The weather is beginning to turn, at least this week in Southern California, and I can smell comfort food on the horizon. There’s something about seasonal meals that change our mood, and make us shift into craving hardier foods. Classic dishes like root vegetable stews, and soups filled with potatoes are some of first recipes that show their enticing heads, but even foods like pasta and pizza often change slightly to please our palates.
Fresh corn is something that hangs on the longest, even during the beginning of fall, and compliments many ingredients. Corn on a flatbread or pizza may be unique to some, but when melted on top of a soft-dough crust, along with some ricotta and mozzarella cheese, it’s a true pleasure. Salami is one of my favorite foods, and when sliced into strands and crisped on top of a gooey corn-cheese pie, becomes even more mouthwatering. Serrano chilies are one of those things in life that really add a bit of heat, an enjoyable one in my opinion, but if you want to stay on the tamer side of things, just cut out some seeds, but don’t omit them completely because they add complimentary characteristics to the flatbread.
My dough is as easy as four ingredients pressed together in a bowl, but you can cut corners and buy dough from the grocery store or local pizzeria. I do recommend making it from scratch because the results are more pillowy soft, and you know it’s fresh. You can always make the dough ahead, and keep it in the refrigerator overnight and then, let it proof on the counter for an hour before loading it up with tasty toppings. I think this is a great meal during the week, but you could serve it as an appetizer on the weekends for friends.
1 package active dry yeast, 1/4 ounce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen defrosted corn
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced into half moons
3 ounces salami slices, cut into strands
1 serrano chili, remove seeds if you don’t want it spicy
pinch of salt
olive oil for cooking
- In a small bowl, mix together yeast, sugar and 1/3 cup water. After 15 minutes it should be bubbling and ready to use.
- In a large bowl, add flour and bubbling yeast, stir. Add 1/2 cup room temperature water and stir. Press dough down in bowl and wait 5 minutes before adding salt. Add salt and using your hands knead in bowl for 3 minutes. You can add more flour or water at this point to form a ball. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil in bowl and coat ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour (you can refrigerate at this point and use tomorrow).
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle oil on sheet pan and spread with fingers to coat. Place dough on pan and stretch into a 10 x 5 inch rectangle, or something close to shape.
- Spread ricotta on top of dough, leaving a 1/2 inch edge clean. Top with 1 cup of corn, mozzarella, salami strands and half of serrano chilies.
- Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes, just until dough is puffed around edges and lightly golden brown. Remove and top with remaining corn and more chilies, if desired. Sprinkle top with salt. Enjoy!