Smoked Mussels Sourdough Pizza with Basil-Lime Pesto and Burrata
Makes two 10 to 12-inch pizzas
Plump, naturally sweet Ekone Smoked Mussels combine with the fresh herbal flavors of summer in this simple but delicious pizza. The dough is made the day before and retarded in the refrigerator overnight for improved flavor. Use freshly milled, stone ground flours for the best results. It is best baked in an outdoor pizza oven at a high temperature, but the same method can be used in a home oven with some modifications.
Flatbreads like pizza are very forgiving and this combination can be made with a few variations. The sauce is a riff on a classic basil pesto with a hint of acidity to amplify the mussels, cut through the richness of the burrata, and to accommodate the bitterness of the wild arugula. If you don’t have pistachios on hand, use toasted pumpkin seeds instead. When sweet corn is in season, try adding a few handfuls of kernels to the pizza after applying the pesto and before going into the oven. For a crispier crust, substitute the whole wheat flour with whole durum flour and divide the dough into three equal sized balls instead, rolling them into thin 10-inch disks before baking. If trying this variation to feed a crowd, use three cans of mussels, an additional smaller ball of burrata, and another handful of arugula.
220 g water
70 g refreshed sourdough starter
15 g extra-virgin olive oil
7 g fine sea salt
210 g bread flour
140 g whole wheat bread flour
30 g lightly toasted pistachios
2 plump cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
70 g fresh basil leaves
Sea salt, to taste
½ teaspoon finely grated lime zest
80 g extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
60 g finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
A generous squeeze lime juice
2 cans Ekone Smoked Mussels, drained (2.75-ounce cans)
1 large ball burrata (about 180 g )
2 handfuls wild arugula
½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
A generous squeeze lime juice
A small pinch sea salt
A few pinches Aleppo pepper flakes or red pepper flakes, to taste
1. Make the pizza dough and retard in the refrigerator overnight.
In a large bowl, whisk together the water, starter, oil, and salt to combine. Add the flours and with your hands, squeeze and mix until the flour is hydrated, and no dry lumps remain. Set aside to relax, about 15 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, rinse out and dry the bowl, and lightly coat it with oil. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it feels springy and tight, about 3 to 4 minutes, adding more flour as necessary if the dough sticks to your hands or the work surface. Shape the dough into a ball, toss it to coat, and rest it seam side down in the bowl. Cover the bowl and ferment the dough at room temperature (75°F/24°C) for
1 ½ hours. The dough will not increase in size dramatically during this time. Transfer the dough to the refrigerator for at least 8 and up to 16 hours.
2. Make the pesto.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse together the pistachios and garlic until a coarse meal forms. Add the basil, a few pinches of salt, and the lime zest. Drizzle with about half of the oil and pulse until the basil begins to break down. Add the remaining oil, the cheese, and a squeeze of lime juice, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue pulsing until the pesto is mostly smooth but still has texture, adding more oil if necessary to loosen. Taste for salt and acidity and adjust to your preference. Transfer the pesto to a container and pour in more oil to cover. Secure the lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, bringing to room temperature before stirring and using for the pizzas.
3. Divide the dough and final proof at room temperature.
Lightly oil two 6-inch bowls with oil. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Using a bench knife, divide the dough in half. Shape it into tight balls and place them into the bowls, seam side down. Cover with lids, plates, or a reusable plastic bag and set aside to proof at room temperature (75°F/24°C) until puffy and expanded, about 2 to 3 hours. The time this takes will depend upon the temperature of your refrigerator and room, the flours used, and the health of your starter. The dough will be ready to shape and bake when it feels like an inflated pillow. About 1 hour before you are ready to bake the pizzas, remove the burrata and pesto from the refrigerator. Drain and discard the burrata whey and tear the cheese into small pieces. Place the cheese on a plate, cover, and set aside to come to room temperature.
4. Preheat an outdoor gas pizza oven to 700°F/370°C.
Preheat time should take at least 20 minutes. Once the temperature is reached, turn the flame down to medium-low to stabilize the temperature. Alternatively, preheat a pizza stone in a home oven on the middle rack to 500°F/260°C for 45 minutes.
5. Shape and bake the pizzas.
Transfer one pizza ball to a well-floured surface and dust with flour. Prepare a pizza peel by dusting generously with cornmeal or semolina flour. Have a cutting board, the assembly ingredients, and a poking tool for popping dough bubbles (a skewer, knife, or offset spatula works well) nearby the pizza oven. Using floured hands and fingers, press the dough from the center outward until it begins to expand. Stretch the dough until it is about 10 to 12-inches in diameter, depending upon your preference and the size of your peel and baking surface. Transfer the dough to the prepared peel and dollop about 60 g to 70 g of pesto onto the middle (roughly 1/3 cup). Spread the pesto to cover the dough surface, leaving a 1 ½ to 2-inch rim. Shake the pizza to make sure no spots are sticking to the peel and then slide the pizza into the oven. Bake the pizza, rotating frequently, until the crust is blistered and baked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. When large dough bubbles rise in the middle, pull the pizza from the oven and pop them before continuing to bake.
If baking in a home oven instead, the baking time will increase to 15 to 17 minutes. Although large bubbles do not tend to form in a home oven, keep an eye on the crust and pop any that may form in the middle. To char the crust, finish the pizza 6-inches under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, or to your liking.
6. Apply the cheese, mussels, and arugula topping.
Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Immediately top with half of the burrata and half of the mussels. While the cheese is relaxing into the pesto, place the arugula in a medium bowl. Drizzle with the oil, squeeze the lime over top, and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat. Apply half of the mixture evenly over the pizza and sprinkle with Aleppo pepper flakes.
When the burrata has softened and snuggled in with the mussels, cut the pizza into wedges and serve immediately. Sweep out the oven and repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.
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