Sometimes this uprooted Chicago girl wants to serve a skinny pizza. We really do still adore our deep dish pizzas – especially Lou Malnati’s. But I also grew up enjoying Candlelite pizza, fondly remembering my parents’ love of the super-thin crust at the hip joint that was walking distance from our home on the Far North Side – a neighborhood tavern where the graphics on the old-fashioned neon sign now read “Cool Served Here.”
Fast forward many decades – while my lavash flatbread pizza recipe isn’t Candlelite-style per se – it is ultra-thin with a cracker-y crust. Still faintly reminiscent of the Chicago thin-crust pizza of yesteryear, even though back then the topping never included potato, arugula, kalamata olives…or truffle salt.
Grilled Eggplant Pizza with Cauliflower Crust with Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Garlic, Basil, Mint, Red Chile Flakes, Mozzarella
OK Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian friends – this pizza is for you! Smoky grilled eggplant tops a pizza crust made of cauliflower. Grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, garlic, basil, and mint are tossed with a bit of olive oil, salt and red chile flakes then loaded on top of the eggplant. Sprinkled with shredded mozzarella then popped in the oven until everything is nice and hot – this pizza will delight everyone, but especially those who want to replace the dough. Cauliflower naturally has lower carbohydrates, higher fiber, and more nutrients than traditional flour-based pizza dough. This is a true veggie pizza.
Ricotta & Mozzarella with Roasted Butternut Squash, Agave Syrup, Fried Sage, Violas and Arugula, Toasted Hazelnuts, Hazelnut Oil, Borage
I just couldn’t put them away, not just yet. Those mini cast iron skillets in which I served Shrimp & Grits last week were still hanging out on the counter…ready for the next irresistible presentation.
Inspired by my borage plant which is thriving in January and my violas which are still hanging on (condolences to my Chicago peeps), I set out to make some really pretty little pizzas.
It’s about the heat. With temperatures between 750° and 800°F a wood-fired pizza oven delivers an exceptional pizza that simply cannot be matched by a regular oven. High heat creates flavors and textures that cannot be duplicated when pizza is cooked more slowly. A pizza cooks in under three minutes right on the oven floor. The crust is crisp on the bottom, the cheese is exquisitely melted and slightly browned, and the toppings are cooked to perfection. A thing of beauty, pure pizza bliss.
Our dear dear longtime friends, Chip & Pat, invited us all over for a pizza party. My nephews were thrilled to go swimming in their pool and hang out with the world’s most adorable dogs, Sophia & Luca. We brought along some pink wines to taste as well as ingredients for some pizzas. Chip had already prepared the dough and the pizza oven was heating up. We were looking forward to Pat’s caramelized onion and feta pizza, a perennial favorite…
I buy pizza dough and shredded mozzarella at my local Italian Market, the A-1 Deli.
Roll out the dough and arrange on a pizza screen. Top generously with shredded mozzarella and shaved garlic. Drizzle olive oil on top. Scatter sliced blanched raw almonds about and finish with course sea salt. Bake at 450° until golden.
This pizza is great with a green salad for lunch, or cut into small slices and served as an appetizer at a party.
And thanks to the folks at Foodbuzz for choosing Unique Almond Pizza as one of the Top 9 photos last week! Please give this unique pizza a try, you won’t be disappointed!
My nephew Stone was setting up a “restaurant” in my kitchen. He put out his “Help Wanted” sign and I applied for the job. After I was hired, he crossed out Help Wanted, applications were no longer being accepted.
That is Jett in the left of the photo, he calls himself the “King of Liberty.” The King is an excellent waiter.
The “restaurant” served Cheese Pizza for the kids and Maple Barbecue Smoked Chicken Pizza for the adults.
The pizza screen is such a handy tool. It makes it much easier to spread out the dough, and get the pizza into and out of the oven. The perforated surface allows moisture to escape during baking, resulting in a nice crispy evenly-baked crust.
Those of us who were fortunate to attend the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco received a goodie bag including products from a company called Made in Napa Valley, of which one was this tasty Maple Barbecue Sauce with Horseradish.
Maple Barbecue Smoked Chicken Pizza
Spread a mixture of half pizza sauce and half the barbecue sauce over the pizza dough, top with shredded mozzarella and shredded smoked chicken. If you shop at Whole Foods Market definitely try their fabulous whole smoked whole chicken from the smokehouse.
The restaurant was a huge success, food and service were exceptional. Three Stars. Congratulations Stone & Jett!