Citrus season seems to be coming to an end here in California, but for the last couple of months there's been a bumper crop of oranges, lemons and grapefruits hanging from the trees of every other house in town. Even though I grew up here, I had somehow missed out on the revelation that is the Meyer lemon, so when a friend said she had more then her family could use I was more than happy to take a bag or two.
Meyer Lemons have a lot going for them. They are apparently a cross between a lemon and either an orange or a mandarin, which makes them sweeter than regular lemons. And their skin is a bit thinner and totally edible! I sliced one up and just snacked away while trying to figure out what to do with my Meyer lemon haul.
I ended up making a few different things, but the most fun was this pizza. I was inspired by my favorite pizza at Pizzando, a new upscale-but-casual restaurant on the plaza in Healdsburg, California. They cook up their crust in their wood-fired oven, spread some of what they describe as a "roasted lemon marmelade" onto the crust and then add arugula and burrata.
When I tried roasting my Meyer lemons they got bitter, so instead I mixed up my lemon slices with some red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and olive oil and let that meld together for a bit.
I spread that on my baked pizza crust, threw on a couple of handfuls of arugula tossed in a light dressing of Meyer lemon juice and olive oil, and added the burrata. I love salad on top of pizzas! This pizza is perfect for a lighter lunch or dinner. It's satisfying but tastes so fresh. The recipe below is imprecise, I know, but just make it how you like it. You can't go wrong with these ingredients.
Meyer Lemon, Arugula, and Burrata Pizza
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as part of a larger meal
Pizza dough (I use Mark Bittman's recipe from his book How to Cook Everthing)
About 3 Meyer lemons
Red pepper flakes
About 4 tablespoons olive oil
Two handfuls or so of arugula
1 bag of burrata
Even though this recipe is very free-form, I think it's one of those times where it helps to get everything ready so that you can put it all together while the crust is still hot. If you're making your own pizza dough, start that process first. You can prepare everything else while the dough rises.
Make your Meyer lemon base first. Wash your lemons carefully because we're going to leave the peel on. Slice up two of your lemons the long way twice so you now have eight longish lemon wedges. See if you can pick out some of the seeds at this point. Then slice each wedge thinly. Make sure you get rid of all the seeds and then add your lemon slices to a bowl. Throw in a little salt and pepper and some red pepper flakes and then add about two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix all this up a little bit with a fork for maximum flavor. Set aside.
Rinse and dry your arugula. I usually use about a handful of arugula per person. Set that aside as well.
Make a simple citrus dressing. Squeeze the juice out of your last Meyer lemon. Remove any seeds. Whisk in a little salt and pepper and two tablespoons of olive oil. Taste it and see if you like it. Add more olive oil or lemon juice depending on how you like your dressing. Set aside.
Preheat your oven according to your pizza recipe instructions. I usually set it pretty hot, about 400° Fahrenheit. Stretch your pizza dough into a roundish shape. Mine always end up oblong and with some thin parts, but it really doesn't matter. Brush your crust with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Put in your hot oven and watch like a hawk. Mine got a little dark where the crust was especially thin. It was in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Now you're ready to assemble your pizza.
Arrange the lemon slices on the hot crust evenly. Dress the arugula and then spread the greens out over the lemons. Slice up the burrata and then drop onto the pizza. Cut into wedges or large squares and enjoy!