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Posts Tagged ‘Pizza’

This weird looking thing is romanesco and it’s awesome.  I’m not a huge broccoli or cauliflower fan, but this is their more delicious sibling.  Plus, it’s probably the only nuclear green food without artificial ingredients.  I’ve only recently started cooking with it, and now can’t stop.  Mostly I’ve been roasting it, but it was fabulous in some roasted garlic aioli during the Super Bowl, and it’s really good on this pizza.

Romanesco Pizza a la Arugulove

Ingredients
1 pizza dough (this is my latest favorite recipe)
a couple heads of romanesco, broken up into florets
1 lemon, zested and juiced
a couple leeks, washed and thinly sliced
A bunch of kalamata olives, pitted and diced (I probably used about 1/3 of a cup before chopping)
A tablespoon or two of capers, chopped up a bit, if you can
A handful of fresh parsley, minced
4 ounces of goat cheese
Olive oil, salt & pepper

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450.  Toss the romanesco in olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat up some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the leeks, and saute until soft, about 7-10 minutes.  Towards the end, add the lemon juice, and simmer until cooked off.  Place the olives, capers, and parsley in a bowl.  When the leeks are done, add those and mix together.  Spread out on the pizza dough.

At this point, I was tempted to bake and eat just like this.  I may do it too, for my next party.

But, this time, I persevered.  I pulled the romanesco out and spread it on the pizza.  Add the crumbled goat cheese and the lemon zest.  Stick it back in the oven and bake for another 12 minutes or so.  Pull out and enjoy with a glass of crisp rose or sauvignon blanc.

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Pizza with Peas, Favas, and Bacon

A few weeks ago, some friends came to town.  It was their first visit to San Francisco.  After roaming around Ghiradelli Square and checking out the sea lions, we walked down to the Ferry Building.  After getting meat cones at Boccalone, we wanted some drinks.  Market Bar was serving their happy hour menu, so we grabbed a table in the sun and ordered up some snacks and Pimm’s cups.

One of the things we ordered was a pizza with pancetta and fava beans.  It was delicious.  I’ve been dreaming about it ever since and finally decided to make my own.  I tweaked it a bit, leaving off the onion and red sauce, using some delicious bacon from the Fatted Calf instead of pancetta, and adding a bit of mint.   I had some peas leftover from a salad the previous night, so I added those too.  I think the favas and peas here are pretty interchangeable – use one or both, whatever you have on hand.

Pizza with Favas, Peas, and Bacon

Ingredients
Pizza dough
8 ounces of fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
2 strips of thick cut bacon, cut into thin strips
2 cups of shelled peas and or fava beans
a few mint leaves, thinly sliced
Olive oil
a splash of lemon juice

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425.  After the pizza dough rises, roll it out and brush with a light coating of olive oil.  Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the thing and brush it in so it blends with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Arrange the mozzarella and bacon so its evenly distributed.  Sprinkle with mint and a little more salt and pepper.

Bake for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, toss the peas and favas in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.  When 10 minutes have passed, remove the pizza from the oven and add the peas and favas.  Bake again for another 2-3 minutes, until the crust starts to brown and the cheese is melted.

Let the pizza cool for a couple minutes, and slice and serve.

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In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a broccoli rabe kick lately.  I have no idea how much longer it’ll be at the farmers market, so I’ve been buying it up like it is going out of style. 

This combo really works.  The bitter lemon and broccoli rabe with the tangy goat cheese – mmm, perfect.  I had some friends over for dinner, and served it along with my winter pizza and a basic margherita sprinkled with a bit of green garlic.   They all ate it up, so I think it’s safe to say that it is actually delicious. 

 

The recipe comes from Saveur.  Either my rectangular crust is much bigger than what they used or they like scantily dressed pizzas because they had some skimpy topping measurements.  So, I’m printing my portions below.

Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Lemon, and Goat Cheese
Recipe by Saveur, adjustments by me

Ingredients
1 batch of pizza dough
1 bunch of broccoli rabe, stems and leaves cut into 1-2 inch chunks
zest of 2 lemons (about a 1/4 cup)
3-4 oz goat cheese
olive oil
salt & pepper

Directions
In a large skillet, warm up about 2 tablespoons of oil.  Add the chopped broccoli rabe and saute over medium heat, about 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper.

Roll out pizza dough.  Spread the broccoli rabe evenly all over it.  Sprinkle with the goat cheese and lemon zest.   Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the entire pizza and finish off with a sprinkle of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.

Bake in the oven at 425 for about 15 minutes and serve.

 

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Last week, it was freakishly cold, wet, and rainy here for a few days.  These ingredients made it all better. 

I piled them on pizza dough topped with fontal cheese and the result was amazing.   Fontal cheese is a type of Fontina, only nuttier and earthier.  If you can’t find it, I’d go for regular Fontina if you prefer mild cheeses or Taleggio, if you like more pungent cheeses.

Winter Pizza

Ingredients
Butternut squash – peeled and diced into 3/4 inch chunks, about 2 1/2 cups
4 ounces of an earthy, nutty cheese like Fontal or Taleggio, grated (if it is soft, it helps to stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes before grating)
1 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped
15 or so sage leaves, more if you’d like
3-4 shallots
Pizza dough (I use this one)
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425. 

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the shallots and saute for about 8 minutes or so, until they become golden brown and carmelized.  Remove and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil.  Add the butternut squash, and saute that for 5 minutes or so.  This is really just to make sure it gets fully cooked when it goes into the oven.  You don’t need to make it soft, just brown it for a few minutes to start the cooking process.

Roll out the pizza dough and brush the carmelized shallots over the base, making sure they are evenly distributed.  It won’t be totally covered, just more of a flavoring.  (If you want it totally covered, I would double the shallots.) 

Sprinkle the cheese on top, followed by the squash and walnuts.

Bake in the oven for 8 minutes.  While it is baking, toss the sage leaves in a drop of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  You just want to coat them so they don’t burn in the oven and get a little fried.  Take the pizza out and sprinkle the sage over the pizza.  Put the pizza back in the oven for another 8 minutes or so, until the cheese starts to brown.  Then serve.

The end result really was incredible.  I want to make this all the time.  The walnuts get really sweet in the oven and complement the cheese really well.  The salty sage leaves are a nice bite too.  With a glass of pinot noir, this really did make life a lot better.  I would definitely consider cutting this up in small pieces and serving this as a party appetizer.  So good.

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If this was where you bought tomatoes, wouldn’t you be addicted?

farm stand

I rounded up another bag full of dry farmed Early Girls and made tomato confit again.  This time, I piled them on a pizza spread with marjoram-olive pesto.  So delicious.

Marjoram Olive Pesto
Adapted from Deborah Madison

Ingredients
2 tablespoons aged red wine vinegar
1 garlic love
3 tablespoons pitted olives
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup marjoram leaves
1 tablespoon drained capers
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions
Add garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper, marjoram, capers, pine nuts, parsley, cheese, and olives to a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Add the vinegar and olive oil and pulse until the pesto is well mixed.  Add more salt if needed.  Toss over pasta or pizza.  The original recipe, found here, recommends serving it over beets.

Pizza Directions
To make the pizza, I rolled out some pizza dough, spread it with a couple tablespoons of the pesto, topped with 1.5 pounds of roasted tomatoes, 3 ounces of chevre, and some salt and pepper.  Into the oven at 425 for 15 minutes and you have a really spectacular pizza.  The pesto is briny from the olives and capers and floral from the marjoram.  With the sweet tomatoes and tangy goat cheese, you will not be able to stop eating it.

Pizza one

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Lately, I’ve been obsessed with stinging nettles.  I only ate them once, on a pizza at Chez Panisse a year ago, but they were delicious.  I thought it would be fun to cook them, and since they are a spring vegetable, I’ve been on a quest to find some.

I went to Berkeley Bowl, the local produce mecca, to try to find some.  This place houses every fruit and vegetable known to man and yet they did not have nettles.  Sigh…  Determined not to leave without some weird produce, I bought a handful of ramps.  I’ve never cooked ramps, but they smelled like they’d taste good and in any event, they’d be better than the durian they were selling.

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If you’ve never eaten ramps, they taste like a cross between a leek and garlic.  You can eat the entire thing – bulb, stalks, and greens.  They sound expensive (mine were $11.99/pound) but a little goes a very, very long way.  I only bought a quarter pound of them (about 25 stalks), and didn’t even use all of that for this recipe.  A quick google search reveals a bunch of different preparations for them, so if you can get your hands on some, buy them and cook them.  They are delicious, and from what I understand, only available in the spring.

To keep with the spring vegetable theme, I also bought some local asparagus.

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I decided I would make a white pizza with these vegetables.  Food and Wine has a recipe for ramp pizza that was the inspiration, though my end result differed significantly.  I was really happy with how it turned out, it was absolutely delicious.

A word of warning, however.  Most of the recipes for ramps or asparagus on pizza involve chopping them up into little bits.  I wanted a pretty pizza, so I didn’t do that and left them whole.  Well, there’s a reason chefs recommend chopping them up and that is that asparagus and ramps are both very fibrous vegetables, making them difficult to just bite into.  So, if you leave them whole, this wouldn’t be the most elegant pizza to eat with your hands.  You really need a knife and fork to cut through the vegetables so that you don’t take a whole stalk off with one bite.  So, think about how you’ll be serving this before you decide how pretty you want it.

White Pizza with Ramps and Asparagus

Ingredients

Pizza dough – I used this recipe, which is a little on the chewy side.  You can use a different one if you prefer a thinner, crisper crust.

4-6 ounces fresh mozzerrella, shredded or torn up into small bits
2-3 Tablespoons grated parmesan
15 or so asparagus stalks, woody ends removed
15 or so ramps
2 Tablespoons pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450.  If you want to preheat the cookie sheet or pizza stone as well, you can do that and you’ll probably have to reduce the cooking time by a couple minutes.  I’m not adept enough to transfer my assembled pizza to a hot pan quickly, so I don’t bother with that step, though I realize it probably results in a better crust.

In a pot of salted water, blanch the ramps for 30 seconds and then the asparagus for about 3 minutes.  Just remove the ramps with tongs and add the asparagus right in so you don’t have to heat up a second pot of water.  Toss both in a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Roll out pizza dough to a rectangle so it fits a standard cookie sheet and lightly brush a tablespoon or so of olive oil on it.  Sprinkle the pizza with the mozzerrella.

Place the asparagus on the pizza, alternating the tips with the bottoms, across the entire length.  Then place the ramps between each stalk of asparagus, alternating the white bulbs with the green leafs, across the entire length.  You should be able to get about 15 or so of each vegetable all the way across.  Sprinke the entire pizza with the parmesan and pine nuts.  

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Bake it in the oven at 450 for 10-12 minutes, until the asparagus is nicely roasted and the crust of the pizza is starting to brown.

Let it cool and cut it with a very sharp knife.

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The end result was delicious.  While I’m still on the hunt for nettles (anyone in this area see them for sale anywhere?), I’m very happy that I discovered ramps.

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