I couldn’t make up my mind this morning. A few weeks ago at Food Blogger Camp I met Dianne Jacob, co-author of Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas. We’ve been carrying the book in the store for more than a year. I’ve leafed through it countless times but had not yet made it a part of my extensive cookbook library. I’ve tried to stay away from spending money on cookbooks unless I can get them during our bi-annual clearance sales. Usually a book I want will go through a few markdowns before I pounce on it. But this was different. I was straightening up in the book department and Pizzas & Piadinas was sitting on top of the Gift Registry kiosk. I picked it up and again leafed through, looking at the drool-worthy photos and descriptions.
Before I knew it, the book was paid for and going home with me. It was the salad pizzas that caught my attention that day. I was so hungry and knew I had a few hours before I could break for lunch. The book was a virtual nosh. I was convinced one of these mouth watering pizzas was going to come out of my oven this week and this morning I made it happen.
Earlier in the week I made a batch of dough and turned out a lackluster pizza. I was dreaming of the Caesar Salad Pizza from a wood burning pizza joint near work when I lived in New Mexico. It always sounded like a crazy pizza topping, but it was crazy good. I’d looked at the Verduran on page 112. It’s mixed green vegetables with olives and basil. It also has red onions and tomatoes on it, but but all I had was romaine and I just felt like trying to recreate the Caesar salad pizza. It was ok, but didn’t knock my socks off. I liked the salad and should have toasted up some croutons and been done with it. The gooed news was that I had crust to spare and after being tightly wrapped, into the fridge it went for another day.
And that day was today. I took a quick look through the book and could not make up my mind. But no worries, I had enough dough for at least 2 pies and ingredients for multiple toppings. The Moroccan and Thai pizzas won me over. They both use a curry honey sauce and that just flat-out intrigued me.
I used a grill pan on the stovetop. The weather prediction was for moderate winds today and while that sounds benign enough, 14 stories up it’s more like hurricane force winds and I wasn’t about to fight that while out on the balcony flipping pizzas. I am anxious to try these recipes on the grill, but it’s just going to have to wait a couple of months.
It was just dumb luck that the jar of honey was put on the clearance table the other day. If not I would have used Lyle’s Golden Syrup, but the Tupelo honey had just the right flavor and the silky golden color was perfect for the curry powder and red pepper flakes.
I am in love with the crust recipe. I made it in the food processor which makes quick work of dough. This was no exception and as you can see from the photos, it came out nice and thin and crispy. My most important requirement for pizza crust is crunch and this certainly has that. You can choose to roll it much thicker, but I always go for as thin as I can comfortably go and have the ability to transfer from make-shift pizza peel (round walnut cutting board with handle) to oven.
The peanut sauce on the Thai pizza was dreamy. I whirred the peanut sauce mixture in the food processor and it instantly transformed crunchy peanut butter into creamy, which was called for in the recipe. It had the right amount of sweet and heat. Lip smacking good!
The combination of roasted garlic and kalamata olives knocked the Moroccan pizza out of the park. Next time I think I’ll add a dolup of Harissa to give it that ultimate Moroccan finish. Ooooh! how about some diced apricots? Oh yeah! I see an adaptation in the works.
The surprise here with the Thai pizza was the addition of chunky tomato-basil sauce. It was unexpected with the peanut sauce. Don’t you think?
Cilantro makes everything Asian sing. It brings out the flavor in all of the ingredients without being at all overwhelming.
I think I’ll venture into dessert next. How does a Piadina Rosti sound? Roasted pears, mascarpone and honey on flat bread! Oh Lordie! I’m going to have to pick up some mascarpone on Sunday. The rest of the ingredients are in my kitchen. Sure is a good thing I don’t have any mascarpone or I’d be up for the next few hours. The idea of pears and mascarpone drizzled with some of that Tupelo honey is mind-boggling. Or … maybe I will use Lyle’s. It’s so, so, so rich and buttery. Ok, that’s it! I’m going to bed now so that I don’t do something horrible like get in the car and drive to Harris Teeter for a container of mascarpone.
That would be just so wrong on many levels. Truth be told, if it were 10º warmer I’d probably be donning my jacket, scarf and mittens right now. And you … do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book. It’s well worth the money. I promise!
In 2007 my career with a large, but shrinking high tech Fortune 50 \"left me,\" leaving a void in my life. While lamenting the loss and flying around the world looking for a new career to get married to, I discovered a way to use a familiar outlet during tough times -- writing. My blog-writing morphed into writing about my favorite past time -- Food! I purchase food, sell food, make food, watch food being made, broadcast meal preparation, photograph and blog about food. Like I said; Food! To change this standard text, you have to enter some information about your self in the Dashboard -> Users -> Your Profile box.