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Entries in Slice of the Month (5)

Friday
May102013

May Slice of the Month - Artichoke Mini Pizzas

 Here we are in May! May means artichokes, did you know? Now you do.

Artichokes are an art. That's why there's an "art" in them. They take some care and attention, but they are oh-so-worth it. In this recipe, I'll show you how to prune down those 'chokes and poach 'em up all proper and simple for Poached Artichoke and Ricotta Mini Pizzas. Mini pizzas are fantastic for parties and occassions like Memorial Day (which is fast approaching).

If you'd like to download a super-fancy version of this pizza recipe as a pdf, you can head on over to Colavita's Facebook page, like them, and violá! you will have it. It's that simple...just like the 'chokes. Now let's get started.

What You Need:

What To Do:

Heat the oven to 500 degrees. If using a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat up along with the oven for a half hour before baking on it. 

Prepare the artichokes according to the recipe below.

Stretch out your dough on a cornmeal-dusted peel into mini pizza sizes: about  4-5” in diameter, and brush the tops with olive oil.

Spread the ricotta cheese over the top of the dough in a thin, even layer.

Place two of the artichoke quarters on top of the cheese, per mini pizza.

Drizzle some Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil over the top, and sprinkle with a little sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and an extra squeeze of lemon juice.

Slide your mini pizzas onto the stone in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and garnish with more freshly chopped mint and parsley. 

Instructions for the Artichokes:

Trim the artichokes. Using a sharp knife, cut off the tough outer leaves, removing about two inches of leaves from the artichoke. Also trim one inch from the tops of all the artichokes. Cut the trimmed artichokes into quarters, scraping out the fuzzy heart and stem area.

Rub the artichoke quarters with lemon, and add the all the trimmed artichokes to a bowl filled with cold water and the juice from 1 lemon.

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil in saucepan on your stove top over medium-low heat. Add the crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, mint, parsley and lemon slices and allow to simmer softly for about 3 minutes.

Pour 3/4 cup each of wine and 1/2 cup water to the pan. Drain the artichokes from the bowl of water, and season them with a sprinkle of salt and some freshly ground pepper.  Add them to the saucepan and increase the heat to medium.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer, covered for about 20-25 minutes. The artichokes should be tender. Remove them from the heat and reserve for the pizza.

 

Wednesday
Apr102013

April Slice of the Month - Asparagus and Leek

April is here and so is Spring - finally! To usher in the new month and season, we once again bring you our Slice of the Month recommendation. This month, it's a Shaved Asparagus and Leek pizza on whole wheat crust. It's ridiculously good.

Squeezes of lemon brighten up the asparagus, and the leeks offer a mild onion-y tang. Combine all this with some soft and smooth mozzarella cheese (burrata if you can manage it), and you will have all the birds tweeting in spring time celebration.

Now, we would be remiss if we did not mention that this Slice of the Month is brought to you by Colavita Olive Oil. They post a fancy cookbook on their Facebook page once a month. I make this book! Yes, it's true. It has more photos and a beautiful layout (well, I like it anyway...). You can get them for free every month by liking Colavita. So, run on over and do that now.

And now, let's make some pizza.

What You Need:

1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough, salt, freshly ground black pepper and...

1 bunch of asparagus (feel free to mix green and white varieties)

2-3 leeks, sliced and rinsed well

mozzarella cheese (two medium balls of burrata, or a half pound of fresh, lightly salted)

1-2  lemons

fresh thyme (as much as you like)

Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What To Do:

Heat the oven to 500 degrees. If using a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat up along with the oven for a half hour before baking on it. 

Stretch out your dough on a cornmeal-dusted peel to about 10-12” in diameter, and brush the top with olive oil.

Peel the asparagus: Hold a single asparagus spear at the base and lay it flat on a cutting board. Using a
vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler works best...you could also try a mandoline, but be careful of your fingers),  run the peeler lengthwise down the asparagus, creating long shavings. Repeat with the remaining stalks. Your strips will be all different sizes, but don’t worry, it will just add to the texture (and fun!). Discard the tough ends. 

Place the asparagus peelings in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt,  pepper and freshly chopped thyme.

Clean the leeks thoroughly by rinsing with water. It’s easiest if you chop them first (you’ll only be using the white ends), so you can rinse all the nooks and crannies free of dirt.

Heat a skillet on the stove top over medium heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Place the chopped leeks in the skillet, and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes.

Add the shaved asparagus, and sauté for about 3 minutes, allowing the flavors to combine.

Dollop the fresh mozzarella along the surface of the stretched out pizza dough. You can also grate some Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella.

Distribute the shaved asparagus and leek mixture over the top of the cheese. Sprinkle on a bit more fresh thyme as well.

Drizzle with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper.

Slide your pizza onto the stone in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top of the pizza. 

Grilling Instructions:

Alternately, this pizza is fantastic on the grill. If you’d like to grill this pie, heat up your grill and oil the grate.

Before you begin, it’s handy to have a few things in place: Position all your topping in bowls alongside the grill. It may be necessary to pull up a small table next to the grill for this purpose. Make sure your cheese is sliced and waiting on a dish as is the leek and asparagus mixture. Have some extra olive oil handy, the chopped thyme, salt, pepper and lemon. It’s also a good idea to have some tongs and oven mitts at the ready (things get hot) and a platter or cutting board for your finished pizza.

Instead of dusting a peel with cornmeal, brush both sides of the stretched-out pizza dough with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Place the stretched-out dough (without toppings!) directly onto the grill grate, and close the lid. Let it bake for about 2 minutes (this goes very quickly!). 

Open the lid and using the tongs, flip the crust to the other side. Starting with the cheese, place all the toppings on the pizza as neatly and quickly as possible. Don’t forget the seasonings! Close the lid and allow to bake for another 2-3 minutes.

Finally, remove the pizza from the grill (use those tongs again) and place it onto a serving platter. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top. Serve!

Wednesday
Feb062013

February Slice of The Month

We are in the second month of featuring seasonal pizza recipes. If you were paying attention last month, (you WERE paying attention, weren't you???) we featured a Kale, Roasted Carrot and Ricotta Pizza.

As it's still winter (egads), we are continuing to feature root veggies: beets. Let me tell you something, people, beets are cool. Beets are a super food. They're a known immunity booster, and according to some medical tests even guard against cancer. They're packed with iron, sodium, magnesium and folic acid - all things your body needs.

I took this beet recipe one step further and instead of roasting them so they are nice and soft (recipe provided for that too, don't worry), I turned them into BEET CHIPS. So you can crunch your pizza. I like a crunchy pizza.

Colavita has been nice enough to sponsor this Slice of the Month project. They feature it on their Facebook page every month. You should be nice and pop on over there and like them. Then we can keep bringing you slices of the month and everyone is happy. Especially you.

Let's begin with Beet Chip, Spinach and Gorgonzola Cheese Pizza.

What You Need:

You will also need 1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough, which you can find here.

What To Do:

Roast the beets: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the beets in half and loosely wrap them in tin foil. Place the wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of your beets - larger ones will take longer), or until tender when pierced with a knife.


Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once the beets have cooled, peel off their skins. Slice them into ⅛” rounds and set aside.

Increase the heat of the oven to 500 degrees. If using a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat up along with the oven for a half hour before baking on it.

Stretch out your dough on a cornmeal-dusted peel to about 10-12” in diameter. Place a layer of the spinach on top of the dough. Place the slices of roasted beets on top of the spinach along with the Al Fresco Sun Dried Tomato Sausage and sprinkle some gorgonzola cheese over the vegetables and meat.

Drizzle with a little more Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and herbs (if using).

Slide your pizza onto the stone in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.


Alternate BEET CHIPS:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a mandolin slicer or a VERY steady hand  and a chef’s knife, slice the beets 1/16” thick - or as thinly as you can manage.

Place the sliced beets onto the prepared baking sheet and brush with Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil. Sprinkle them with a little salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes. The edges will start to curl and the beets will begin to dry out. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. They will crisp a bit more as they cool. Set aside.

If you are using the beet chips, this is the time to add them. Garnish away!

 

 

Monday
Feb042013

January – A Month in Review

It's been a fast and furious month, packed with all kinds of tasty treats. As we roll into February, we'd like to recap the most important John and Elana blog happenings.

First, we featured a seasonal pizza, that's perfect for warming up your winter kitchen: Kale and Roasted Carrot.

I (Elana) started organized triathlon practice once again and consequently became very hungry. So I made mini donuts...

...drank my breakfast in the shower...

...and even contributed a biscotti and rice ball recipe to Triathlete Magazine!

And then I had a nap.

When I woke up, John insisted we create a video prounciation guide for Italian food. We did this (view video here), and then promptly threw back some vino while watching LOST re-runs. I then snapped this photo of John's sociopathic freezer and forced him to drive me from Hoboken to the Upper West Side. This is why he is a good brother.

To balance things out, we began a new column, Farmer Fridays, written by my friend Meg. She runs a fantastic farm in New Jersey, Fresh and Fancy Farms. You should go. But if you can't, check out these two posts about roasted winter vegetables...

and fresh herb tea...

Finally, John and I came full circle and ended with...pizza. Some coal-fired pizza from Arturo's in the West Village, that is. While we made questionable use of the table's garlic powder, we gave Arturo's a Top Gun ranking in our overall system.

Extra points for the bathtub.

Onto February! And remember:

Wednesday
Jan022013

January Slice of the Month


I have a new project! Yes, yes, I see that many of you are thinking to yourselves, "Edgas, woman. Chillax with the projects...Where in the sands of the Sahara are you going to find the time?" 

OK, maybe it was just John that said that. He can be a parade-pooper on my over-zealously packed schedule. But what even John realizes is there is always time for pizza. ALWAYS.

So let me explain this project. It's called "Slice of the Month" and I'm creating it for Colavita as a seasonal pizza recipe guide.

Seasonal pizza, you say? Yes, indeedy. Every slice will feature seasonal ingredients (to the East Coast, because that's where I call home). It will be a lesson in eating what's fresh and available and even healthy! Because this recipe is just that. It uses my (not-so) famous whole wheat dough recipe, and lots of veggies. Here's how it goes:

What You Need:

1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough (here it is!)

1 bunch of Lacinato kale - stems removed and chopped
6 carrots, sliced thinly
6 parsnips, sliced thinly (optional)
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
juice from ½ lemon
fresh thyme, chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Colavita olive oil


What to Do:
1. Place chopped and dried kale in a sealable plastic bag. Add 1 tablespoon Colavita olive oil, ¼ teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Shake to distribute evenly. Set aside. You can prepare the kale up to 2 hours ahead of time.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Slice the carrots and parsnips (if using) and spread it out on the baking sheet. Drizzle them with Colavita olive oil and the juice from ½ a lemon. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon sea salt, some freshly ground black pepper (to taste), and the chopped, fresh thyme. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, then flip the slices and roast for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

5. Increase the heat of the oven to 500 degrees. If using a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat up along with the oven for a half hour before baking on it.

6. Stretch out your dough on a cornmeal-dusted peel to about 10-12” in diameter. Place a layer of the marinated kale on top of the dough. On top of that, add on the roasted carrot and parsnip slices. Dollop some ricotta cheese amongst the vegetables in teaspoon-sized amounts. Drizzle with a little more Colavita olive oil and sprinkle with more fresh thyme.

7. Slide your pizza onto the stone in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.

8. Remove from the oven and serve!