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Focaccia/Pizza with Lemon Ricotta, Strawberries, and Peas

Focaccia/Pizza with Lemon Ricotta, Strawberries, and Peas

Renée Robinson

I Can’t Resist Fresh Cool Toppings on a Warm and Chewy Crust.

Is this recipe best labeled as a pizza or a focaccia? Or neither? I honestly don’t know. It’s a cross between both things. The crust is chewy, but lightly crisp. And it’s topped with ricotta, greens, onions, strawberries, and peas. Whatever you wish to call it doesn’t change the fact that it’s really delicious.

I love serving my homemade ricotta slathered on toasted bread and got to thinking this would be really good if it was set off by some greens bathed in a bracingly flavored vinaigrette. Then I thought about adding some strawberries for a hint of sweetness because Florida strawberries are in season right now. And this then lead to adding peas for their earthiness. 

Slice of Focaccia/Pizza with Lemon Ricotta, Strawberries, and Peas

I began with the dough which I’ve greatly adapted from a J. Kenji Lopez-Alt recipe. Every time I make this dough, I tweak it a little more and this recipe is my latest take on it. It makes such a beautiful smooth dough that is fully mixed in a stand mixer or bread machine. It then goes directly into the oiled baking tin, where it’s left to rise for a couple of hours. It could hardly be any easier.

Kneaded Dough

After it rises, I gently pat it into the corners, add more olive oil and dimple it. It only rises for 30 minutes before sprinkling on a mixture of ground pink and black peppercorns and then into the oven it goes.

Seasoned Prepared Dough

When it comes out, I let it cool for a few minutes before topping it with the rest of the ingredients. If you’ve never made homemade ricotta, I greatly urge you to give it a try. I guarantee you will never go back to buying supermarket ricotta again. This recipe would be very different without it.

Baked Dough into Focaccia

I mixed the ricotta with lemon zest and juice and spread it on the crust. Next came the dressed greens, onions, strawberries, and peas. I love fresh ingredients on top of a yeasty well made crust. This was dinner. We didn’t need anything else. No complaints were to be heard as we gobbled this down.

Focaccia/Pizza with Lemon Ricotta, Strawberries, and Peas

Recipe by Renée Robinson
Servings

4-6

servings

A yeasted dough is first baked until it's golden. Then homemade creamy ricotta is spread on top, after which baby greens, sliced red onions and strawberries are tossed in a bracing dressing, and scattered on top, along with freshly thawed frozen peas. Gorgeous and delicious.

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Ingredients

  • 500 grams 500 (about 3 1/2 cups) bread flour

  • 10 grams 10 (about 2 teaspoons) kosher salt

  • 5 grams 5 (about 1 teaspoon) instant yeast

  • 9 tablespoons 9 extra virgin olive oil

  • 347 grams 347 (about 1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) water, room temperature

  • 1 1 heaping teaspoon pink peppercorns

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 black peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon 1 aged sherry vinegar

  • 1/2 tablespoon 1/2 fresh lemon juice

  • 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 dry mustard

  • 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons 3 extra virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Black pepper, coarsely ground

  • 2 cups 2 My Homemade Ricotta (1/2 of the recipe)

  • 1 tablespoon 1 finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon 1 lemon juice

  • 5 ounces 5 mixed baby greens

  • 1/2 small 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup 1 fresh strawberries, thickly sliced

  • 1 cup 1 frozen baby peas, thawed, spread out on paper towels, and patted dry

Directions

  • Combine flour, salt, yeast, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a bread dough mixer. Mix for a few seconds to combine. Add the water to the mixer and mix on medium speed until it comes together and no dry flour remains. Increase speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is stretchy and smooth, about 6 minutes. The dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but pull away from the sides.
  • Pour 4 tablespoons olive oil into either a 14 inch square metal pan or a half sheet pan, tilting it so the entire bottom is covered. Pour the dough into the pan and drizzle over the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Gently pat the dough out until it is in an oval shape and about a half inch thick. It will not fill out the entire pan at this point. Don’t be concerned, we will get to that later. Cover the pan with plastic and let rise for 2 hours.
  • While the dough is rising, make the dressing by whisking together in a small bowl the sherry vinegar and the next 4 ingredients. Add a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Set aside. Stir together the ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to its hottest temperature - 500° to 550° with a rack in the middle. If you have a baking stone or steel place it in the cold oven and begin preheating at least 45 minutes before baking. Remove the plastic from the pan of dough and drizzle on 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Very gently pat and push the dough into all 4 corners of the pan. If there should be any resistance, let the dough rest for 5 minutes and continue. Press dimples all over the dough by pressing to the bottom of the pan with your fingertips. Cover with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Combine the pink peppercorns and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Coarsely grind them together. After the dough has risen for the final 30 minutes, sprinkle the top of the dough with a large pinch of kosher salt and the ground peppercorn mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until it is nicely golden brown. Remove from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for only a few minutes. Remove the crust from the pan and place on a large cutting board. Spread the lemon ricotta over the crust, to within a half inch of the edges. Toss the baby greens and onions in the dressing and using a slotted spoon, scatter them over the top of the pizza. Add the sliced strawberries to the same bowl and gently toss them with the little bit of dressing remaining in the bowl. Distribute the berries on top of the greens, top with the thawed peas, a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Slice, serve, and Enjoy!

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