Category: Pizza

Spinach Artichoke Pizza with Spinach and Burrata

We’re taking a break from the slow onslaught of travel recap to bring you another pizza! It’s been unnecessarily hot lately. Temperatures in the 90s and 100s are not my friend. It’s been the busiest summer in a long time [only one free weekend!] so the cooking going on around here is few and far between.

Every time I head out to the grill there are a million spiders and their sticky webs to knock down. They are relentless this year. Every morning when I take Roma out, I have to arm myself with a broom. If I don’t, there is a 97% chance I’ll walk straight into a web. I can only imagine that sight. I’m in my pajamas and rain boots, wielding a broom in one hand and holding a leash in the other. My neighbors must love me.

I’m kind of a sausage/pesto/ricotta fiend when it comes to pizza, but I wanted something different. A little less oil based. I guess I just swapped marinated artichoke hearts for the oil. It created a spinach artichoke dip type of base. Instead of cream cheese, I used the whole milk ricotta. It’s not nearly as rich that way. The sausage was a spicy italian so it went well with the creaminess of the ricotta. I was just going to leave it at that. It would have been plenty delicious that way. But then I saw a container for truffled burrata. Damn you New Seasons. Two of my favorite things in one container. I decided to just tear pieces of that all over the pizza. So much for not being too rich.

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It was so, so good flavor wise, though, if a bit heavy for the thin crust. Minimal ingredients are generally best for pizzas like this, but I couldn’t say no.

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 5oz fresh spinach
  • 14oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped if you want smaller pieces
  • 2/3 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2lb ground spicy Italian sausage
  • fresh mozzarella, optional
  • fresh cracked pepper

Preparation

Preheat your grill to a medium heat. Roll out the dough. Let it rest. In a bowl, mix together the spinach, artichoke hearts, and ricotta. Brown the Italian sausage. Drain, if necessary, and set aside.

Lay your pizza dough down on the hot grill. Shut the lid. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes until it gets the grill lines on it. It should lift easily off the grill. Remove the crust from the grill, grilled side up onto a sheet pan.

Put a thin layer of the spinach artichoke and ricotta all over the crust. Top with the crumbled sausage. Add the mozzarella, if using. Place the pizza back on the grill for another 2-3 minutes. The cheese will melt and the bottom will cook.

Remove from the grill and allow to rest for a minute before cutting. Cover in fresh cracked pepper. Serve.

Sausage and Ricotta Pizza

Sausage and ricotta might be my favorite pizza pairing of all time. BBQ chicken a close second but it’s not nearly as traditional. The pesto base is just enough to keep it light but add another layer of flavor. Tomato would be all kind of overwhelming for me. Get the whole milk ricotta. Just do it. Enjoy the fat. It’s delightfully sweet and has an unbelievably good texture. It softens on the heat the grill and becomes little pillows. I want huge chunks of sausage on my pizza, a blast of flavor with every bite. Craving that kind of pizza right now. Grilling pizza is a year round thing. There aren’t any seasons when my grilling is concerned.

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of pizza dough, room temperature if you’ve been storing it elsewhere
  • 1/2c pesto [I bought premade stuff from New Seasons and had leftovers]
  • 4oz mozzarella, shredded
  • 4oz whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2lb ground hot Italian sausage, cooked
  • Oregano, basil, or red chile flakes for serving

Preparation

Preheat your grill to a high heat. You want it really, really hot to start so it’ll crisp up the dough the way you want. You’ll turn it down to medium right before you toss the dough on.

Roll the dough out to your desired thickness. Brush the top with olive oil. Place the oiled side down on the grill. In 3-4 minutes, check for grill marks on the dough. It should be puffed up possibly, but that’ll disappear. If the dough lifts off the grates easily, you’re in good shape. Pull it off the grill, grill-side down onto a baking sheet and return to the kitchen to assemble your pizza.

Brush or spoon an even layer of pesto on the crust. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top. Sprinkle the sausage in an even-isn layer. Using a spoon, dot the top of the pizza with dollops of ricotta. Place the pizza back onto the grill. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes. The same grill marks will appear and the cheese will be nice and melty.

Remove from the grill. Top with your seasonings. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and eating.

Philly Cheesesteak Stromboli

Apparently when I decide I want to make pizza, everyone else decides they want to make pizza. While I can definitely make my own, it’s just easier to go across the street. I’ve come to the realization that I have to go check the pizza dough stock first before I start grabbing all of the toppings. I’d say 50% of the time they’re out, and I have to either resort to ordering a pizza or switching gears entirely to pasta or something since it’s the easiest way to utilize the same pizza toppings. Realistically I could start the dough before I even go to the store, and it would be ready by the time I got back, but that never seems to cross my mind until I’m back [or sitting here writing a blog post]. Funny.

I’m all for a little food sacrilege sometimes. I’m sure the pho-rench dip [a french dip served vietnamese style with pho broth for dipping] I ate at Lardo the other night counts. I’m sure eating half of my burrito before using the rest of the tortilla as a bowl and forking out the contents counts, too. I really don’t care so long as it tastes good. It keeps things interesting.

Case in point — this stromboli. Bring on the Philly cheesesteak contents. It’s beefy. It’s cheesy. It has all you could love about a cheesesteak with marginally less bread than you’d get from a sandwich. It’s less messy, too. It’s practically a fool-proof process [especially after last time’s meltdown]. I made sure to roll it out a little thicker, and do it on the Silpat/pan so I didn’t have to worry about trying to move it too far. It’s still not pretty, but it does taste good.

Inspiration: Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1/2 pound of deli sliced roast beef, cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 1/4 pound provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 pound American cheese, shredded
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 8oz sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

If your dough has been refrigerated, bring it out to rest while you cook up the vegetables.

In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms. Add a healthy pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms darken and start to release their moisture. Add the bell pepper. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out the pizza dough into a large rectangle on top of a Silpat or a piece of parchment. Spread the cheese evenly over the dough. Top with the roast beef. Add the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Taking the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up like a cinnamon roll. Pinch the seam to gather and close the ends. Slice the top with a knife so steam can escape.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and a tablespoon of water. Brush on top of the stromboli. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it set for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Steak & Blue Grilled Pizza

Things of note:

Summer is here! It’s been SUPER hot lately [like everywhere]. We went to Astoria, OR over the weekend [the beach!] to play in the ocean with the dog, drink a lot of beer from Fort George Brewery, check out the Goonies house, watch the sunset from the Astoria Column, and eat the biggest bagel and lox plate of my life from Street 14 Coffee.

Currently reading: The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones because one can never have too much pleasure from cooking.

Our office is rocking three different types of bubbly water these days. Hydration has never been more fun.

I switched back to green smoothies for breakfast. This week = avocado, celery, spinach, rolled oats, sweetener, water, ice.

The light in the fridge went out. Why does that feel way more ominous than a normal light?

I made a fresh salad dressing to go with dinner. It’s from the same book that I’ve been getting the pizza recipes. I’m dubbing it walnut honey dressing: walnut oil, rice vinegar, honey, salt, shallot, dry mustard powder. Shaken and poured over butter lettuce and a handful of fresh blueberries.

I made this pizza for our good friend who came over to help us with some fun house stuff. Who doesn’t want to work in a nearly 100° garage? Did I mention we have nice friends? The least I could do was treat him to dinner. This is the epitome of rich, meaty deliciousness. I overcooked the steak a little too much for my liking. I like it way more pink, but it was still juicy at least. I’ll take it. I’m in love with the roasted garlic paste these pizzas are suggesting. It’s my new favorite pizza base. There was a note in the margin of the book to add a little bit of horseradish. I wish I would have seen that before I’d gone to the store. That would have been a perfect substitute for the inevitable blanket of chile flakes.

PS – Have you ever seen such a misshapen pizza before? I’m naming it North Carolina. It still tastes good.

Inspiration: Pizza on the Grill

Ingredients

  • 16oz top sirloin steak, approx. 1 1/2 inches thick, room temperature
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup grits or corn meal
  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic paste [3 heads of roasted garlic + olive oil, pureed]
  • 1/2 cup caramelized onions [I sauteed a medium sized onion in 1 tablespoon of butter for about 20 minutes]
  • 4oz Roquefort or other blue cheese, grumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the grill on high for 10 minutes before turning it down to medium.

Drizzle both sides of the steak with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

Sprinkle the grits around on your dough rolling surface. Roll out the dough to your desired thickness. Drizzle both sides with olive oil before place one side down on the grill. Grill for three minutes or until grill marks show up on the one side. It shouldn’t be sticking, and will be easy to pull off to a rimless baking sheet, grilled side up. Turn off the middle burner if your grill has three of them.

Smother the grilled side of the pizza with the garlic paste. Sprinkle it with the caramelized onions. Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Arrange the steak on the onion and garlic mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese, and return to the grill for 7-9 minutes. The bottom will be crisp and the cheese melted.

Remove from the grill and sprinkle with the parsley. Cut and serve immediately.

Prosciutto and Arugula White Pizza

It’s not everyday that I get to stand in front of the cheese counter and pick up not one, not two, but three cheeses. I’m easily buying 1-2 cheese a week these days, but three at once? Heaven. I do love me some cheese counter at the fridge New Seasons, but it’s no Foster & Dobbs. That’s probably my favorite cheese counter so far. Still on my list are Cheese Bar and Atomic Cheese. I’ll get there someday.

[remember how I started this blog avoiding dairy cheese? my how things change…]

New Seasons is great for the simple things, which is exactly what I needed to get — asiago, mozzarella, ricotta. None of that skim crap. Only whole milk will do [for taste and less likely to have a reaction]. This was an epic pizza. It needed three cheeses. It needed white truffle oil. I can’t believe I caved and bought some, but I did. It added such a subtle complexity to the cheese. Did I mention the cheese sat atop a layer of roasted garlic spread?

Because it did. Roasting your own garlic is easy, but takes longer to roast than the pizza to cook, so I bought the pre-roasted stuff. Drizzle in a little olive oil and blend. Sweet creamy garlic bliss. Arugula was a nice, spicy kick to the pile of subtle complexity. It’s amazing how a little bit of olive oil mixed in subdues it’s intensity. Lastly? Prosciutto. It’s added last and is not heated. It gets salty when cooked, remember? Let’s not do that again.

Sublime. That’s the only way I can describe this pizza. It’s my new favorite. Hands down. I ate way more than I should have, and have zero qualms about it. It’s just that good. So far this book is two for two. I’m liking these stats.

Inspiration: Pizza on the Grill

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup grits or polenta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic with a touch of olive oil, blended or mashed with a fork
  • 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup asiago cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup ricotta cheese, full-fat
  • 2 teaspoons white truffle oil
  • 1 cup fresh baby arugula
  • 4oz prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the grill on high for 10 minutes before turning it down to medium. Spread the grits out on your flat surface. Roll the dough out as large as you can get it, until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Drizzle both sides with olive oil. Grill on one side for 2-3 minutes. You want to see nice grill marks on the dough. Remove to a rimless baking sheet, grilled side up.

Spread the roasted garlic paste in an equal layer on the bottom of the pizza. Sprinkle the asiago and mozzarella cheese throughout. Add dollops of ricotta cheese. Turn off the middle burner if your grill has three burners, or turn everything down to a medium low. Place the pizza back on the grill for 6-8 minutes.

Once the cheese is melted and you have grill marks on the bottom of the pizza, remove it to your pan again. Drizzle the truffle oil on the finished pizza. I used a pastry brush to even it out. That’s your call. Toss the arugula with a little bit of olive oil before spreading it in a light, even layer over the pizza. Top with your bite sized pieces of prosciutto.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.