Pizza with pesto, potatoes, and prosciutto – 6 November 2011

D quailed at the idea of cooking tonight, following Jean-Pierre Moulle. “Can’t cook :(” he said. Since we were to run out of bread with lunch, I volunteered to make a pizza, which has no pretensions whatsoever to Chez Panisse levels.

D suggested using some pesto, which he had been planning to do, in advance of freezing the rest of the Thursday night batch in an ice cube tray for winter use. He later suggested thinning it considerably with olive oil, so I did that, and it was a good idea. He thought it should be spread fairly thin, so I scooped out 1/4 cup of pesto and added perhaps a bit less than that of oil. It looked like a great amount, but with all the other stuff, was perhaps too thin, b/c it didn’t contribute all that much to the taste.

I boiled up a large Yukon Gold potato in salted water, cutting it in half first, and then cut the halves in half, and sliced them crosswise into 1/4″ thick slices. I heated some oil – probably 1Tbsp or slightly more – and cooked one clove of garlic, rather finely chopped, in it till the garlic was quite golden. I brushed the potatoes with the garlic oil after putting them on the pizza. I cooked up less than half a large yellow onion, sliced very thinly crosswise to the first cut, in oil just to get it softened a bit, rather than thoroughly cooked. I grated up 3 oz of mozzarella, defrosted from my frozen stash.

After cooking the crust 1.5 minutes, I spread on the thinned pesto, topped with cooked onions, then boiled potato slices, brushed the potatoes with garlic oil, sprinkled on mozzarella, and topped with torn bits from our last four slices of prosciutto from the 29th. D suggested trying some asiago bits (“Wisconsin salsa asiago” from the Bowl) on top of the pizza, and I thought that was interesting but unnecessary, so I did it to half the pizza to see what happened – I cut six slices less than 1/8″ thick from the 3/4″x 2″ loaf, including a bit of the “salsa” edge in each one (per D) . I ended up liking the asiago parts better than the ones without, but the pizza as a whole was unexciting. The little sparkle from the asiago helped that out.

D brought up a wine we got recently from Vino, the Grape Expectations people. Grape E wines are reliably good, and this one was also. The taste was engaging and inviting, though it seemed just a little young. It was a 2010 Saint Chinian from Mas des Mas, whose wines (but not this one) we’ve had before. The label says it’s 60% Syrah, 30% carignan, and 10% grenache noir.

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