OK, guess what? I’m in the midst of a months- long pizza obsession. I have nothing earth shattering to say about the obsession, just that it has taken a hold of me. Quite simply, I crave pizza all the time. This is not to say that I never craved it before but now the craving is near constant. Having a simple and (in my opinion) perfect recipe for a crust and a grill just waiting to get heated up makes pizza a super simple and quick dinner in our household*.
My parents, New Yorkers both of them, used to lament the lack of good pizza in Seattle. And truthfully, up until just a few years ago, it was embarrassing. Now we have plenty of good pizza. Not the giant New York slices that you fold in half and wipe the grease off your chin between bites, but pretty tasty nonetheless. I love all of it. But I have to say I’m partial to a thin and flavorful crust, a thin schmear of sauce, carefully placed vegetables, and not too much cheese. That is if I’m ordering it in one of our many delicious pizza joints.
If I’m making it myself, I tend to get carried away by the toppings. Can you call it pizza if it has no sauce and no mozzarella cheese? I say yes. My lovely and amazing friend Denise visited a couple of months ago with her partner Lenny, and she mentioned that their favorite pizza to make these days stars corn, cilantro, and blue cheese. Yes please and thank you very much. I’ve made their version a couple of times since corn season began for us Pacific North-westerners and this time I added some chantarelle mushrooms and some squash blossoms. Why not?
*I would love to tell you that my children ate pizza with corn, chantarelle mushrooms, cilantro, squash blossoms, and blue cheese but alas, I try to set myself up for success here in my house. I took about a third of the dough and made them their own pizza starring jarred tomato sauce and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Graham told me that he would like a vegetable pizza “with olives” next time. Special requests aside, they ate the entire thing. And put carrot sticks on top of each slice. Carrot pizza!
I’m giving instructions on how to make this on the grill. It’s super quick and you get that char that is hard to achieve in an oven. If you don’t have a grill, place a pizza stone in your oven and heat it as high as it will go. Your cooking time will be longer in an oven.
One Year Ago: Moo Shu Tempeh (tastes much better than it sounds)
Two Years Ago: Holly B’s Almond Butterhorns
Three Years Ago: Roasted Peppers Stuffed with Chickpea Puree and Mushrooms
Pizza with Corn, Chantarelles, and Cilantro
Dana Treat Original
As always when I am making pizza, I will direct you to Mark Bittman’s recipe. The dough is perfect in my opinion. Last week, I had my parents over and I made a Margarita Pizza (I told you I’m obsessed!) and my dad said my crust was the best he’s ever tasted. My New Yorker dad!
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 ounces chantarelle mushrooms (or any wild mushrooms), rinsed and allowed to air dry
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 large ear of corn, kernels stripped off
½ cup cilantro leaves
2 ounces blue cheese
3 zucchini blossoms, sliced in half
1 recipe pizza dough
Head a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter and then add the mushrooms along with a pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring often, until browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, then add the corn and cook for another 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat a grill to high. Scatter a bit of cornmeal on a pizza peel (or the bottom of a baking sheet can work too). Stretch the dough out to a nice thin circle, then place it on the peel. Slide the dough onto the grill, close the lid, and let cook for4 minutes, or until the bottom is nice and golden brown with some grill marks. Carefully coax it back onto the peel (tongs can be useful for this step). If you are using an oven instead of a grill, just top the raw dough with the toppings – you won’t need to flip.
Turn the dough over and drizzle it with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle over a pinch of salt. Add the toppings. Scrape the mushroom/corn mixture over the top, scatter the cilantro leaves, crumble the blue cheese, and place the zucchini blossoms over the top. Slide the pizza back on the grill, cover and cook for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the visible dough is golden brown. Slide back on the peel, let sit for a minute, then slice and serve.