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Scallop Pizza with Salsa Verde and Mozzarella

 Scallop Pizza with Salsa Verde and Mozzarella

 

Today I feel like I may be running out of things to say about pizza, but I don't think I'll ever run out of pizza variations!  This combination of salsa verde, seafood, lemon zest and mozzarella is a big favorite, so it appears on our table several times a year. The ingredients in the green sauce vary according to season and whim, and the seafood does too...shrimp, scallops, chunks of lobster or crab, etc....but the basic idea doesn't change.

For this one, I seared the scallops with a thin crust of breadcrumbs, primarily to give the scallops some color so we could see them against the mozzarella background. I'm still deciding whether I liked that or not. The pizza was great to eat but I think I like the look of the smooth white scallops better, so next time I think I'll omit the breadcrumbs.

Scallop Pizza with Salsa Verde and Mozzarella

1/2 lb large diver scallops
1/2 C oregano leaves
1/2 C baby spinach leaves
1/2 C basil
1/2 C parsley
1/2 C mint leaves
8 scallions, white and pale green parts, chopped
1 ripe tomato, sliced very thin
4 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced
olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 C Parmeggiano Reggiano, shredded
10 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
3 T fine bread crumbs
one pizza shell (see Pizza Basics for recipe, procedure, etc.)
salt, hot sauce to taste

Turn the oven on 450º with the pizza stone in place.

Roll or stretch the risen dough ball to a pizza shell. Set aside, covered, to rise 30 min.

Wash and dry the spinach, scallions and herbs. Chop roughly and place in a food processor (steel blade) with the garlic, half the zest and 1/3 cup olive oil. Process for a minute or two, until the greens are uniformly minced. Season the mixture with salt, and hot sauce.

[Note: you can use other herbs or vary the proportions, according to what's available. The only caution is that you should avoid greens such as lettuce or cucumber that have a high moisture content. I've used bok choi, fennel, celery, raw brocolli, etc. The character changes with each substitution, but not as much as you might imagine.]

Wash and dry the scallops and slice them into 1/4" thick disks. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate and lay the scallops on the crumbs. (We just want crumbs on one side.) Let them sit there for at least ten minutes. Sauté the scollops, crumb side down, one minute in very hot oil. Drain, crumb side up, on paper towel. Set aside, keeping them warm until needed. 

When the shell has completed the rising, spread it with the green sauce.  Bake 10 minutes on preheated stone in 450º oven.

Lay out the tomato slices on the pizza, then scatter on the Parmeggiano Reggiano. Chop two of the mozzarella slices and lay the others in a circle on the pizza. Scatter the chopped mozzarella in the center of the pizza.

Return the pizza to the oven and reduce the temperature to 400º and bake for 8 more minutes. The crust should be just starting to brown. Add the scallop slices and run under the broiler for a minute or two, watching carefully, until the mozzarella just starts to mottle with charred spots. Remove from oven, brush the edges with olive oil and scatter on the remaining lemon zest. 

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