recipes

Seasonal Pizza

I love pizza. My background is fine dining, so I have made and had my share of fancy pizzas. And I love them, but I also love the local greasy pizza. I try not to compare the two, because they are just so different.

At home, I like to top my pizza with seasonal goodies. The crust is a simple focaccia dough, stretched to fit a half sheet pan.

The recipe is:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. instant yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups AP flour

Combine all ingredients, holding back some flour to add as needed. Knead until smooth, not sticky. Let rise  in a greased bowl, covered for 2 -3 hours, until doubled in bulk. Cover a half sheet pan with olive oil. Stretch dough into prepared pan. Let rise while preparing the toppings.

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Tonight, we are having a pesto pizza, with pancetta, corn and cherry tomatoes.

I needed to harvest some of the basil, so I made a big batch of pesto. I will use some tonight, and freeze the rest in ice cube trays for later.

  • 12 cups basil leaves
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 cloves  garlic, grated
  • 1 cup parmesan

I blanched the basil leaves in boiling water, then, into an ice water. I drained them, and pureed them in a blender with the oils and the garlic. I transferred the pesto into a bowl, and stirred in parmesan. If you taste the pesto at this point, it will taste quite garlicky, but this will fade, particularly with cooking and/or freezing.

I made pancetta a couple of months ago, when I bought a half hog from a local rancher. I rendered the pancetta slowly over medium-low heat until crispy, poured off some of the fat, and sauteed up the corn in it. Harvested some cherry tomatoes from the backyard, cut them in half, and I was ready to go. Assembled the pizza, crust, pesto, mozzarella, corn, pancetta and cherry tomatoes. Baked it in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes.

It was lovely, this combo is a keeper.

 

 

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