Personal pizza with radicchio, mozzarella di bufalo, sheep ricotta, and pecorino; cold veggies – 20 February 2011

OK, this is my second attempt (the first was last May – I think the 29th or 30th?) at a pizza I had at La Ciccia in San Francisco. I found references to a radicchio pizza online and it lists the three cheeses above, so that’s what I did. Coincidentally, I had bought some sheep ricotta at the Cheese Board the other day just on a whim assuming I’d use it in some pizza or other – no idea it would be this one.

So, I took about 1/3 of a small head of radicchio and sliced it thin and separated the bits so they were free of each other and would all get equal treatment; then I blanched in salted water for 30 seconds. Last year I left it in for over a minute and it went completely limp, but the pizza at La Ciccia didn’t have limp, and didn’t have either bitter or too-crispy radicchio, so I do think there was some sort of gentle pre-treatment. I put the sliced radicchio in a strainer and used that to put it into our medium Revere saucepan and take it out again easily. Then I ran cold water over it till it was cold – not long. Should have prepared an ice bath to save water. Realized when it came time to add to the pizza that it was carrying a lot of water, so I wrapped it in a paper towel and squeezed… which was VERY fortunate, b/c if I hadn’t, the pizza would have been half water. Note to self: squeeze it dry right away and them spread for final drying. Ok, I sliced 1/2 a ball of Gustosella fresh buffalo mozz and perhaps an equal volume of sheep ricotta onto the pizza and cooked it.

When it came out and I tasted it, it was a bit bland. Realized I totally forgot a central ingredient, which was not mentioned in the online stuff but which was definitely in the pizza I had at La Ciccia – the soppressata! LOL! This is a sausage you can eat as bought, so I chopped up one slice and put it over the rest of the pizza. Then I ate one more piece and realized I’d forgotten the pecorino, too. Geesh.

OK, so I am going to do this one again tomorrow. I think the ricotta is not right, so I’m going to add the sausage and pecorino, use the rest of the fresh mozz… and I’m thinking perhaps I will not pre-cook the radicchio this time. It had no crunch left after baking.

I opened a bottle of a favorite Bordeaux – a lovely very light red – and enjoyed it with this pizza (even though the pizza was  not as expected). Also decided the meal needed some more veggies than the radicchio, so I polished up a carrot and a chunk of cauliflower, both of which are always nice to eat.

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