This pizza is the BOMB. It has everything I love; charred cauliflower paired with toasted Szechuan peppercorns and fresh chevre from Integration Acres in Albany, Ohio. Added to this creamy, astringent and spicy profile are the juxtaposed flavors of tangy fresh cilantro and the sweetness of late season Bosc Pears from Cherry Orchards in Crooksville, Ohio and finally, I finished this pie with the chewy-crunch of sauteed Prosciutto di Parma strips.
It’s great to finally bring you a pizza on this blog. I’ve been very busy messing around with bread and travelling alot as well as baking for the holidays like the local spelt dough spiked with cherry and walnut, (above left) and the chorizo meatballs, (above right,) that I serve on a thick crust Sicilian-style pizza with cilantro, almond, tomato, roasted ancho and Manchego cheese.
It certainly has been a great couple of months. In October, it was my dream to compete with my team of World Pizza Champions at the French World Pizza Championships in Paris. My good friend Bruno di Fabio (Top row, second from right,) won the Best Pizza in the World!
Then in November, I was very happy to bake with my son Sam for Thanksgiving, he was a great employee and I showed my appreciation by paying him a whopping .13 cents an hour despite having to fire him three times.
Then I got loaded down with plenty of Southeast Ohio vegetable booty from the end of the year.Farmers dumped so many pounds of local root vegetables, Brussel sprouts, peppers, raddichio, pumpkins and most of all pound after pound of daikon radish that I’ve been pickling every day.
Kimchi, curry kimchi, tumeric pickles, miso-pickles etc. etc.
Gotta love this late season! Okay, lets crank out this wonderful pizza!
Using the Easy Dough Recipe, make two seven ounce dough balls, leave under a damp cloth on a plate until ready to bang-out.
Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
One tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns
Four ounces of julienned Prociutto di Parma (no, regular ham won’t do and country ham is too salty.)
Six to eight ounces cauliflower florets
One medium Bosc pear sliced thin
Half cup chopped fresh cilantro
Four to five ounces of chevre goat cheese
Preheat oven to 485 degrees. Place a pizza stone or an upturned heavy cookie sheet on the middle deck to act as your stone. Using the Easy Dough Recipe, take one dough ball and place on a plate with a wet kitchen towel so it doesn’t dry out.
Place Szechuan peppercorns in a saute pan on medium heat with the oil and saute for four minutes. Add Prosciutto di Parma strips and saute for five to seven minutes until crispy. Transfer to a plate without taking the oil from the pan and hold for topping after the pie is out of the oven.
In the same pan with the same oil that now holds plenty of flavor, place the cauliflower and saute on medium high. Cover and toss frequently. The cauliflower will brown and partially cook till al dente. This will take only seven to eight minutes. (Remember, the cauliflower will cook on the pizza also.) After pulling the cauliflower out and placing on a plate, immediately add the slices of Bosc pear in the pan then turn heat off. Saute for two to three minutes. Pull the pear out and reserve for later also.
Form a disc with the dough and place either on a pizza screen or parchment paper. Place the chopped fresh cilantro on the dough, then the cheese. Place the Bosc pear slices on the pizza then the cauliflower. Place in the oven for ten to twelve minutes or until golden brown. You may have to rotate the pizza halfway through.
When done, top with the Prociutto di Parma crackling-peppercorn mixture and serve immediately.
Wow, look at the cornicione!