Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I Heart Pizza and Wine
The first time I interviewed someone for a food article in our local newspaper, he invited T and me to dinner. He was a Francophile and pleased to serve us an authentically French meal. The quiche was pretty good, as I recall. Sort of a play on Lorraine. Heavy on the cheese, caramelized onions, and flavor.
But more vivid than that lovely tart are my memories of the wine he served. I saw the Riesling label and, not a fan of sweet baby wines, likely wrinkled my nose. "This is an early harvest," he told us as he pulled the cork from the bottle, "from Alsace." That wine changed everything I thought I knew about the varietal. Grapes harvested before the sugars are allowed to flourish produce a dry wine, low in alcohol and crisp, complex, and cool.
Form pizza dough into a heart shape any day of the year. Your Valentine will appreciate it. As I tossed pizza dough over the weekend, I thought about my introduction to early harvest Rieslings and how well they play with many foods (Lucky for us, we had a bottle chilling.). I especially like them with rich and peppery flavors, like this mushroom-ham-arugula pizza.
Oyster Mushroom-Ham and Arugula Pizza
Whole wheat pizza dough (Recipe here makes 2 9-inch crusts)
3 1/2 ounces oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter, plus oil to drizzle
3 green onions, chopped
3 ounces ham or bacon, cooked and diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup shredded provolone and mozzarella
2 cup arugula
3 radishes, sliced
1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
Nutmeg, salt, and pepper
Saute mushrooms in olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add onions, ham, and garlic and cook additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Roll out half of pizza dough to very thin 9 inch crust. Cover crust with provolone and mozzarella. Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil over cheese. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven until crust is starting to crisp and cheese is melted and golden. Spread mushroom mixture evenly over the cheese and return pizza to oven for additional 10 - 15 minutes.
Toss arugula, radishes, and parm in a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Season well with pepper. Top hot pizza with salad and serve immediately.