CHARRED CORN PIZZA

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Sweet, juicy and delicious summer corn is everywhere! I see tall piles of locally grown corn whenever I go to the farmers market. However sadly with we heading towards fall, there are just a few days left for us to enjoy sinking in our teeth into a earful of plump kernels bursting with flavors. I usually like grilling the corn and slathering it with some roasted garlic spread or having it grilled with some olive oil, salt and pepper or at times I just like adding some boiled corn into my bowl of salad for that purest and sweetest taste. But I wanted to try something different and found a very cool way to use corn. Lately I having been making pizzas at home quite often with loads of greens and veggies. So I decided to use grilled corn as the main topping for my pizza along with some onions, zucchini, goat cheese and kale pecan pesto as a sauce.

I started off  with grilling the corn with some olive oil, salt and pepper.This lends it a charred, nutty and caramelized taste. I made sure to remove the husk and grill as I was grilling it indoor. However if you are grilling the corn outdoor, place the corn directly on the grill without removing the husk. Keep cooking it for 20 – 25 minutes, turning occasionally. The outside husk with turn completely black but inside will be moist and the husk will also lend a grassy note to the overall flavor of the corn. The subtle smokiness and the beautiful char marks that grilling imparts makes the corn totally irresistible.

Next up comes the pizza sauce. I am obsessed with pesto. I do not remember the last time I had a pizza with marinara or Alfredo sauce. I have tried making quite a few versions of pesto, my favorites being the spinach, kale & almond pesto and the arugula walnut pesto. This time I tried a combination of kale and pecans for the pesto and I loved how the mild sweetness of the pecans helped balance out the bitterness of the kale. It had a strong, robust taste which perfectly complimented the sweet taste of the corn.

Now for the toppings apart from corn, I kept it very simple with just red onions and zucchini. I did not add loads of veggies as that would have masked the taste of corn and also because I felt that with the kale pecan pesto going in as sauce, the nutrition game had already gone up! Also for the cheese, I opted for goat cheese instead of the traditional mozzarella and I was blown with the tart & earthy taste and the creamy texture it added to the pizza.

On a whole, this pizza is packed with flavor, ridiculously easy to throw together and can be on the dinner table in very little time. Also it is a very healthy dinner or lunch option with all the super green pesto going in and delicious too with the star ingredient corn and the goat cheese truly making it an unconventional pizza altogether.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1.5 oz goat cheese
  • 2 – 3 ears sweet corn
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili flake
  • salt and pepper as per taste
  • 1 whole wheat thin pizza crust (store bought)

For the kale & pecan pesto (yields 2 cups)

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 5 – 6 raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • To grill the corn, preheat the grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub the corn with some olive oil and season with some salt and pepper. Grill the corn for 2 – 4 minutes on each side or until char marks occur. Remove from grill and cut kernels off the cob.

 

  • To make the pesto: in a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the pesto and pulse until smooth and creamy in texture.

 

  • Preheat the oven at 475 degrees F.
  • Meanwhile, place the pizza crust on a lined baking tray. Nicely spread pesto on the crust.

 

  • Top it with onions, zucchini, charred corn and  crumbled goat cheese and sprinkle some salt and pepper as per taste.

 

  • Transfer it to the oven and bake it for about 15 – 20 minutes until the crust is nicely cooked.
  • Once done sprinkle some red pepper flakes and adjust the seasoning as required. Serve hot.

 

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