A couple weekends ago I experienced a major relief from the 90-100 degree days we’ve been suffering from this summer. I headed up to Vermont to retrieve Jon from a seven day charity bike ride, and stepped out of the car to a cool, crisp 70 degree morning. Glory! I decided it would be a great opportunity to fire up the oven (something I’ve avoided for over a month) and bake him and his bike riding friend Mike a pizza feast worthy of anyone who burns 8,500 calories in one day in the saddle.
I brought the pizza stone out of temporary retirement for the occasion and gathered my ingredients from the local grocery store and farmer’s market. I decided on a white pizza, with some salty and some sweet toppings, and a more traditional mozzarella, tomato, basil pie. The farmer’s market sold me an overflowing bag of basil, so rather than pick a few lonely sprigs, I pulverized the whole thing with some olive oil, salt, garlic, parmesan and pepper into a quick pesto. I stretched the dough (store-bought, I know, but I wasn’t in my own kitchen for goodness sakes) and spread out the round slices of fresh mozzarella. I then layered lovely red and yellow tomatoes (thanks to my dad’s garden), slivered fresh garlic, and dollops of pesto. Into the hot oven it went for 15 minutes until crispy and bubbly.
For pizza number two, I spread a healthy heaping of shredded ricotta salata, Parmesan, and sharp cheddar (we were in Vermont after all), then crumbled on a little log of fresh goat cheese. Added some sauteed vidalia onion, and tiny sliced yellow plums from the farmer’s market. (I had gone in search of figs, but was lured by the plum vendor’s free samples.) Both pizzas received a healthy sprinkling of fleur de sel when they came out of the oven. The plums were a tiny bit tart for the pie, and I do think figs would have been the best option, but both pies were pretty darn delicious. (Even to someone who hadn’t worked so hard to deserve the calories!)