I am a sucker for anything that looks remotely like Pizza.
This particular recipe ticks a lot of boxes. It puts together at least three New York favorites. Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese and, according to its creator, was inspired by the bagel. The Cream Cheese in this case is Boursin, which has the advantage of bringing garlic and herbs to the party. The pickled beets are a splendid addition. To amp up its pizza creds, there’s Mozzarella too. For ease, it uses store-bought pizza dough. And it comes together in minimal time, much of which is spent peering through the oven door watching it rise. The toppings are then added and the ‘flatbread’ is then served.
“Pizza is like sex. Even when it bad, it is good.” –Mel Brooks
I don’t know if I will go that far. But I do consider Pizza the perfect food. Name anything else that contains dairy, protein, vegetables, and carbs? (Okay, a Big Mac might make the same claim but Pizza has a healthier glow). I can’t say that I haven’t had a bad slice or two in my quest for the best. Overwhelmingly I have loved every pizza I have ever eaten. But it would take years to eat a slice of the 687 types of pizzas an organization called PizzaRecipe.org has compiled.
In Pizza we trust, God save the crust!
That’s their motto and if you want to know all about Pizza, you need to know PizzaRecipe.org. I wish I could figure who is behind this staggering collection of over 687 types of pizza. It says it is “the world’s largest list of pizza varieties and the history of pizza in each country”. All 32 of them ranging from Iran to New Zealand and all points in between. Naples, of course, has its own chapter, separate from that of Italia.
The Most Popular Dish in the World
Invented in the 1800s in Naples, over time pizza spread worldwide. Its toppings are changed depending on local ingredients and local tastes. Immigrants from Italy adapted recipes from their homeland as they emigrated to the New World. This emigration was not confined to just North America. Italians are the largest ethnic immigrant group in Argentina for example. In Australia, you’ll find unusual toppings of Crocodile, Kangaroo, Shark, and Emu meat. Every year, according to PizzaRecipe, more than 30 billion pizzas are eaten worldwide. That makes Pizza the most popular dish in the world. And who eats the most pizza? Per capita, Norway takes the title followed by Germany. Here’s today’s recipe followed by some other Pizzas you may enjoy.
Martha Stewart's Smoked Salmon Flatbread with Pickled Beets
This flatbread pizza puts together at least three New York favorites. Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese and, according to its creator, was inspired by the bagel. Add some quick-pickled beets and you've got breakfast, brunch, dinner, or an hors d'oeuvre.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound pizza dough, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 5 ounces garlic-herb cheese, such as Boursin, crumbled
- 1 medium red or Chioggia beet, scrubbed and cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh juice
- 4 ounces sliced smoked salmon
- 1/4 cup packed tender herbs, such as parsley, dill, and chives
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 450°F, with a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on the lowest rack. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of oil onto a rimmed quarter sheet pan (9 by 13 inches). Stretch dough to the edges of the pan.
- Step 2 Drizzle dough evenly with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper. Top with mozzarella and garlic-herb cheese, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
- Step 3 Bake on stone until cheese is melted and bubbly, and crust is golden brown and set on the bottom, 22 to 24 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine beet, lemon zest and juice, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove pizza from oven
- Step 4 let cool slightly. Top with salmon, beet mixture, and herbs. Slice and serve.
Turkish Lamb Pita Pizzas adapted from Semsa Denizsel in Food and Wine Magazine