Before I ask for your trust, I have a small announcement to make. I am teaming up with the Yoga Tree, one of the very best yoga studios in Seattle and the one where I started my own yoga journey 12 years ago, to do an Urban Retreat next Saturday, January 21st, from 3:30-8pm. The retreat is called Winter Warmth and Nourishment and participants will spend two hours building heat (and an appetite) through dynamic yoga flow, and then another two hours in a cooking class with me, right next door!, at Book Larder. I am really excited about this partnership and the retreats are something we plan to do seasonally. (Next one will be in April if you want to plan a trip to Seattle…) Registration information can be found here.
OK, so now I am asking for your trust. Trust me – those are not fingerling potatoes on the pizza – it is poorly melted smoked mozzarella – I bought the wrong kind.
Trust me – eggs are good on pizza.
Trust me – this combination of leeks, smoked mozzarella, and egg is magical.
Trust me – it may not be beautiful but it is tasty.
Last Thursday, as I was getting excited for night out with three of my lovely friends to a new super hot pizza joint, I got a message from Spencer’s teachers at preschool. He was running a fever and I needed to come pick him up. He was sleeping when I called back (a red flag – he never sleeps at preschool), but when I went to get him an hour later, I was shocked. With kids running all over the room, chasing each other, doing art projects, eating snacks, my (not so) little baby was lying in the middle of the floor on a mat just staring off into space. I dropped to my knees next to him and could feel the heat radiating off his body.
He let me carry him to the car (another red flag) and when we got home he was shaking so badly that he could not hold the little cup of Tylenol steady enough to put it to his lips. Absolutely heartbreaking. But that Tylenol is a wonder drug and after he was able to take it, with the help of an oral syringe, he seemed much better.
But not better enough to go to Cub Scouts with Graham and Randy that night and so, I had to email my friends and ask that they either go without me or come keep me and the patient company. A flurry of emails when through the ether – yes, they would come over! Yes, we could make our own pizza! Yes, I have salad stuff! Yes, I’ll bring what I have! It is a great thing to have friends who are great cooks and like to eat.
So, we made our own pizza and salad to which we each contributed various things. I had one hunk of dough, slow-roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and some leeks I had sautéed to silky. Others contributed salad makings, another hunk of dough, a knob of smoked mozzarella, eggs, and wine. What a great way to cook! Coming together as a community and offering up yummy things.
So we made two pizzas and the standout, by far, was the one I drizzled with olive oil, then topped with a healthy mound of the leeks, thin slices of smoked mozarella, and – after it had been in the oven for a few minutes, two farm fresh eggs. I can’t take full credit for the pizza, we all contributed. And we all really loved it.
I loved it enough to make it again a few nights later. Even with the wrong mozzarella, it was really tasty. I loved the contrast in flavors and textures. Crisp savory crust (salting it is key), soft sweet leeks, smoky melty cheese, and a runny egg. So good! Unless you want want your cheese to not melt and to look like fingerling potatoes (which are delicious on pizza by the way – another pizza post for another time), do not buy the mozzarella that is braided and very firm. Buy one that is cryovaced and soft and with some copper colored markings.
Pizza with Silky Leeks, Smoked Mozzarella, and Eggs
Dana Treat Original (with assistance)
Makes one medium size pizza, serves 3-4
I made this pizza with approximately one half of the recipe of my favorite pizza dough. I put the other half in a ziploc bag and into the freezer. The night before I wanted to use it again, I took it out and let it thaw in the refrigerator, then took it out and let it rise at room temperature for about an hour before using it.
4 large leeks
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
6 oz. smoked mozzarella, very thinly sliced
2 large eggs
½ of Mark Bittman’s pizza dough
Place a pizza stone in the oven and turn the heat as high as it will go.
While the dough is rising for the second time and the oven is heating, place a very large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom and then add the leeks with a large pinch of salt. They will be very crowded in the pan but will wilt down so don’t worry. Give the leeks a few good stirs and then add the thyme leaves. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let them cook, stirring occasionally, until they are silky soft and wilted, about 25 minutes total. If at any time they seem to be browning, turn the heat down lower. If necessary, add a bit of water to keep them from browning. (Browned onions are good, browned leeks are not.) Once they are really soft, if there is quite a bit of liquid in the pan, turn the heat back up to medium and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Seasons to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel and stretch the dough out to your desired shape. Place the dough on the prepared peel and drizzle the surface with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of salt over the top. Mound the leeks on the dough leaving a small border around the edge and top with the thin slices of smoked mozzarella. Slide the pizza off the peel and onto the baking stone. Bake for 5 minutes.
Crack the eggs into a small ramekin. At the end of 5 minutes, slide the oven rack with the stone on it out enough to put the eggs on the pizza. Be very careful because everything is super hot at this point. Put one egg on one part of the pizza and the other on another part. Push the rack back in and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until the crust is brown and the eggs are set. (If you want your eggs runnier, you can add them later in the process.)
Slice and serve.