One for the Table

Fresh herbs add flavor to simple, rustic white pizza

Oneforthetable.comApril 2, 2013 

 

JAMES T. FARMER III

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.

The Farmer’s White Pizza About 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon each garlic, salt and herbs, such as thyme, bay leaves, coriander or fennel 1 batch of prepared pizza dough, from the grocery or a specialty store 3/4 cup ricotta cheese 2 cups of mixed cheeses (mozzarella, provolone, fontina and Romano) 3/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan Handful of curly leaf parsley and rosemary leaves (or fresh basil or thyme)

COMBINE olive oil and garlic, salt and herbs. Let stand up to 30 minutes. (Refrigerate any unused oil for no more than three days.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

LAY out the dough on a greased baking sheet and spread the ricotta across the dough. Drizzle with the oil.

SPRINKLE the mixed cheeses evenly across, and bake for about 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven when the dough is crispy and the cheese is toasted.

TOSS on fresh herbs and let stand briefly. Serve hot.

Yield: 2 servings.

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