A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

Leftovers, Pizza Edition

In Food on July 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

A couple weeks ago my friend Lizzie mentioned that she had a couple black truffles burning a hole in her pocket. Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. I also had a bunch of kale, a couple slices of bacon and orphan pieces of cheese kicking around in the fridge that were looking for a home so we decided to have a pizza night. In addition to truffles, Lizzie and Matt brought over a fantastic watermelon, feta and arugula salad drizzled with olive oil. Mr. Foodinista picked up a couple merguez sausages and three rounds of Whole Foods Pizza dough, which he stretched onto baking sheets and then prepared the grill. And then I cleaned out the fridge. We ended up with…

Black truffle with caramelized onions and mozzarella. Everyone’s favorite.

Bacon, kale (sautéed in bacon fat), fresh ricotta and red sauce.

Merguez sausage, fontina and chimichurri (leftover from the previous evening’s grilled steaks). I’d make any of these pizzas again in a second, but it’s unlikely to happen unless the same mix of leftovers converge again in my fridge one day soon. But other pizzas await. The true satisfaction comes from seeing what you can come up with using the contents of your fridge. What are some of your favorite combinations?

Pizza with Beet Greens and Pancetta

In Food, Recipes on March 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm

We’ve been loving our CSA farm bag each week, and I’m loving the challenge of using everything in there right down to the greens. In fact, that’s the only part of the beet my husband will eat. And so I’m always on the search for new ways to deploy these flavorful greens.

Last week my sister and I were planning a tip of the cap to my mother’s Buffalo, NY, roots—an evening of pizza and Buffalo wings. Of course there’s no beating Bocce Club Pizza, but I didn’t have time to have one shipped cross-country (they deliver NATIONWIDE – best news ever). So, I thought parsimoniously, why not sauté up those beet greens with a little olive oil and garlic to throw on a pie?

My husband has mastered the art of pizza on the grill, so why I sautéed he grilled a round of Whole Foods pizza dough over medium high for two minutes on one side, then flipped and grilled for another 30 seconds or so. (There is also some technique involving the rotisserie burner that he’s being cagey about sharing—but do experiment, I promise it’s worth it!) Then he brings the dough inside and we put toppings on the less done side. For this version, I used spinach pesto for sauce topped with the sautéed beet greens, some grated leftover Appenzeller cheese from our Valentine’s Day fondue, and a few slices of pancetta. When Mr. Foodinista puts the pizza back on he uses indirect (or low) heat. Cook with the toppings until cheese is bubbling, another 5-10 minutes depending on heat of grill. My husband says it’s his favorite homemade pizza to date. So no, it’s no Bocce, but here’s what homemade pizza, blue cheese dressing and home-cooked wings can look like in LA.

Whole Foods Pizza Dough

In Food, Recipes on January 13, 2011 at 6:41 am

Once a week or so, and usually on Thursdays, I grab some fresh pizza dough from Whole Foods and clean out my fridge. Seriously, is there any better way to use leftovers? I first blogged about Whole Foods pizza dough a couple years ago, and to date it remains the most searched and viewed post in Foodinista history! Since then, we’ve tried all sorts of combos and rarely do we repeat, which is half the fun. The thing about pizza is that it’s never bad—just varying shades of great. But sometimes you stumble upon a combination that really knocks it out of the park. Like this one.

First, I always crank up the heat to 500F degrees and cook the pizza dough without toppings for 4 minutes. I had some leftover roasted garlic and red pepper relish, which I spread on the semi-cooked dough. Then I loaded it up with the previous evening’s long-cooked broccoli, big thick shavings of parm, and fresh ricotta. I did cheat in that I picked up a lamb sausage from the butcher earlier that day, which I fried separately and then threw on top along with some cured black olives. And finished with a ton of cracked black pepper.

Back into the oven it goes for about 10 minutes, or until crust is crispy and golden. I loved the salty, smoky, sweet and nutty of this pizza. Would love to hear your favorite combos!

Fig Time!

In Food, Recipes on July 19, 2009 at 8:38 am


I’ve been seeing baskets of Black Mission Figs, and wanted to try using for one of my sister’s faves—gorgonzola and fig pizza. I got the dough from Whole Foods, and though I’ve said it before, it bears repeating: let the dough sit out for several hours and let it double in size and then punch down and let it happen again. This results in a more flavorful, thin and crispy crust. My neighbor Ted says you can also buy fresh dough at Village Pizza on Larchmont and Damiano’s, which I’m all over next time.

First, caramelize some red onions in butter, cooking on medium for about 20 minutes. The douse with a little balsamic and cook for another minute or two.


Then, crank up the oven to 500 degrees and cook crust by itself for 3-4 minutes. Then crumble gorgonzola over crust, add sliced figs, fresh rosemary, caramelized onions. Cook with toppings for about 10 minutes.


Also, for the above pizza we draped prosciutto over, which frankly was gilding the lily. I wouldn’t do it again; my husband would.

For past pizza experiments, here are two of my faves:

Pizza with Balsamic Marinated Radicchio and Fresh Ricotta

Pizza with Long-Cooked Broccoli

Playoff Pizza

In Food on May 17, 2009 at 9:51 am


We just got back from Larchmont Farmer’s Market, where we ran into our friend Hugh. We picked up some overpriced, but super-fresh ling cod, as well as asparagus to throw on the grill tonight, and Hugh was debating vine-ripened tomatoes to put on a pizza. He also had a 2-lb octopus in tow—he got the last one—so we’ve put our name on one for next weekend. But back to the pizza, I’m guessing a lot of us will be leaning that way today what with the Lakers and Celtics games (please, PLEASE, a rematch in finals????). A reminder about that awesome fresh pizza dough from Whole Foods! Here’s our current favorite combo—long-cooked broccoli, fresh ricotta and cracked black pepper. The long-cooked broccoli is dripping in olive oil, so no sauce needed. 

Note: The broccoli takes a couple hours to slow cook, so start this early and be sure to make double—it’s great with scrambled eggs and feta on toast or alongside a pork chop.

Also, be sure to let the dough sit out at room temp for a few hours to double (or triple) in size. It results in crispy, flavorful thin crust.

Pizza Perfect

In Food on May 3, 2009 at 10:06 am


Before Tiny G arrived on the scene (BG as it’s known around here), I used to make my own pizza dough, and I’ve been dying to try the Overnight Pizza Dough from the April issue of Bon Appétit. But after purchasing premade pizza dough from Whole Foods this morning, I may not need to look any further. My friend Hugh has been raving about it on GastroKid, so today I picked some up. As you can see, the dough is very much alive (elapsed time between photos three hours). Note: for crispiest and most flavorful crust results, Hugh lets the dough rise several hours, which we did. (After it doubled in size, I put it in a covered bowl in the fridge and then brought to room temp before using.) Here it is making a jail break:


Oh, and it’s only $3. As much as I’d love to tell you that homemade dough is so worth the effort, after trying Whole Foods’ fresh dough, I’m not so sure. (Unless you are Nancy Silverton, in which case, yeah, your homemade dough trumps.) So about half an hour before baking, crank up the oven to 500 degrees. We were given an awesome Mario Batali pizza pan as a wedding present. I highly recommend it, but a baking sheet would work well, too. First, sprinkle your pan with cornmeal.


Stretch dough until it stretches to fit your pan, pinches edges and rotating. Here’s my sister showing us how it’s done:


Place dough on pizza pan. Since we like a crispy crust, I put the crust in—by itself without toppings—for 4 minutes. (I find this a particularly good strategy if you are using wet toppings, like a sauce or mushrooms, which can give off a lot of moisture.)


We spread pesto over the barely cooked crust. I didn’t have time to make my own, so this was from Academia Barilla from Liguria and is really good for jarred. And what could be faster?


Then we topped with marinated radicchio, basil and fresh ricotta left over from last night’s dinner. We finished with a little grated parm and black pepper.

toppingsFrom there we put it back in the oven for 10 minutes, until the crust was golden brown. Insanely good. I used an Alessi roller in the below photo mostly because I love the color, but last year for Christmas my friend Diane gave me an oversized Mario Batali pizza wheel and it works much, much better. Oh, and a word about the pizza: perfection. We saved a piece for my husband when he got home from the fight, and he declared the best piece of pizza he’d ever had (adding, other than Mozza). And the whole thing took five minutes to assemble.

pizza wheel

Ladies Lunch: Pizzeria Mozza

In Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on March 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm


If you are looking to find the foodiest dental hygienist in the city with the best restaurant recommendations (globally), immediately book in with Bonnie at the wonderful Dr. Sobelman’s office on Wilshire and La Cienega. Several years ago for a trip to Barcelona, a friend gave me a list of recommendations from Gourmet columnist Colman Andrews (and author of Catalan Cuisine) and I got one from Bonnie, and guess what? They were pretty much identical.

Today I met Bonnie and her foodie friend Tracy from London, and we had, predictably, a fantastic lunch at Pizzeria Mozza. As always, the service was exceptional. We ordered a few greatest hits, like the chicken liver bruschetta (my absolute favorite!), fried squash blossoms, tricolore salad, the egg and guanciale pizza with radicchio and bagna cauda, and then tried another with Coach Farm goat cheese and leeks. For dessert they enjoyed the divine butterscotch budino (which I had to sit out since I gave up dessert for lent), while I enjoyed a glimpse of an old TV fave—Don Johnson and his lovely wife, Kelley Phleger, eating lunch at the bar. Here are my two must-orders on the menu (though when available, the littleneck clam  or wild nettle pizzas are right up there):

chicken liveregg