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Locally-Inspired Pizza

I’ve had last night’s dinner on my mind all week. It was inspired by a slice of pizza Brent and I had from Veraci Pizza at the Ballard Farmers’ Market last Sunday. It was made with mole salami from Salumi (owned by Mario Batali’s father) and cheese from Beecher’s in Pike Place Market. It was so flavorful and delicious. Just a perfectly topped pizza, so while eating I immediately said to Brent, “I could make this you know.” Cocky, aren’t I?

I lied. My version was not as good as its inspiration, but it was very tasty in its own right. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 orange-sized hunk of the Master Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes
  • 1/2 c. fire-roasted tomatoes, drained and pureed
  • drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few slices of mole salami (any salami would work)
  • 2oz Beecher’s Flagship cheese (any semi-hard cheese would work)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • plenty of cornmeal

To begin, I rolled out the dough to about 1/4-1/2″ thick. I gave up trying to make circular pizza long ago. Most of mine are misshapen and they taste great regardless. place the rolled dough onto a generous sprinkling of cornmeal on a cutting board, pizza peel, or some other flat surface. I drizzled the dough lightly with olive oil, spread the tomato puree thinly over the surface and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Once your base is ready, place a few slices of salami over the surface. This stuff is very potent and flavorful, so there’s no need to go overboard here.

Please note my awesome use of an upside down baking sheet as a pizza peel. It’s all about resourcefulness people. Next put some cheese on that pie. The pizza I was trying to replicate had thick, chewy, delicious discs of cheese on it, but I realize now I cut my cheese too thinly and thus it melted rather evenly over the pie, which was still delish, just not what I was going for. As a final flourish, sprinkle some scallions over the top for color and a bit of flava.

Now it was ready for baking. Slide the pizza off the pizza peel onto a pizza stone in an oven that has been preheated to 450 degrees. Ideally you want to do this step very quickly so that the oven does not lose much heat. Because I am not graceful and I never seem to use enough cornmeal, it takes me longer than it should. Oh well. I usually bake my pizzas (which are around 10-12 inches in diameter) for about 12 minutes. That gives it time to brown, but still leaves some chewiness in the crust.

This pizza was really great. Usually I make a simple green salad to go with our pizzas, but I was feeling lazy last night, so we just split the pizza. It earned rave reviews from Brent, but he agreed about slicing the cheese more thickly next time.

Brent really enjoys the Salumi salami and eats it as a snack frequently, but it was way improved on this pizza! It got crispy  and even more delicious. Oh, and pureed tomatoes actually makes a perfect pizza sauce, I think. I prefer it over commercially prepared “pizza sauces.”

Backing up, before dinner I went to yoga and really enjoyed it! I liked the studio so much that, after paying the drop-in rate last night, I went back this morning and bought a 2 month unlimited membership and attended the 8:30am class. AND Brent went with me this morning! He’s been saying he has an increase in stress from his new job and he was looking for a healthy outlet to relieve some stress. He wasn’t convinced yoga would be his type of thing but he gave it a try, and said he may go back next week! 🙂

We also made it to the movies after dinner. We ended up seeing True Grit, which with both loved. I have serious love for Jeff Bridges and the Coen Brothers so I really enjoyed the movie. So glad we finally went! After yoga, brunch (more on that later), and a bit of walking and shopping, we’re back home and bumming around for the rest of the day. Hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

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3 responses »

  1. Oh, I haven’t made pizza in a couple of weeks . . . and now I’m craving it! Next weekend, for sure!

    Have you used the olive oil dough for pizza crust before? That’s my FAVORITE, although I usually try to use a dough with at least half whole-wheat flour. I try. 🙂

    Reply
  2. ooo that pizza looks great! I have dough resting right now to make pizza tonight!

    Reply
  3. I love making my own pizza and salami is an awesome topping 🙂 Yours looks fabulous! Such a great idea to use the back of your pan as a pizza peel! Love it!

    Reply

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