Yes, I know, Ibiza is synonymous with summer Euro partying these days, but in a time long gone I spent a fall and winter tucked away in the hills above Santa Eulalia del Rio in an eight hundred year old finka (farmhouse) that unraveled some of the many mysteries of this wind swept pine forested isla shimmering in the western indigo Mediterranean Sea. The island’s colorful past included portage for Phoenician, Greek, Roman, and Moorish merchant ships traversing the Mediterranean that indelibly shaped the island’s character and culinary influences. There is even local lore that Es Vedra, a rocky island just southwest of Ibiza, was the island of the Sirens from Homer’s Odyssey, though surely a Greek island was the more likely inspiration.
Strangely, in some inexplicable ways it was to be the winter of my discontent, but in hindsight it was the island’s agrarian persuasion, shaded olive groves, finka gardens, and local mercados de la paises that linger as testament of Ibiza’s beguiling allure.
Pizza, of course comes from Italy, but widely available across the island these days. The recipe that follows is drawn from my recollections of local produce that was available in the late fall in the country markets; lemons, artichokes, garlic, olives, chilies, wild herbs, pinon nuts, almonds, and fresh farm cheeses.
The flavors of Ibiza!
Pizza Dough; Basics (see here)
Garilc Onion Puree; Basics (see here)
Homemade Ricotta (see here)
Assemble all the pizza toppings in separate bowls for easy assembly
Ibiza Pizza: 1 ten inch pizza
Preheat oven to as hot as you can get it for 30 minutes before baking. Place the oven rack in the bottom of the oven, topped with a pizza stone.
- 1 prepared pizza round
- flaked sea salt
- extra virgin olive oil for brushing the edge of the pizza
- 1/3 cup garlic onion puree
- 3 artichoke hearts, slices across
- 5 green olives, pitted and halved
- 1/3 cup ricotta
- 1 ½ tablespoons pinon nuts or halved almonds
- lemon zest
- red chile flakes to taste
- several handfuls of arugula (wild if available)
Prepare the pizza round as directed, being sure there is enough semolina under the round so that it slides easily onto the pizza stone.
Brush the outer edge of the pizza round with the olive oil and salt the center.
Place the garlic puree in the center of the pizza dough and using a spoon spread in a circular motion to within ¾ of an inch of the outer edge.
Distribute the sliced artichokes evenly over the garlic puree.
Add the olive halves.
Add about 1 teaspoon dollops of ricotta evenly around the pizza.
Add the pinon or almonds scattered over the surface.
Grate fresh lemon zest over all.
Scatter the red chile flakes sparingly over the entire surface.
Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The outer crust should be lightly browned and the center of the pizza bubbling away.
Remove the pizza from the oven and slice into quarters. Top each quarter with arugula ans serve promptly.