Pizza Philosophy

October 23, 2010 § 2 Comments

Throwing together a quick pizza for dinner is such an appealing option these days that I’d say it happens every other week in my apartment. Given the frequency and the myriad permutations of orthodox and unorthodox ingredients, the sky really is the limit. I usually start by selecting an ingredient or two that really strike my fancy, thinking of classic flavor profiles/combinations using those and other ingredients, selecting the most fitting cheese(s) and then reconfirming my concoction will actually hypothetically taste good when served in pizza form.

This was certainly the process I went through this weekend when creating a pizza plan at whole foods. I had recently heard a friend rave about a brie and fig flatbread they created and it inspired me to integrate fruit. Pears are definitely in abundance this time of year and one of my favorite combos is a pear, arugula and prosciutto salad. With this in mind, I grabbed a blend of grated fontina, pecorino and parmesan planned to top things off with some balsamic reudction. On another tip from my friend, I grabbed some frozen dough at Whole Foods (who knew this existed in the freezer section!?) and was on my way.

Last night, I began assembling my pizza (for three days I begrudgingly but patiently waited for my rock hard pears to ripen) and in my produce drawer noticed a lone leek leftover from some cauliflower soup. After debating for several moments if a leek would work on this particular pizza, I realized leeks, like pancetta, usually make everything more tasty. I sliced my leek into thin rings and sautéed them in olive oil until slightly caramelized and softened. About 15 minutes later, it was judgement time. The verdict: leeks took the pizza over the top and nicely balanced the sweetness of the pear. I will certainly be keeping these in mind for future pizza creations…I’m thinking some leeky variation on tarte flambee pizza might be in my near future…

Pear, Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza (with Leeks!)

1 pound pizza dough
1 leek
1.5 cups grated cheese (I used a mixture of fontina, pecorino and parmesan but mozzarella would also do nicely)
1 ripe Bartlett pear, thinly sliced
4-5 slices prosciutto, torn into thin strips
2 handfuls of arugula
Balsamic reduction or syrup
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes

1. Preheat oven to 425. Slice the light green and white part of the leek into ½-inch coins. Separate the interior rings. Over medium high heat, sauté the leek in a bit of olive oil until caramelized and softened. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Roll out pizza dough onto a non-stick baking sheet or pizza peel if you have one. Top with cheese, sliced pear and sautéed leeks. Bake for about 15 minutes, remove from oven. Top with prosciutto and bake another 3-5 minutes more.
3. Toss arugula with salt, pepper, and balsamic reduction to taste. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired. Slice and serve!


§ 2 Responses to Pizza Philosophy

  • Lauren says:

    Virginia. This pizza looks awesome. I am going to have to start cooking more. This looks pretty easy.

    • vagregory says:

      Definitely easy, especially if you buy dough! One day I will be ambitious enough and have enough counterspace to make my own 🙂 I envision a pizza-themed Sunday night dinner soon!

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