Pizza with artichoke hearts and prosciutto; chard – 18 June 2011

I decided to use up some of the remaining prosciutto in a pizza, and found this successful experiment, poorly recorded, from earlier in the year.

In addition to the prosciutto, I had a small (6.5 oz) jar of Passport artichoke hearts already on hand, part-skim mozzarella in the freezer, and two kinds of pecorino in the fridge. And of course lemons and olive oil are kitchen staples.

I defrosted a 1/2 recipe crust made with white flour by setting it on the counter in the sunlight for an hour or more. I moved it to a large pan of warm water, so the bottom would defrost nicely, and put a lid on the pan to make a warm place for the dough to defrost. It stayed there for a couple of hours, and seemed entirely happy about it. D was especially complimentary about the quality of this crust.

I precooked the crust on the stone at 500 degrees for about 2 minutes, and then topped it with 4 oz grated mozzarella, all the artichoke hearts, cut into halves and hard parts removed, plus 25 (I counted as I put them on) torn bits of prosciutto of various sizes, from an ultra-thin-sliced batch I got at the Bowl on the 13th for the prosciutto-wrapped radicchio the next day. I thought I could have used less prosciutto – perhaps 15-20 pieces would do nicely. D didn’t especially agree with me on this, which is surprising as he is such a minimalist.

This went back into the oven for about 5 minutes, perhaps 6 – I was watching to see how the crust was doing. No topping required a minimum cooking time b/c everything was edible before I started, so the crust determined the cooking time.

After removing the cooked pizza, I put very finely grated pecorino over the top – 1/2 cup total. Of this, 1/2 was our usual Pecorino Romano and the other was Pecorino Crotonese, which I found via a taste offered at the Bowl, when it was on sale for I think $14/lb instead of $20/lb. Finally, I mixed 2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice with an equal volume (more or less) of olive oil, and dribbled this over the top using a spoon.

I also got a large number of chard leaves out of the garden today (preferencing those volunteers crowding the tomato), cleaned and cut up the leaves (stems in the fridge). I remembered with 3:27 to go on the pizza that I needed to cook the chard, so I grabbed a frying pan and dumped some olive oil in it and the chard, and sauteed , stirring bottom to top, until it was thoroughly wilted, and then added a smidge of water and covered it to steam. It was still gorgeously green but quite nicely done when time to serve.

D brought up a Medoc from Eric Stauffenegger called Haut-Bana, and we both loved it and spent the latter half of the meal wondering if we could figure out how to get a case of it. D’s mark on the back said it was only $14, which is within our normal “weekend wine” range.

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