In my search for fresh ideas for pizza toppings, I’ve been inspired lately by the sauces on hand in my refrigerator. Using the leftover white wine cashew cream sauce I made last week, sea scallops, fresh mozzarella, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and lots of flat-leaf parsley, I found another great combination of flavors.
The most interesting part of this recipe to me is the crispy texture of the flat-leaf parsley, which is piled on top of the pizza as the very last ingredient. In the oven, the edges of the parsley brown a bit and add a delicate crunch, contrasting with the creamy sauce and complimenting the seared scallops. I love greens on pizza, and using this little texture trick kicks it up a notch.
For the pizza crust, I use a white whole wheat recipe that has become the standard crust for my homemade pizzas. If you’re like me and you love pizza and make it every chance you can, I highly recommend getting a pizza stone, which you can use for baking breads too. Using the stone gives the pizza that chewy, crisp pizzeria crust. Once you’ve got your pizza groove down, you’ll never settle for delivery again.
3/4 cup white wine cashew cream sauce (for recipe, see previous posts)
6 medium scallops
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups flat-leaf parsley, lightly packed
2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, finely grated
White Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
(adapted from the cookbook Pizza, California Style and the blog Life, In Recipes)
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 cup warm water (between 110ºF to 115ºF degrees-use a thermometer for best results)
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in the 3/4 cup of warm water. Let it sit until it begins to foam, about 5 minutes. Measure out white whole wheat flour, mix in the salt, blend in the the olive oil, and stir into the yeast and honey mixture until well-blended. Dough will be thick and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area for at least an hour, or up to 8 hours. As time passes, mixture should begin to bubble and expand slightly, creating the “sponge” starter.
Once the sponge has fermented and you’re ready to use it (after 1 to 8 hours), adjust oven rack to the second lowest position in the oven, and place pizza stone on rack. Preheat to 500ºF.
Prep most of the toppings. Wash and dry parsley, remove leaves from stems, measure out 2 cups, then set aside. Grate 2 cups mozzarella cheese and set aside. Grate 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese on a fine grater and set aside. Measure out about 3/4 cup white wine cashew cream sauce, set aside.
To finish the crust, sprinkle a flat work surface with flour. Scrape the dough from the bowl onto floured surface, then sprinkle more flour over the dough and knead until smooth, adding more flour if dough is too sticky, and roll dough into a small ball. Measure out a large piece of parchment paper, about 15″x15″, and place dough on it. Flatten the dough slightly into a disk. Starting from the center of the dough, begin to spread the dough with your fingers, pushing from the center outwards, creating a rim all around and shaping dough into a round. Continue to consistently press the dough outwards, and as you do, the rim will become smaller as the circle increases in size. Press dough outwards until about 12″ to 14″ in diameter. Slide a large pizza peel underneath parchment paper and dough. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
While the pizza dough is resting, remove scallops from refrigerator. Heat about a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot and shimmering, add scallops and briefly sear on each side, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Scallops should be slightly undercooked as they will finish cooking in the oven on the pizza. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon juice over scallops. Set aside.
To finish the pizza, spread white wine cashew cream sauce over entire pizza up to the rim. Cut scallops in half, and spread evenly over pizza. Sprinkle mozzarella over pizza, and then sprinkle most of the parmigiano-reggiano cheese over pizza, reserving a heaping tablespoon. Spread parsley over entire pizza, leaving scallops exposed as much as possible. It will look like it’s a lot of parsley, but it will shrink down when it cooks in the oven. Sprinkle remaining parmigiano-reggiano cheese evenly over the pizza. Open oven door and carefully slide pizza and parchment paper onto pizza stone. Cook until cheese looks bubbly and is starting to brown slightly. Slide pizza peel underneath parchment paper and remove pizza from oven onto large cutting board or protected surface. Cut into eight slices.
Makes one large 12″ to 14″ pizza