VDP: Pizza – Dandelion and Margarita

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Everyone loves pizza, and baked goods in general are one of the easiest foods to make vegetarian AND delicious. What I did here is make the dough the night before. I used a dough recipe that is fridge friendly, Peter Reinhart’s Pain a l ‘Ancienne dough from ‘The Bread Baker’s Apprentice‘. I usually always retard (keep the dough in cold conditions) the dough for pizza in the fridge, but this dough is particularly easy to handle and is designed to develop flavor overnight when made with ice water and kept cold. Retarding results in a very flavorful pizza dough and makes for exceptional texture. It is also very convenient to just have a big batch of dough in the fridge to use for whatever. This one can be kept for over a week and it’ll keep on getting better.

The topping was a quick tomato sauce made with canned uncooked San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, dried marjoram, salt and pepper. I like to keep the toppings simple, so after baking the dough with the tomato sauce in a baking pan for 5 minutes to give it a head start, fresh mozzarella cheese goes on top. I also added garlicky sautéed dandelion greens to half of the pizza. They are too bitter for my wife’s taste so her half doesn’t get any. The pie goes back into the 500 F oven on the lowest rack for another 10 minutes. When it comes out, I sprinkle it with some chopped basil and grated Parmesan cheese. This beats the hell out of any delivery pizza in the area.

I also had a bulb of fennel that I received from my CSA this week. Diana hates fennel so, I made me a small salad using the bulb and some of the fronds with lemon juice and olive oil. I love it’s taste and texture and it worked really well alongside the strong bitter taste of dandelion which was actually from the same CSA.

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