Pizza Margherita; asparagus with morels – 11 June 2011

I knew we would be out of bread, and that I would probably have lunch at the farmers’ market (Himalayan! Super!) while D was doing a small show. I decided not to make bread for dinner, but instead to consider it another pizza opportunity.

I had several aliquots of Margherita sauce in the freezer, and also a 1/3 recipe of dough, with about 1/4 whole wheat. I bought a Gustosella Mozzarella di Bufalo at the Cheese Board yesterday (having figured this out in advance). I’m trying out making smaller pizzas – 1/3 recipe of crust rather than 1/2 – so we have room for veggies, and had bought several possibilities at the Bowl. When I ran into morels at the farmers’ market (Center Street, Berkeley) today, I settled on asparagus with morels – and wow, was that good! See below.

Pizza: I defrosted the crust by setting the freezer container in warm water in a closed saucepan (warm environment, not just warm water) and flipped over the dough when the bottom defrosted. I forgot it and it totally rose in the little container. I rounded it up and put it into an oiled bowl, covered with my usual piece of plastic wrap (no reason to toss it between pizzas) on a sunny counter. I stretched out the crust and let it sit while the oven preheated, and then poked it with a fork all over and cooked it about 1 1/2 minutes at 500 degrees. Painted on about 1/2 cup (didn’t measure – this is from memory) Margherita sauce from a batch made for a previous pizza – salted the sauce a bit before use as I remembered it was not salty enough. An hour before making the pizza I cut up the ball of fresh mozz, halving it and then cutting each half into 5-6 half-moon slices. I left these on a cutting board, and they drained considerably before I added them to the pizza. Getting rid of some liquid is important when using fresh mozz in a pizza. I baked this for 6 minutes, tossed on some small basil leaves, and served it.

But before that… I cleaned the 1/4 lb. morels with a mushroom brush, rotating it so as to loosen anything that might be caught in the indentations of the mushrooms. I cut off tough stalk ends, and quartered or halved (tiny) mushrooms, and then cooked them 5 minutes in perhaps 1 1/2 Tbsp butter. I had steamed the asparagus (moderately thin ones) for 5 minutes, and then tossed them in with the morels, added a bit more butter, and tossed them about for a bit.


When they were ready to eat, I plated them and put the decorated pizza in the oven so it could have its 6 min cook while we ate our lovely veggie. This was a great arrangement: the two dishes really had nothing to say to each other, but each was excellent in its own right, and this way they got to stand on their own.

D brought up an old friend, Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (2007). It was very very slightly corked, so we used a technique told to us by our friend M: mix the wine with plastic wrap and the cork will go away. This was effective, and it made us happy because we really enjoy this wine.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Meatless, Pizza and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s