Leeks are the onion’s conservative and highly underrated cousin. They look like giant green onions and despite their merger marketability on this side of the pond, leeks have been widely cultivated in Europe for centuries where everyday staples like cock-a-leekie-soup and vichyssoise claim the modest leek as their star ingredient. There’s something seductive about the leek (phallic shape aside) that makes them irresistible; their flavour is smooth and pungent, aromatic and soulful. It’s hard to find an adjective that describes them perfectly…except perhaps ‘delicious’. When you eat leeks you feel both satisfied and clean. A combination that is entirely gratifying. For this recipe I paired seasonal leeks with garlic, cream cheese and bacon to create a rib sticking fall pizza that is positively loaded with flavour.
3.5-4 c. unbleached flour
1 tsp sugar
1.5 Tbsp instant yeast
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. lukewarm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
Turn on your oven to 350F, wait 1 minute and then turn it off again- but leave your oven light on. Measure 3.5 c of flour in a large mixing bowl with sugar, yeast and salt and give it a quick mix. In a separate bowl measure in the oil and water. Then pour liquid into the flour mixture. Stir until you get a dough that is neither sticky or dry, adding more flour if needed one Tbsp at a time.
Grease a medium sized bowl and place the dough ball inside. Cover with waxed paper and then pop your dough into the warm (not hot) oven to rise for an hour.
In a mixer, cream together 1/2 package of plain cream cheese with 2 cloves of minced garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle in chives (another member of the onion family) if you’ve got them.
1 c. cooked, chopped bacon
2 leeks, tops and bottoms removed, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds and sautéed in butter until soft (about 6 minutes).
1 tomato, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds and seeded.
Once the dough has risen, remove it from the oven and heat the oven to 425F. On a floured surface, roll your dough out into a lovely pizza shape (the baking dish you use will dictate which shape this will be). place dough on pane and smoother with the cream cheese ‘sauce’. Sprinkle with sautéed leeks and bacon bits.