Arugula, pine nuts, and the blueberry relish top meats and homemade pizza dough. (Photo by Tress Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

Arugula, pine nuts, and the blueberry relish top meats and homemade pizza dough. (Photo by Tress Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

On the strawberry patch: Blueberry pizza marks the end of summer

The acidity and sweetness of the berries make them an excellent companion for creamy cheeses and fatty meats.

Windstorms and foggy mornings have signaled the end of summer here on the strawberry patch.

Yet again our days of endless sunshine seem to have passed me quickly by, and I have renewed resolve to appreciate the precious time before each outing must begin with a hectic production of coats, snowsuits, gloves and hats.

As I was tilling my radish patch for a fall crop, my mother-in-law ran past with news that her nearby blueberry spot was ready for picking. She has been doing a lot of picking and scouting for berries lately, as have many Alaskans, hoping to gather enough to enjoy until they are ripe on the bushes again.

Most of our blueberries will be frozen, but while they are still fresh and so wonderfully plentiful, I am emboldened to experiment with unexpected pairings and unorthodox applications. The acidity and sweetness of the berries make them an excellent companion for creamy cheeses and fatty meats. This steak and arugula pizza with blueberry relish is as complex and delicious as it is beautiful and makes a satisfying dinner after a day of picking in the marshes or mountains.

Ingredients:

Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup warm water

3 tablespoons yeast

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

Blueberry Relish

1 cup fresh blueberries

½ cup diced red onion

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt to taste

Toppings

6-8 ounces beef steak (sirloin or tenderloin work well), cooked rare, cooled, and sliced thin

1 cup fresh arugula

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

6 ounces brie

6 ounces feta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix your honey and yeast into the warm water and let rest five minutes until bubbles form.

Combine your salt and flour, pour in your yeast and water mixture, and knead until soft, smooth and springy.

Cover and let rest in a greased bowl until the dough has doubled in size. Timing varies depending on the ambient temperature, but generally 1.5-2 hours is enough.

While the dough is rising, make your relish by combining all ingredients and covering with 1 cup of water.

Boil until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is the consistency of a loose jam. Taste and season, then set aside until ready for plating.

Season your steak with salt and pepper and cook just enough to sear the outside. This will help you to get very thin, even slices. The meat will finish cooking in the oven, so don’t worry if it looks too rare. Wait until the meat is completely cooled before slicing into slices no thicker than ¼ inch.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Grease a sheet pan with olive oil, roll out your dough to fit, and bake the bare crust until the top begins to brown, around 12-15 minutes. Rotate halfway if you know your oven has a hot spot.

Remove the crust from the oven and brush with olive oil.

Dress your pizza starting with minced garlic, then cheeses, then meat.

Return to the oven for 5-7 minutes until the brie has melted and the meat is cooked to your desired doneness.

Remove from the oven and finish with arugula, pine nuts and the blueberry relish.

More in Community

The Homer Police Station as seen Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Cops and Courts

Information about fire, police and troopers is taken from public records consisting… Continue reading

Arts briefs

‘Summer of Soul’ wins Audience Favorite for Homer DocFest The Homer Documentary… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

Willie (Photo courtesy of Alaska Mindful Paws)
Pet of the week: Willie

This big boy is full of love and spunk. Willie is a… Continue reading

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

Homer High School. (Homer News file photo)
School announcements

School district risk level update and upcoming events

For Carly Garay's "The Art of Ancestor Veneration," visitors are invited to include images, letters or prayers honoring ancestors at a central display. The exhibit shows through Oct. 30, 2021, at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Garay lifts the veil between living and dead with “Art of Ancestor Veneration”

HCOA show invites people to submit own images of ancestors at central altar.

Sara and Ed Berg retracing their daughter’s, Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, last known steps before disappearing two years ago on Oct. 17. The memorial walk is a way for the parents to keep her with them. “We don’t have anything left. This is one of the few things we have,” Sara Berg said. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer’s Best Bets

If a sudden influx of visitors shows up this month, credit yet… Continue reading

Town Crier

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities holds a virtual open… Continue reading

Most Read