I don’t think of myself as a huge fan of fusion food, whatever that is. I like a certain harmony in the flavors of a meal, and I think that can be harder to achieve when you bring wildly diverse cuisines onto the plate at once. But every once in a while I go there. And every once in a while it works. Take this pizza.
We haven’t made a pizza on this blog in a dog’s age. Too hot to turn on the oven, you say? Not in Seattle. It’s 63 degrees outside at the moment. Once it gets up to 70 I’ll try to work up my nerve to start making pizzas on the grill instead–any tips for me in advance?
But first, this. A mushroom and olive pizza has a special place in my heart. Growing up, my dad (and sometimes my mom as well, but mostly my dad on nights when my mom was elsewhere) would take us kids out to a local pizza parlor. Red pleather, arcade games, a window where you could watch the guys toss dough and pile on toppings. We always got a mushroom and olive pizza and a pitcher of ice-cold root beer. It was, in the parlance of the day, so awesome.
This isn’t your ’80s pizza-parlor mushroom and olive pizza–not because that pizza wasn’t righteous, but because I am a creature of habit and make my homemade pizza with a thin crust. And because I buy kalamata olives in bulk instead of canned black olives. And because I usually saute my mushrooms before adding them to pizza. But you could totally serve this pizza with an ice-cold root beer. That would still be rad. Continue reading Mushroom and Olive Pizza (click for recipe)
It’s been much too long since we’ve had a pizza recipe on this site. Weeks! I hope that you’ve been carrying on with your weekly homemade pizza night–do you have one of those? If not, do you have another special meal that you serve on a regular basis?
Whether homemade pizza is an occasional or regular indulgence for you, here’s a recent favorite of mine. Roasty-toasty broccoli, creamy-salty feta, perfect saucy egg on top. You might have to work on the timing to get your egg cooked perfectly to your liking, but in my setup (long-preheated 550 oven, hot pizza stone, thin homemade crust) the egg is still just perfectly runny at the moment that my crust crisps up, after about 5 minutes in the oven. Now that’s good fast food.
Sunnyside-up pizza not your thing? Have you noticed that pizza has its whole own category over there on the sidebar menu? Click it for more pizza inspiration!
I can never resist the cheese counter at my local co-op. It has a small selection of cheeses, but they’re meticulously curated by a cheese enthusiast whose palate seems in tune with my own, and I always love everything he recommends. Last time I was in the store I browsed by myself, however. I know I probably should have chosen a cheese based on the type of milk used, or the region from which it hailed, but I will admit to having used one criterion only to select this cheese: its name.
Oregonzola. Isn’t that cute? See how they did that? A blue cheese, a local spin, a clever pun, and I’m sold. And it was quite nice, I must say.
It’s the weekend, so make your pizza crust today (recipe here) to have it handy in the fridge for a speedy weeknight dinner.
Sometimes making a great pizza requires the preparation of many sub-recipes: a sauce, cooked vegetables, a drizzle of reduced vinegar. This one, though, is fresh and light, a springtime pizza. And it can be in the oven in minutes. Start preheating now.
We had some whole wheat pizza dough left over from making this Roasted Broccoli pizza last week. J and I took a little break from canning jam (more about that tomorrow, but here’s the takeaway: jam-making always takes longer than we think it will, and once we start the kitchen is going to be a hot mess all day, so we might as well add to the chaos by making a good lunch in the middle of it). It was a teamwork day, so I piled ingredients on the counter and rolled out dough; J curated and composed this lovely pizza. Voila, lunch. Continue reading Smoked Salmon Pizza with Red Peppers, Green Onions, and Feta (click for recipe)
I know we all made no-knead bread for a while there, and I saw the no-knead pizza dough recipe in Bon Appetit last month. But it wasn’t until today that the recipe began to really intrigue me. Because today, the “Genius Recipes” feature that I love on Food 52 proclaimed that “not-kneading pizza is even simpler than not-kneading bread.” What the…?
If anyone has made both the no-knead bread and the no-knead pizza dough, can you please explain to us how not kneading one is easier than not kneading the other? Thank you. And, hey, if you’ve made the pizza dough, how was it?
I did not, obviously, make the no-knead pizza dough. I made my same old pizza dough, with a bit of whole wheat flour, and topped it with crispy broccoli, creamy feta, garlic and spice, and the zest of a lemon. And about that crispy broccoli? It’s not like fresh-crispy. It’s like roasted-to-a-crisp-crispy. Continue reading Roasted Broccoli Pizza with Feta (click for recipe)
Making pizza is often an improvisational affair at our house. There are tried-and-true combinations that we like, sure, but often we decide to get a pizza crust going before we check out what’s in the fridge. One of our usual favorites is a potato pizza, and if you think that doesn’t sound delicious, please go straight to Tom Douglas’s Serious Pie and then stand corrected. (If you don’t like it, which I believe to be impossible, you’ll still have lots of other amazing options to choose from. Pro tip: go with a crowd at happy hour when they make mini pizzas so you can try them all.)
This post is not about potato pizza, however. Because after J roasted a pound of thinly-sliced fingerling potatoes until nearly crisp, I made the mistake of piling them within the children’s reach, where the heap of “chips” was quickly decimated. So I’ll give you a recipe for potato pizza another time.
Left with only a handful of potatoes, it was back to the fridge, and this Sunny Side Up Pizza was born. Crank your oven as hot as it goes and put in a pizza stone if you have one. Layer your thin pizza crust (recipe here if you want one) with thinly-sliced potatoes (first roasted at 425 until just beginning to crisp) and a sprinkling of mozzarella. Pile on chunks of goat cheese and a big handful of rinsed capers. We crumbled on some smoked salmon, but you could skip that step and just go with a big sprinkle of salt over the whole pizza if you prefer. Finally, we broke two eggs over the pizza, but they were so good that we later wished we’d used four. Getting the eggs perfect will depend on your oven temperature and how thin you stretched your crust (because that has to cook through, too), so you might need to experiment a little. Baked in our oven at 550 for almost 6 minutes, the whites were set and the yolks were lusciously runny, perfect for wiping up with the last piece of pizza crust.
The children in my house–those who are old enough to exercise free will, anyway–have developed a color-based hierarchy to determine the acceptability of vegetables. Orange: yes! Green: probably not! Yellow: yes! Red: no way unless it’s pizza sauce! Or something like that. It’s hard to keep track. I thought this was ridiculous until I stopped and considered my own palate’s prejudices, which usually demand a variety of colors to find a meal delicious.
Digging through the fridge for tonight’s dinner, though, a single-hued meal started to take shape in my mind. Maybe all the white, white snow was getting to me. Cauliflower soup. A a pale celery salad. A garlicky white pizza. I was going to do it. I got right up to the point of piling on pizza toppings when my resolve failed me and I had to saute a pile of chard and spinach (what is a meal without green?!) and then, having already jumped off the white-meal rails, I crumbled a chunk of smoked salmon over the half the pizza as well and breathed a sigh of relief. A little color makes the meal, I say.
First, the creamy, delicate, 5-ingredient (counting water and salt!) Cauliflower Soup: Sweat half a thinly-sliced onion in 3 Tb. olive oil for 15 mins without letting it brown, then add a broken-up head of cauliflower, a tsp. of salt and 1/2 c. water. Cover and cook 15 mins, then uncover, add 4 1/2 c. hot water, more salt to taste, and simmer uncovered 20 mins. Puree and let stand 20 mins. to thicken; add 1/2 c. or more additional water to thin the soup if desired as you reheat it, season to taste with more salt, and garnish each bowl with cracked pepper and/or a swirl of olive oil. The recipe is from Food52, a website that I find myself increasingly enjoying. Is this where all the Gourmet Magazine readers have gone?
While the soup is simmering, make a Spicy Garlic Oil by mixing 2 Tbsp. olive oil with a big minced clove of garlic and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes.
Then get your pizza crust started. Our go-to recipe is from Annie Summerville’s Fields of Greens and makes way more than you need for one pizza, so halve these amounts if you don’t want a pizza crust to use later in the week (you can also freeze it). Or, hey, use your favorite recipe or a purchased crust. If you’re doing as I did, whisk 1 Tbsp. yeast into 3/4 c. warm water and set aside. In the bowl of your KitchenAid, combine 3/4 c. milk, 1/4 c. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and a couple Tbsps. each rye flour and fine cornmeal (if you have either handy) for texture. Stir in your now-foamy yeast mixture then put in the dough hook and incorporate 3 1/2 c. flour (you can use some whole wheat, if you like; we like to use at least part Italian 00 flour for the incredible texture it gives the dough). Anyhoo, let your machine knead it into a nice ball (add more flour if it is too sticky), then oil the bowl, roll your dough ball around in it, and let it rest covered while you get your toppings ready.
Preheat your oven as hot as it goes, and put your pizza stone in if you have one. For the Pizza Bianca you can roll the dough nice and thin because your first layer is cheese rather than sauce, which will protect the dough from getting soggy. So roll or stretch out a nice big thin crust onto a piece of parchment paper, which will make moving it easier later, and layer on shredded mozzarella, chunks of goat cheese, some winter greens sauteed with garlic until fairly dry, and some hot-smoked salmon if you are inclined that way. Then brush the crust of the pizza with some of the spicy garlic oil (this great tip came from a recipe on Epicurious, although I had made a very similar pizza many times before) and scoop most of the rest of it over the pizza. Slide pizza, parchment paper and all, onto a pan or straight onto your pizza stone and bake until the bottom is crisp, about 7-9 minutes if the crust is thin. When it comes out of the oven, brush the crust again with the remaining garlic oil.
Serve the soup and pizza with a crisp salad; ours tonight was celery and blue cheese but I think this meal would also be great with another of my favorite winter salads: just celery, a fennel bulb and/or a sweet pepper, and an apple, all sliced paper thin, with the juice from the apple as the only dressing.