutto di Parma on top and enjoy like mad!