Corn is a popular Israeli pizza topping, for good reason: it adds great flavor and texture to your pizza. Here's how to make an authentic slice of Israel.Yum
In the central square of the town where my savta lived, about halfway down from the beach, was a shawarma joint, a pizzeria, a small movie theater (one of the first establishments to get air conditioning), and a toy store, the kind with windows on all sides crammed full of fantasy. It was, basically, an Israeli eighties kid's ultimate summer destination for hot afternoons before beach time. The pizzeria sold what I still consider the best pizza in the world, and yes, that includes New York and Italy. It's possible that nostalgia is a factor here, yes. But: Gooey cheese. Puffy crust. Salty olives. And, of course, sweet corn. Although it's a standard pizza topping all over Israel, I will forever and always call this combination Pizza Capri.
Because Pizza Capri served their pizzas, on display in all their glory behind the open-air counter, in squares and not triangles, I naturally had to do the same. But you can, of course, perch this winning combination atop any style pie you like.
Making the crust
The recipe below uses my almost-instant pizza dough, a friendly, fast-rise dough that gets rolled out and baked on regular sheet pans. It breaks a lot of pizza rules; for a New York style pizza, see my post here on thin-crust pizza (that pizza is shaped entirely by hand-stretching and baked on a stone). You could also make it with standard pizza dough.
Topping the pizza
Just a simple, marinara-type pizza sauce goes on this pizza. No simmering, start with canned tomato sauce and whisk in the seasonings. Dole it over your pizza in small amounts; you don't want soggy. Top the tomato sauce with plenty of shredded cheese—I used a pre-shredded "pizza blend" with mozzarella and...something else?...in it. Again, this is pizza heresy, but I have small humans to feed, and They. Are. Starving, Ima!! Also? It works quite well. Sometimes when I'm making grownup pizza I hand grate. That counts, right?
To prepare the corn for placing on top of your pizza, you can measure out a cup and leave it to defrost at room temperature (you want it mostly defrosted by the time it goes in the oven). Or, you can microwave it for about a minute with a tablespoon of water in the bottom of the dish. Another option is to use canned corn, drained.
If you can get them, Israeli black olives are perfect here alongside the corn, as are Israeli green olives. If you can only find Israeli olives pitted but not sliced, they're not too annoying to slice yourself. But any black olives will work here; in comparison to Israeli green olives, these aren't as distinctive.
Scatter the corn and olives generously over the cheese and into the oven they go. (And if you keep saying to yourself, "Why won't those errant pieces of cheese melt already?"—the answer is, because they're actually kernels of corn.) And there you have it, the authentic slice of Israel.
Israeli Corn Pizza with Black Olives (dairy)
Quick pizza dough:
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted, or canned corn, drained
- ½ cup sliced black Israeli olives
Make the dough:
- Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Knead with the dough hook until the dough forms a craggy ball, then a smooth ball, about 5 minutes.
- Cover and set aside for 15 minutes (and up to half an hour).
- The dough is ready to roll out and use for pizza! Top and bake at 425°F / 220°C for 20 to 25 minutes. If cheese is not browned, turn on the broiler for 1-2 minutes before removing pizzas from the oven.
Make the sauce:
- Mix together the ingredients for the tomato sauce in a small bowl. You'll want to get out a small ladle or large spoon for ladling the sauce onto your pizzas.
Assemble and bake:
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces for individual-sized pizzas, or in two larger sections for two large. Ladle the sauce on top, sprinkle liberally with cheese, then top with the corn and olives.
- Bake at 425°F / 220°C for 20 to 25 minutes. If cheese is not browned, turn on the broiler for 1-2 minutes before removing pizzas from the oven.