I am not a particularly organized person. I am not a list-maker and I can be very scattered. I really try to have structure and to be fair, I do juggle a lot of balls on any given day, but things often fall through the cracks. I tend to be forgetful and I lose things easily.
Except when I am in the kitchen. I am streamlined, focused, and organized, and I rarely make mistakes. In all the years of being a personal chef and all the parties I have catered and all the classes I have taught, I have never forgotten a single dish. That is because, unlike in my personal life, I make lists. I have ingredient lists, dish lists, and lists of things to remember to bring. That last list has food on one side of the paper and equipment on the other. I have a system and I continually check in with it.
Last week, I catered an art gallery opening for some friends and for no good reason, I didn’t check in with my list. I trusted my brain to remember everything which, if you are a mom, is something you should never ever do. Mommy brain is real! Not only did I forget to make one dish (in spite of the fact that I had prepped it the day before) but I forgot to bring a Sun-Dried Tomato Onion Jam for the cheese plate. As I started to unload my bags, I realized what I had done and literally sank to the floor. Then, I got up and moved on.
Two pieces of good news. The party was a success and I had a small tub of Sun-Dried Tomato Onion Jam to come home to. But what to do with it? If I served pork, it would probably be a good condiment but, as we all know, I don’t. There are no cheese plates in my immediate future. So how about some pizza?
Now, I eat my cooking all the time. I am delighted each time I make something of my own creation and it is good. (Which, not to toot my own horn, it usually is.) This pizza made me sit back and say, “Wow, this is good. Isn’t this good Randy? Do you love it?” He was fairly busy stuffing his face but nodded enthusiastically. Of course, I can’t take 100% credit here. The jam recipe comes from a magazine and I used Mark Bittman’s pizza dough recipe (highly recommend), but the combo and idea is mine.
We have a relatively new market in Seattle called Melrose Market. I like to think of it as a tiny tiny version of San Francisco’s Ferry Building. There is a butcher, a cheese shop, a wine bar, two restaurants, and a flower shop. It is a very charming place. The cheese shop, Calf and Kid, sometimes has burrata and whenever I am in the neighborhood, I check in to see if they have it. They did at my last visit and so I bought a small ball of it. I didn’t have a specific plan for it but having burrata in your refrigerator is never a bad thing.
So yes, there was burrata on my pizza which I am sure contributed to its amazingness. But a fresh mozzarella would still make it delicious. I am very gentle with my cheese hand on pizza. I like to taste the crust and the other toppings more than the cheese, but do what you like.
One Year Ago: Sautéed Tempeh with Coconut Milk and Snow Peas
Two Years Ago: Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Ginger Biscotti
Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomato Onion Jam and Broccoli Rabe
Dana Treat Original
Serves about 4
For the jam
3 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ cup dry white wine
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
¼ cup packed dried apricots, thinly sliced
6.5 ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
For the pizza
1 large bunch broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
1 recipe your favorite pizza dough (I used this one)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 4-ounce ball burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese
Make the jam
Cook onions, butter, sugar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, covered in a large skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and pale golden, about 30 minutes. Add wine, vinegar, apricots, and tomatoes, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, 20 to 30 minutes. (Can be made up to 1 week ahead. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Make the pizza
Preheat the oven to 500°F with a pizza stone set on the lowest rack. Pour the olive oil into a small bowl. Using a garlic press, push the garlic into the oil, and allow to steep. Lightly dust a pizza peel with cornmeal and shape your dough to fit the peel.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop the broccoli rabe.
Brush the dough with the garlic oil. Sprinkle with the Pecorino Romano. Scatter about ¾ of the Sun-Dried Tomato Jam over the surface of the pizza. (Use the rest for a cheese plate.) Scatter the broccoli rabe over top and finally, top with the burrata pulled into small pieces.
Carefully slide the pizza onto the stone. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until the crust is browning and the cheese is melted. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.