Pizza Margherita; lettuce salad – 18 July 2014

main140718D was going to cook tonight, but was going to be home late. I was going to cook this pizza tomorrow, but was home all day. So I suggested switching, especially since I could put this together so easily, even on what was a work day (at home). I defrosted a packet of Margherita sauce and a 1/3 recipe dough, and went to The Cheese Board (always a treat) to buy fresh mozzarella. They didn’t have Gustosella mozz di bufala! Argh! So I tasted their two alternative buffalo mozzs (not their fault, the distributor is out) setting140718and two cow’s milk fresh mozz, and didn’t love any of them. I decided to buy the Pt Reyes cow’s milk fresh mozz. Turns out the ball is about 8 oz, so I shouldn’t have bought two – one was enough. It made a perfectly good pizza, as it turns out. As usual, I sliced the ball in half, then turned cut side down and sliced into 1/4″ or 3/8″ slices – about 8 each half, this time. I set the slices on a sloped plastic cutting board to drain for about an hour.

After defrosting the dough and rising it in a pan in warm water, I worked the ball up a bit, then pressed into a small circle and let it sit for 20 minutes or so. By the time I was ready, it was, too, and I could stretch it out nicely into a good-sized crust. I pricked the crust with a fork all over, then cooked something like 2 minutes (at 500), removed, spread the defrosted sauce over it, and laid on the drained slices of mozzarella and cooked about 5 minutes, maybe 6. I strewed basil leaves and pieces of leaves over the cooked pizza, and that was it. I felt it needed more salt – probably the fault of the sauce – but otherwise, it was pretty good.

Knowing this was a 1/3 crust pizza instead of a 1/2 crust pizza, I thought I should make something to go with it. Essentially no veggies in the fridge except carrots, which we had for lunch and are planning for dinner tomorrow (oops, actually Sunday, my un-birthday was moved) so I tore up a few Romaine leaves, added some brown lettuce and bright-green-lettuce-with-purple-spots from the garden (bolted, and bitter, but in the context of the salad, they worked). I made a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, about 3:1 or 4:1, and salt and pepper, wine140718and then shaved off the thinnest little bit of a yellow onion and chopped it fine and added it. I let that sit for the better part of an hour, which I think allowed the onion (we didn’t have shallots) to mellow out and blend with the V&O. I tossed the lettuce in the dressing. It turned out to be really great!

D brought up the last bottle (argh!) or our Friday Wine, Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, but something was wrong with it (ARGH!)  – not corked, just… odd. So we decided to cook something with it in the future, and have a bottle of our Domaine la Milliere Vin de Pays de Vaucluse instead. Fortunately, it was great 🙂

D just brought a small dish of Three Twins Bittersweet Chocolate ice cream for dessert. Yum!



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