Culinary natural selection

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Q: What's more fun than working on lab meeting?

A: Designing a blog

Caprese-Artichoke Pizza

Long ago, a friend gave me the nickname "P-slice." It stuck, and now I like to think that if science doesn't work out, I will open a pizza shop with that very name. For now, I need to practice my pizza skills. 

My sister had sent me a recipe for caprese dip (here) so I was thinking about tomato and basil, but wanted something that would have more leftovers. And, conveniently, my landlord offered me some delicious tomatoes fresh from our garden.

Materials and Methods:
-Whole wheat pizza crust dough
-Artichoke pesto (you could probably substitute any kind of pesto, or simply some olive oil with crushed garlic and salt)
-8 oz mozzarella cheese, packed in water
-2 large tomatoes
-bunch of fresh basil
-balsamic vinegar glaze (I bought it premade at Trader Joe's, but you could probably make some by reducing balsamic vinegar with some sugar over low heat or following this recipe, sans salmon). 
-shredded parmesan cheese

Let the dough rest on a floured surface according to instructions. Meanwhile, spread oil on a baking sheet and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese thinly and tear the basil leaves into large pieces. 

Once the dough has rested, roll it out to approximately the size of the baking sheet. Spread a thin layer of pesto (or olive oil+garlic and salt) on the dough. Add the torn basil and arrange the tomatoes on the pizza. Add the sliced cheese. Drizzle the top with the balsamic glaze. I forgot to add the parmesan cheese until halfway through, but now would probably be a good time to add it. 

Bake in the oven at 450 degrees until the crust is golden and the cheese is browned and bubbly. I think this was about 25 minutes for me.

A tasty although slightly soggy pizza. The artichoke pesto worked well with the caprese flavors.  Overall, 3.5 stars out of 5. Roommate's opinion: 4 out 5. 

I think this would be better, though less caprese-like, with a drier mozzarella (maybe the kind that comes shredded or in a block). This would likely help with the sogginess problem.  I also haven't figured out how to make a really awesome crusty pizza crust. I think a pizza stone would help. Also, since the mozzarella wasn't salted, I wound up sprinkling a little bit of sea salt on top. 

I forgot to take a picture before I began eating, so here is a picture of part of the pizza