Leek and pecorino pizza

This is Week #5 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010.

This may only be the fifth week, but this recipe is by far my favorite of the bunch so far. The flavors from the leeks, lamb and pecorino cheese mix scrumptiously well.

And the style in which the pizzas are cooked was new to me, but so slick! I will make this again. Yum.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Ok, onto the recipe!

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. Wow, that is HOT! Heat a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven for 45 minutes. If you do not own a pizza stone, heat a large inverted baking sheet on the bottom rack for 5 minutes.

Divide 1 1/2 pounds of pizza dough into 8 pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each piece into a 7-inch round. Oil 4 large baking sheets and place the dough rounds on the sheets.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes. Being pizza dough is exhausting.

I have never used leeks in my cooking before, and I must say that I have been missing out! They are delicious and who knew that leek towers would be so much fun to take photos of?!

Slice 2 large leeks into 1/4-inch pieces.

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened (about 8 minutes).

Transfer the leeks to a plate. They need rest, too.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet, along with 3/4 pound of ground lamb, salt and pepper. Break up the meat with a spoon or spatula and cook until the meat is no longer pink (about 5 minutes).

Generously flour a pizza peel. If you do not own a pizza peel, like myself, generously flour a flat baking sheet. Place a dough round on the peel and brush the dough with olive oil. Top with:

A handful of cooked leeks

A handful of cooked lamb

A handful of halved cherry tomatoes (you will want to halve about 32 total tomatoes for all 8 pizzas)

Thinly sliced pecorino cheese (you will need about 1/4 pound total for all 8 pizzas)

Slide the dough round onto the hot stone or baking sheet and bake for about 4 minutes, until the pizza dough is crisp.

Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients and serve! I hope you enjoy this pizza as much as I did! 

Click here for a printable recipe!