Tag Archives: pizza

Caramelized Fennel, Onion and Salami Flatbread

fennel pizza slice tastefood

Posted by Lynda Balslev

Flatbread or Pizza? And what’s the difference? I had these questions in mind when I made this pizza, er, flatbread, for an easy weeknight dinner. While the difference could simply be semantic, there is a theory that a pizza has a sauce, while flatbread doesn’t. Of course, I’ve made plenty of pizza-flatbreads with no sauce and called them white pizzas, so what do you think?

I decided to label this recipe flatbread, and for the sake of further differentiation (and extra crunch) I used a different method for cooking the dough by pre-cooking it on a skillet then flipping it before adding the toppings and finishing it in a hot oven. The result is a crisp and golden crust for the bubbly melty toppings. It’s a flatbread, and I’m sticking to it.

Flatbread with Caramelized Fennel, Onion & Salame

Finocchiana is a traditional Tuscan salami flavored with fennel seed.
Makes 1 (10-inch) flatbread

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
Salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces prepared pizza dough
4 ounces buffalo mozzarella thinly sliced
4 ounces thinly sliced fennel salame (finocchiana)
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese
Fennel pollen (optional)

Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and garlic together in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Add the fennel, onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the crushed red pepper flakes. Saute until the fennel and onion begin to turn golden brown at the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.

Heat the oven broiler. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and swirl around to coat. Roll or stretch out the dough into a 10-inch circle. Lay the dough in the skillet. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the dough and cook until the other side is golden brown. While the bottom is cooking, brush the top with some of the garlic oil. Sprinkle with a little salt. Lay the mozzarella over the dough. Arrange the salami over the cheese. Scatter the fennel and onions over the salami. Sprinkle parmigiano all over the pizza.

When the bottom of the pizza is golden brown, transfer the skillet to oven. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove and transfer to a cutting board. Drizzle with some of the remaining garlic oil. Sprinkle with fennel pollen, if using. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Grilled Pizza with Baby Kale, Broccolini and Chilies

broccoli kale pizza tastefood

Do you have a grill? Do you love pizza? Then look no further for a couple of  techniques that will result in delicious homemade pizza. I grill pizzas all year, no matter the weather. It keeps the heat outside on a warm day, gives me an excuse to fire up the grill on a cold day, and consistently results in crispy, chargrilled homemade pizza which is the next best thing to having my own pizza oven.

There are 2 basic methods I use to grill a pizza. The first, and easiest in my opinion, is to use a pizza stone. I have a Weber pizza stone that’s designed to fit right on my grill, but you can use any pizza stone that fits. Just preheat the stone over direct heat while you fire up the grill, and go about preparing  your pizza. When the grill is nice and hot, slide the pizza onto the stone. Close the grill and cook the pizza until the crust is browned, the cheese is melty and bubbly, and the toppings are cooked to your desired doneness, about 15 minutes.

If you want more char and blistering to your crust, the second technique is to grill the pizza directly on the grates. In this case, you should begin to grill the crust before adding the toppings. Lightly oil the rolled out crust, then place over direct heat, oiled-side down. Grill until the crust  is nicely browned on the bottom and releases easily from the grates, about 2 minutes. Brush the un-cooked side of the crust with oil then flip the crust over and add the toppings to the top. Close the lid and grill until the cheese melts and the toppings wilt, about 5 minutes.

This was the pizza I made over the weekend using the pizza stone method. I often make white pizzas, which means without tomato sauce, and top it with garlic oil, cheese and fresh veggies from the farmers market. It’s a hit with the whole family and great way to get everyone to eat their vegetables.

Grilled Pizza with Baby Kale, Broccolini and Chiles

I prefer to roll my pizza out onto a piece of parchment paper for easy maneuvering. You can skip this step and transfer the dough directly to the pizza stone if desired.  Makes one large pizza.

1 pizza crust dough (recipe below)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes (optional)
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup finely grated Asiago or Pecorino cheese
1 1/2 cups broccolini florets, coarsely chopped
2 cups baby kale leaves (or spinach)
1 red jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (about 500°F) and preheat a pizza stone for at least 10 minutes.

Roll out the dough to fit the size of the pizza stone (I have a rectangular pizza stone and formed a 10 by 15-inch crust). Lay the dough on a piece of parchment. Trim the parchment to fit the contours of the pizza.

Whisk the oil, garlic and salt in a small bowl. Brush the crust with the oil. Lightly season with chili flakes, if using. Scatter half of the mozzarella and half of the Asiago over the crust. Scatter the broccolini and jalapeno over the cheese. Top with the kale. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Asiago over the kale. Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone. Close the grill and cook until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from grill and drizzle with remaining oil. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Cut into serving pieces and serve immediately.

Alice Water’s Pizza Dough Recipe:

Makes enough for 2 (10 t0 12-inch) crusts

1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Stir lukewarm water and yeast together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and the semolina. Mix well. Let stand until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Combine the remaining flour and the salt in another bowl, then add to the yeast. Add the cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes). Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides with the oil. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal disks. Let rest 30 minutes before shaping.

Grilled Pizza with Mozzarella, Salame and Arugula

arugula pizza paper

Pizza on parchment: Salad Pizza with Arugula, Mozzarella and Salame

Homemade pizza is a popular dinner here at TasteFood – a family favorite that’s easy to make during the week with a simple list of fresh ingredients. The key is to have pizza dough on hand so you’re ready to go when the craving strikes. This may be accomplished by either making a large batch and freezing individual portions, or buying ready made dough at your favorite supermarket.

During the summer, the pizza gets moved outdoors to the grill, keeping the heat away from the kitchen and adding great charred flavor to the crust. We keep our toppings simple and often pair salame or prosciutto with garden vegetables or heaps of fresh arugula. Add the arugula during the last minute or two of grilling so it just begins to wilt but retains its freshness. We call it a Salad Pizza.

Arugula pizza grill

Salad Pizza with Arugula, Mozzarella and Salame

We like our pizzas white, which means with no tomato sauce. Instead, the dough is brushed with garlic oil before piling on the toppings. If you prefer red, then smear a thin layer of tomato sauce over the dough in place of the oil, leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with garlic oil.

Makes 1 large rectangular pizza or 2 10-inch pizzas.

Pizza crust (recipe below)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2  cup tomato sauce (recipe below)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
4 ounces thinly sliced Italian dried salame (or prosciutto)
4 cups fresh arugula
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat and preheat a pizza stone (or preheat oven and pizza stone to 500°F). Using your hands, stretch crust to desired shape. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic clove in a small bowl. Lightly brush crust with oil. Arrange a layer of mozzarella over the pizza. Sprinkle with chili flakes. Top with a layer salami. Sprinkle Parmesan over the pizza. Brush the exposed edges with a little more olive oil.
Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone. Close the grill lid and grill until crust begins to turn golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Drop handfuls of arugula over the pizza. Grill with the lid closed until arugula just begins to wilt, 1 to 2 more minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Drizzle with olive oil. Cut in pieces and serve immediately.

Pizza Dough Recipe

Adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters. Makes 2 – 10 inch pizza crusts.

2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal disks. Let rest 30 minutes before shaping. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands, stretch the disks out to 10-inch shapes.

More pizza? Try these recipes:
Sweet Pepper, Salami and Basil Pizza from TasteFood
Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices from Kalyn’s Kitchen
BBQ Chicken Pizza with Poblanos from The Wimpy Vegetarian

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pizza

Broccoli Rabe Pizza TasteFood

~ Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Three Cheese Pizza ~

Broccoli Rabe is like kale. If I can get my kids to eat it, then I win. I’m a huge fan of broccoli rabe, also known as rapini. While it resembles a spindly, leafy version of broccoli, rapini is actually a member of the turnip and mustard greens family, which accounts for its peppery and bitter flavor. And, like kale, rapini is a nutritional powerhouse, a rich source of vitamins A, C and K, and folate, calcium and potassium. The key is to get my family to eat it. And I think I’ve figured it out.

The first trick is to blanch broccoli rabe in salted boiling water, which will remove excess bitterness. Then briefly saute the dried stalks in olive oil with garlic, salt and red pepper flakes (everything tastes good with garlic and salt, right?) At that point the rapini is good to go as a simple side dish. But in this case I’ve taken it a step further, scattering it over pizza oozing with 3 cheeses and spiced with crumbled Italian sausage. The combination of salty, cheesy, spicy toppings perfectly balances the peppery rapini. My family gobbled it up. I like to win.

Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Three Cheese Pizza

Feel free to use your favorite store-bought pizza crust dough. Makes one large rectangular pizza, about 10 x 15-inches

1/2 pound broccoli rabe, washed, ends trimmed
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced, plus 1 garlic clove lightly smashed but still intact
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus extra for sprinkling
Salt
3/4 pound Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
1 pizza crust dough (recipe below)
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Rosemary sprigs for garnish

Place pizza stone on lowest rack in oven. Heat oven to 475 F (240 C). Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add broccoli rabe and blanch just until bright green, about 30 seconds. Drain immediately and plunge broccoli rabe into a bowl of ice water to cool; drain again. Lay stalks in one layer on a kitchen towel and blot to thoroughly dry. Cut in 2-inch pieces.

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté briefly, 30 seconds. Add broccoli rabe and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté until slightly limp, 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same skillet. Add sausage and saute over medium heat until cooked through, breaking up large pieces with a spoon. Transfer with a slotted spoon to another plate lined with a paper towel.

On a large piece of parchment paper, roll out pizza crust to about 10 x 15-inches in size. Lightly brush crust with olive oil. Rub all over with smashed garlic clove. Arrange one layer mozzarella cheese over crusts. Sprinkle with fontina. Scatter sausage and broccoli rape over the pizza and sprinkle with pecorino. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Slide parchment with pizza onto pizza stone in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm with extra crushed chili flakes for sprinkling.

Pizza Dough Recipe

Makes enough for 2 large crusts

2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal disks (or 4 if you would like small pizzas.) Let rest 30 minutes before shaping.

Skillet Pizza with Caramelized Fennel, Onions and Salame

fennel pizza tastefood

~ Skillet Pizza with Caramelized Fennel, Onion and Finocchiona Salame ~

I am a sucker for fennel. I love its licorice notes, which add a depth of flavor to any dish or food product it graces. A while back I was invited to participate in a Sandwich Showdown sponsored by Columbus Salame where the task was to create a sandwich using some of Columbus’ newest artisan products. It was then I discovered their Finocchiona salame, a dry Italian salame fragrant with fennel seed, and it instantly became my favorite. I became obsessed with creating a sandwich which highlighted the anise notes of the salame – even to the point of bartering for a precious vial of fennel pollen to use as an extra ingredient. So, I was not surprised to learn  that Columbus’ Finocchiona was a Good Foods Award winner this year. When they asked me to create another recipe for them with Finocchiona to celebrate, I was more than happy to do so. I even had some fennel pollen.

I often make homemade pizza with my pizza stone and an uber-hot oven or grill. With this recipe, I decided to try something different and used a cast-iron skillet instead. It’s another great way to fire up a pizza, and an easy technique if you don’t have a pizza stone. This recipe may be adapted to use with a pizza stone.

fennel pizza slice

Skillet Pizza with Caramelized Fennel, Onion & Finocchiona Salame

Potatoes are an optional ingredient- add or omit to your taste – they add a hearty and rustic component to the pizza.  Use your favorite prepared pizza dough for this recipe. (A recipe may be found here).

Makes 1 (12-inch) pizza.

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 small yukon gold potato, very thinly sliced, 1/8-inch thick (optional)
8 ounces prepared pizza dough
1 mozzarella ball, about 7 ounces, thinly sliced
4 ounces thinly sliced fennel salame
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese
Chopped Italian parsley
Fennel pollen (optional)

Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and garlic together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Add fennel and onion. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and  red chili flakes. Saute until fennel brightens in color and edges of fennel and onions begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Optional step: If using using potatoes, add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Arrange potatoes in one layer in skillet. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Transfer to a plate.

Heat oven broiler. Stretch out the dough to a 12-inch round. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and swirl around to coat. Lay dough in skillet. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the dough. While the dough continues to cook, brush cooked side with reserved garlic oil. Sprinkle with a little salt. Lay the mozzarella over the dough. Top with potatoes if using. Scatter fennel and onions all over and then top with salame. Sprinkle parmigiano over the pizza and add extra red pepper flakes if desired. When the bottom of the pizza is golden brown, transfer the skillet to oven. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove and transfer to a cutting board. Sprinkle with parsley and fennel pollen, if using.

Pizza with Roasted Cauliflower, Calabrian Chilies and Green Olive Tapenade

I’ll get right to the point. The star of this pizza is the tapenade – a smashing combination of briny green olives, toasted almonds, the rich oily heat of Calabrian chili and magical umami-rich anchovies. Sprinkled over roasted cauliflower, fresh peppers and creamy mozzarella, this is one fresh and feisty pizza. The only problem with the tapenade is that it’s so good, you might find yourself gobbling spoonfuls straight from the bowl, smearing it on a piece of bread, or swiping the prepped cauliflower through it before you have a chance to assemble the pizza, so I recommend that you make a double or triple batch. This way, you can have your nibbles and eat your pizza, too.  Continue reading Pizza with Roasted Cauliflower and Green Olive Tapenade

Pizza Night: Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza

~ Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza ~

As the saying goes, the shoemaker’s children go barefoot. In my case, they eat pizza. I write about food and develop recipes, yet sometimes I am working so hard on a deadline I don’t have a dinner to feed my family. After a day spent in the kitchen developing a dessert, I would be remiss to feed chocolate cake to the kids for supper. I might spend an afternoon tweaking dressings, sauces and marinades, but I can not feed my family a bowl of vinaigrette. Or I may not make it to the kitchen at all, spending an entire day at the computer writing and researching recipes, only to realize that I never went to the store and the refrigerator remains neglected. As irony would have it, on days like these, once it’s dinnertime I can’t muster any excitement to make much of anything. So I make pizza.

Homemade pizza pleases everyone and is easy to make with a minimum of ingredients. When I make dough for the crust, I double the portion to freeze for emergency pizza nights. If you have a favorite store-bought crust, that’s fine too – just be sure to buy extra and pop it into the freezer. That way when Sunday night rolls around and everyone is asking what’s for dinner, the children (and adults) eat pizza.

Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza

The combination of salty prosciutto, creamy mozzarella and fresh arugula makes this pizza very popular in our home. Be sure not to overload the pizza with the toppings. The amounts below are approximations and will vary with the size of the crust. Makes 1 large rectangular pizza or 2 10-inch pizzas.

Pizza crust (recipe below)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2  cup tomato sauce (recipe below)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
8 slices (3 ounces) prosciutto
4 cups fresh arugula
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese

Preheat oven to 500 F. Using your hands, stretch crust to desired shape and place on parchment paper. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic clove in a small bowl. Lightly brush crust with oil. Smear a thin layer of tomato sauce over the crust, leaving one inch clear around the edges. Scatter a layer of mozzarella over the sauce. Sprinkle with chili flakes. Top with a layer of prosciutto. Sprinkle Parmesan over the pizza. Brush the exposed edges with a little more olive oil.
Slide the parchment and pizzas onto a baking stone on lowest rack in oven. Bake until crust is beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Slide pizza out of the oven and spread arugula over the pizza. It will look like a lot, but will cook down. Return to oven and bake until crust is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, drizzled with olive oil.

Tomato Sauce
Makes 1 cup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15-ounce can crushed Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.

Pizza Dough Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters. Makes 2 – 10 inch pizza crusts.

2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal disks. Let rest 30 minutes before shaping. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands, stretch the disks out to 10-inch shapes.

Sweet Pepper, Salami and Basil Pizza

It’s pizza night tonight – no take out necessary. I’ve got dough defrosting in the refrigerator from my last pizza night. All that’s needed are a few ingredients from the refrigerator, and it’s as simple as that. The next time you make homemade pizza, be sure to make extra dough to freeze. Then when it’s suddenly pizza night, you can whip one up as easy as ….

Sweet Pepper, Salami and Basil Pizza

Pizza dough for one extra-large pizza (recipe below)

1/2 cup  tomato sauce (recipe below)
3 ounces salami or pepperoni
1 cup thinly sliced sweet peppers
1 cup basil leaves, torn in half
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 500 F. Stretch out pizza dough in a large rectangular shape on parchment paper.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over crust, leaving one inch clear around the edge of the crust. Arrange salami over pizza. Scatter peppers and basil over the salami. Sprinkle with cheese. Brush the exposed crust with olive oil.
Slide the parchment and pizza onto a baking stone on lowest rack in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 12-15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tomato Sauce
Makes 1 cup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, with juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes, until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Pizza Dough Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters. Makes 1 extra large or 2 medium pizza crusts.

2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes.) Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal disks (or 4 if you would like small pizzas.) Let rest 30 minutes before shaping. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands, stretch the disks out to desired shape.

Cherry Tomato, Coppa and Arugula Pizza

~ Cherry Tomato, Coppa and Arugula Pizza ~

Try this pizza on for a weeknight dinner. Homemade pizza is fun to make and with a little organization a breeze to pull together on a school night. The best part is fiddling with different ingredients depending on what’s in season and what’s in the refrigerator. We made this pizza the other night, making use of the abundance of cherry tomatoes we have at the moment, some coppa (which may be substituted with prosciutto or a dry salami) and handfuls of fresh arugula.

When I do have time on my hands, I will make a double portion of crust and sauce. The extras are portioned and frozen for easy use. Just pull them out of the freezer early in the morning or the night before you plan to use them to defrost in the refrigerator.

Cherry Tomato, Coppa and Arugula Pizza

Be sure not to overload the pizza with the toppings. The amounts below are approximations and will vary with the size of the crust. Makes 2 10-inch pizzas or 4 small pizzas.

2 uncooked 10-inch pizza crusts (recipe below)
2/3 cup  tomato sauce (recipe below)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
8 slices (3 ounces) coppa, torn in half
2 cups arugula
1 heaping cup small cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 500 F. Roll out crusts on parchment paper.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over each crust, leaving one inch clear around the edge of the crust. Arrange one layer mozzarella over the sauce. Top with a layer of coppa. Scatter tomatoes and arugula over the coppa. Sprinkle with pecorino. Brush the exposed crust with olive oil.
Slide the parchment and pizzas onto a baking stone on lowest rack in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately as is or topped with additional fresh arugula and a drizzle of olive oil.

Tomato Sauce
Makes 1 cup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, with juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes, until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Pizza Dough Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters. Makes 2 – 10 inch or 4 mini pizza crusts.

2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal disks (or 4 if you would like small pizzas.) Let rest 30 minutes before shaping. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands, stretch the disks out to 10-inch shapes.

Asparagus and Prosciutto Pizza

Asparagus Prosciutto Pizza 1

Simplicity rules with this delicious pizza. Asparagus, prosciutto and cheese are all that’s needed to create a salty, crispy, savory pizza. Cook the pizza on a hot pizza stone in the oven, or, better yet in the summer heat, cook it on the grill. To grill the pizza, place the stretched dough on an oiled grill grate. Grill briefly over medium fire, then flip the crust with a spatula or tongs. Add the toppings, cover the grill and cook until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Asparagus and Prosciutto Pizza

Makes 2 small pizzas or 1 large pizza
Pizza dough (see below)

8 ounces buffalo mozzarella, drained, sliced
4 ounces prosciutto slices
Thin asparagus (if using thick asparagus, slice in half lengthwise)
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
Pepper

Assemble pizzas:
Place pizza crust on parchment paper. Lightly brush pizza crusts with olive oil. Arrange one layer mozzarella cheese over crusts. Top with layer of prosciutto. Arrange asparagus spears over prosciutto. Top with grated cheese. Slide crusts onto pizza stone (or on tray on lowest rack) in preheated 475 F. oven. Cook until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

For the Pizza Dough:

2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal disks (or 4 if you would like small pizzas.) Let rest 30 minutes before shaping. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands, stretch the disks out to 10″ shapes.