I went to college thinking I wanted to write for a health and fitness magazine. I would major in journalism, maybe take an internship after school and try not to live in New York City (the hub of most magazine companies) if I could help it - no offense New Yorkers, I'm just not a city girl. But as the story usually goes, I changed my mind at some point in those four years. To tell you it changed to wanting to write a cookbook and dabble in freelance recipe development would be lie. I never planned to be doing what I am doing now. I wouldn't know how to tell someone how to write a book on cooking and I don't even have a concrete answer as to how I learned to cook myself. Sometimes things sort of happen, and you learn the hard way while it's all happening, and it just works out. I've mentioned before that the learning curve with this whole book process has been a rocky one for both Hugh and I. We ate a lot, argued, did a TON of dishes and I cried when frustrated...which may have been often, but it recently occured to me that I'm on the other side of it now. The contents are still in the design process, but the book is available for pre-sale on Amazon. Me! Us! On Amazon! Like the place where we buy all our books and most other items I am too lazy to go to a store and buy myself! This is the thrill I was waiting for - the moment it feels like the learning curve evened out and there is fruit to the labor. I am sure the fear and self consciousness will creep back in at some point, but for now, I am so excited to share with you, party people.
In the way we sort of fall into jobs and oportunities and figure them out as we go, homemade pizza has the same story. I usually just pile things on, flavors that make sense to me, and while it may not be perfectly articulated with a clear expectation, it turns out just fine. And maybe even better than planned.
BROCCOLINI + CHARRED LEMON FLATBREAD // Serves 2 as entree, 4 as an appetizer
No Knead Pizza Dough recipe from Jim Lahey in Bon Appetit
I halved the published recipe to yield two crusts and the toppings mentioned are written for one pizza. I made mine with unbleached white whole wheat flour and it came out a bit dense...as expected. Next time I'd halve it with bread flour or unbleached all purpose flour.
I am giving general amounts for the toppings, but pizza should most definitely be made to your preference, so I suggest winging it. My only tip is to use more cheese than appears necessary, it always seems like less once it comes out of the oven.
Crust Recipe from Jim Lahey
(I halved it and got two 13'' thin crust pizzas)
1 small bunch broccolini
1 small meyer or eureka lemon
2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
6-8 oz. soft goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
sea salt and pepper, for topping
// roasted garlic spread //
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
1 head roasted garlic (helpful instructions here)
Make the crust according to instructions. I usually start it the night before so it's ready for the next day - takes some forethought, I know, but you can do it!
Preheat the oven to 500'.
Steam the broccolini for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove to a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Give it a rough chop and set aside.
Cut the lemon into as thin of slices possible with a serated knife. Remove any seeds.
To make the roasted garlic paste, put the olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the head into the oil and smush fiercely with a fork to create a paste. This could also be done in a mini blender for smoother consistency. You want it creamy? Add a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream.
Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface (I used 1/4 of the published recipe I linked to for one pizza). Sprinkle a bit of cornmeal or flour on a cookie sheet and transfer the dough to the cookie sheet. Evenly spread the garlic paste, desired amount of broccolini, shallots, generous amount of goat cheese, lemon slices and the grated parmesan. Drizzle the top with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and put it in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 13-15 minutes until brown spots start to show on top. Remove, slice and enjoy warm. If you feel you went too easy on the cheese, sprinkle a bit more parm.