If you’re not a huge red sauce fan but do love pizza, this one is for you. A quick meal for two, this recipe can be doubled for a group. It pairs well with white wine; I chose Macon-Villages Chardonnay, which goes nicely with cheeses and cream dishes.
Simple yet rustically elegant, this little meal comes together in a flash. Good ingredients, fresh herbs, and an infused olive oil layered on a crispy crust hit the spot. Since I always have rosemary and parsley on hand, they were the top candidates for this pizza. The latter herb is highly underrated – parsley has a wonderfully unsullied flavor and tastes somewhat like it looks: green, crisp and fresh.
Many groceries stock delicious brands of pizza dough, so go ahead and cheat. After all, they’ve already made it and it’s just waiting for you to bake it. Many brands of dough in a can aren’t bad either.
For olive oil, I use infused oil that has a mix of garlic, salt, white and red pepper, thyme, bay leaves, some coriander and fennel. (Note: Because garlic stored in oil can be a risk for botulism, make sure that you make the infused oil fresh and don’t let it stand at room temperature for more than two hours or in the refrigerator for more than three days.) Specialty food stores also carry great selections of infused oils.
As for cheese, use ricotta for the base, then shredded mozzarella, romano, provolone, and fontina with a sprinkling of Parmesan for good measure. If buying a gaggle of cheeses isn’t your cup of tea, use a blend from the grocery.
Bake the pizza until it looks done and the cheese is toasted and completely melted. As soon as you take the pizza from the oven, sprinkle the fresh herbs on top and let the heat wilt them a little, adding that fresh layer that only herbs can. A rustic cutting board is the perfect platform for serving the pizza.
James T. Farmer III, the author of “A Time to Plant,” writes about food on his blog www.allthingsfarmer.com.
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