4 posts tagged pizza
Longtime readers will know that I’ve been practicing my pizza for a long time. Tonight, inspired by Smitten Kitchen, I unexpectedly made my best one yet: three cheese, shaved aspargus, and spring onion (that’s green onions to you USAians).
As before, I’m still using the Cook’s Illustrated NY pizza dough, although I’ve moved on to using Italian 00 pasta flour instead of bread flour now. I find this gives me a more pliable dough that’s easier to stretch and shape. I’m remarkably bad at getting the dough to anything vaguely approaching circular so that’s a good thing in my book.
I made this more-or-less according to the Smitten Kitchen method. I dotted the bare pizza crust with goat’s cheese…
I deliberately chose to chop, rather than grate, the first two cheeses. I prefer my pizzas to have a less homogenous texture than that provided by an even pillow of grated cheese. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
Next, I took my asparagus. Using a swivel peeler, I shaved each stalk down into ribbons — leaving the woody bit at the bottom of the stalk as a handle. I tossed these ribbons with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. I sprinkled these over the pizza…
…and baked at a really high temperature on a preheated pizza stone for 12-15 minutes or so.
When it came out, I sprinkled with finely sliced spring (green) onions…
…and there it is!
It’s pizza, so the quantities don’t matter very much, but for the record I used:
- one-half the dough in the recipe I linked to above (so, 235 g of flour); stretched out to a 12” (almost) round
- about 40 g goat’s cheese, crumbled
- about 60 g mozzarella, cubed
- about 20 g Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- about 200 g asparagus — 8 or so stalks, shaved
- two spring (green) onions, finely sliced
I was utterly unprepared for how delicious this was. Truth be told, I made it mostly because I had asparagus to use up. I thought it would be decent but I wasn’t expecting it to be so delightful. Plus, it tastes like Spring from beginning to end, and here in Wales we’re currently basking in sunshine after a week of solid rain. That probably helped my mood as I bit into it, too.
I served this with… Well, I’d love to confess we ate it with a side salad or something healthy like that. But in fact, I served it with another pizza! Specifically, Iberian ham and Portobello mushroom:
This was also good, although less good than the asparagus (sorry, noble Iberian pigs!)
For the tomato sauce, I tried a new recipe from Serious Eats; it came out better than the one I’ve used previously. I cut the sugar to half a teaspoon and added a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. I like the extra depth of flavour the vinegar gives it. I found two UK tins of tomatoes (400 g each) made enough sauce for four 12” pizzas.
I was particularly pleased with how the crust turned out today:
(Thanks, as ever, to my long-suffering wife Danielle for pictures and help. —Rich)