I don’t know about you but i’m starving! Being lost in a maze of HTML codes for 10 days left me hungry for something good… something really good. Sorry if i don’t have a nice bubbly to offer you to celebrate the new blog even though i think it would pair really well with this recipe but … but let’s celebrate the Spring instead, shall we? This pizza is a play on the delicious seasonal ingredients that start to appear on the local markets. You probably heard of the computer geek mantra Garbage in – Garbage out, meaning that computers will unquestioningly process the most nonsensical of input data and produce nonsensical output. The same should be said about food, start with poor quality ingredients and you’re likely to end up with [insert worst food memory here.. or the S word], but if you bring out the goodies… well well, that’s a different story.
When i say goodies i’m talking about an All-Star line up here, caramelized vidalia onions, smoked ham, fresh morels, fresh asparagus, a healthy dose of imported Italian Fontina, a little parmegiano-reggiano and don’t forget the drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the few grinds of black pepper. The result is perfectly harmonious, non-fussy but yet with a taste so sophisticated you will start to wonder if morels are hallucinogenic. At $39 per pound, it’s still a bargain!
I made this pizza several times within a few days, the first time i forgot to recharge the battery of my camera. The second time my camera had batteries but the pizza was devoured by the staff before you can say click. The third time, i made sure i was all by myself and my camera battery was recharged. I think this post made me gain a pound, all the sacrifices i do for you my dear readers…
My readers!?? .. Are you still there… still there… there.. ere.. ere… I can hear i’m echo!!! AHHHH!! Don’t forget to update your RSS readers… I need you!!!
Morel Pizza with Fontina, Asparagus & Smoked Ham
- Inspired by a recipe in Chef’s Interrupted by Melissa Clark
- Makes 2 medium pizzas
Basic Pizza Dough:
- 4 cups all purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 8 asparagus spears, cut in slices
- 4 cups fresh morels, cleaned
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 vidalia onions, thinly sliced
- 2 slices smoked ham, cut in strips
- 1 cup italian Fontina, grate
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
For the pizza dough:
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2 cup warm water. Whisk 2 cups of flour and the olive oil and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside in a warm place until doubled. About 1 hour. Stir in the remaining flour and the salt and knead.. yes KNEAD! for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. It’s a good work-out! Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before rolling out or refrigerate.
For the pizza:
- In a medium pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the sliced onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook until they caramelize, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool before using.
- Preheat the oven to 450’F and place a pizza stone inside.
- Sautee the morels in the remaining olive oil, season with salt and pepper and add the garlic and shallots. Sautee for 1 minute more and set aside to cool.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface, spread out the caramelized onions, the smoked ham, the parmesan, the morels, the fontina and the asparagus (blanch them first if they’re too thick) and slide the pizza on the pizza stone, bake until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and some black pepper. Eat!