Guest recipe by Viktorija Todorovska
Author of The Puglian Cookbook: Bringing the Flavors of Puglia Home
As made in Puglia, this simple and delicious appetizer features the slightly bitter chicory
ubiquitous in the region. Dandelion greens, a close relative of chicory, are much easier
to find in the United States and approximate the flavor of chicory. The simplicity of the dish
belies its flavor. The pine nuts add a depth of flavor that allows this dish to pair well
with medium-bodied wines such as Primitivo and Negroamaro.
yield: 8 servings
1 package (about 1½ pounds [680 g]) pizza dough (at room temperature), divided in half*
2 bunches dandelion greens, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the dough
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons (30 ml) pine nuts, lightly toasted
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Thoroughly oil a baking sheet.
2. Roll out each half of the pizza dough into a round about ¼ inch (0.5 cm) thick.
3. Boil the dandelion greens in salted water for 3 minutes, until they begin to soften.
Drain. While the greens boil, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add the
drained greens and the pine nuts, toss, and cook for 3 more minutes. Set aside.
4. Place one round of dough on the oiled baking sheet. Spread the sautéed greens over
the dough, leaving a ½-inch (1-cm) border around the edge. Brush the border with water.
Cover the greens with the other rolled-out round of pizza dough, making sure the two
circles of dough overlap. Go around the edges of the pizza and pinch the dough to seal
the layers together.
5. Brush the top of the pizza generously with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, or until
the top and bottom crusts start to brown.
* You can buy refrigerated pizza dough at your neighborhood pizza place or at the grocery store.
If you prefer, of course, you can always make your own.
Reprinted with permission from Agate Surrey, 2011