I’m baaaaaaaaaack! After a long hiatus spent doing crazy things like having a child and releasing my first cookbook (!!), I’ve returned to the blog with an escapist pizza that will brighten even the cloudiest of weeks. It’s my second—and most successful—attempt at a preserved lemon pizza, punctuated with other classic Moroccan flavors like olives, saffron, and fresh basil. Salty, creamy, zingy, and bright. A new favorite in the making.
Moroccan-Inspired Pizza with Preserved Lemon, Olives, and Saffron Cream
Makes one 12-inch pizza
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and finishing
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Pinch of saffron threads (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1 (14 to 16-ounce) ball Basic or Slow-Rise Pizza Dough (or pre-made pizza dough)
- 1/2 preserved lemon, rinsed and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup sliced cured black olives
- ¼ cup sliced cured green olives
- 3 to 4 ounces fresh chèvre (goat cheese)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or tarragon, for finishing
- Pinch of flaked sea salt, for finishing
Place your pizza stone or steel (if using) on an oven rack in the middle of your oven. If you plan to cook your pizza on a baking sheet, just place a rack in the middle of the oven (you do not need to preheat the baking sheet). Preheat the oven to 500°F (or the highest temperature your oven will allow, if using a pizza stone/steel) and let it heat up for at least 30 minutes while you make the dough.
To make the saffron-infused cream: In a small saucepan, combine the cream and saffron. Bring the mixture just to a simmer over medium heat, then remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let it steep for 20 minutes.
To stretch out the dough: Place the dough on a clean work surface and, using your hands, gently stretch it into a 12-inch square or disk, making sure that it retains the same thickness throughout (more or less).
If you’re using a pizza stone or steel: Dust a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet with flour or cornmeal. Place the dough disk on the prepared peel.
If you’re using a baking sheet: Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the dough disk on the prepared baking sheet.
To top the pizza: Brush the dough lightly with olive oil, making sure to get all the way to the edges. Scatter on the preserved lemon and olives, and crumble the chèvre over top. Season with black pepper to taste, then drizzle the saffron cream over all.
To bake the pizza: If you’re using a pizza stone or steel, 10 minutes before you are ready to cook the pizza, increase the oven heat to broil. Slide the pizza from the peel (or inverted baking sheet) to the hot stone or steel using quick shimmying movements. Broil the pizza for 6 to 8 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese begins to brown in spots. Using the peel or inverted baking sheet, transfer the cooked pizza to a cutting board. If you are making more than one pizza, allow the pizza stone or steel to reheat under the broiler for 5 minutes before you cook the next one.
If you’re using a baking sheet, do not increase the oven to broil. Place the baking sheet on the rack in the middle of the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese begins to brown in spots.
Remove the pizza from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes, then drizzle it with a little olive oil, sprinkle on the minced basil, and sprinkle on the pinch of sea salt; slice and serve.