Posts Tagged ‘dijon mustard pizza recipe’

Natural yeasted Rabbit pizza with Castelveltrano olives and grapes

Well, now that I’ve confused everyone with my natural yeast quackery, lets make a pizza.

For this recipe, I was inspired by one of my favorite pasta recipe books, Pasta Sfoglia. This book is written by Ron and Colleen Suhanosky with Susan Simon and includes my inspiration on page107-The Cuscinetti, black olives, green grapes and parsley recipe on this page sounded great because of the bag of Vidal Blanc and Cabernet Franc grapes Neal gave me. I just tweeked it a bit using some goat cheese, flat leaf parsley and those beautiful bright green olives called Castelveltrano. They are brined when immature and are from the province of Trapani, (of the sea-salt fame.) The mellow unassuming taste of the olive will be a perfect foil for the grapes.


Ron has a new book out called “The Italian Table.” and has a great nack for finding the heart of flavor using simplicity and old-world common sense like his Whole wheat spagetti with cabbage, wild mushrooms, guanciale and caraway or combining juxtaposing flavors that meld together with the bridge of another ingredient like another spagetti dish- using shaved melon, basil, cracked black pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Thank you Ron, this pizza tasted great and…like Picasso said, “Good artists borrow but GREAT artists steal.”

Let’s roll another pie out now. I go to the French World Pizza Championships in Paris tomorrow, so this has to be a fast one.

For the Dough:

Set aside one seven ounce dough ball (from the natural yeast dough recipe on this blog…last one to be exact.)  to use after the olive/grape sauce is made.


For the sauce: Slice one bunch each of the Vidal Blanc and Cabernet Frank grapes, deseed only if you haven’t had coffee. Cut a handful of Castleveltrano olives around the pit. This will mimic the sliced grapes.


Chop one clove of garlic into a fine dice, add to a pan on medium high heat with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil for four minutes or until the garlic is just starting to brown. Add the olives and toss frequently for three minutes, then add the grapes and cook for another three minutes. Do not overcook this, you are only melding the flavors.

Place into a bowl and add one tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Stir and set aside.


For the Rabbit: Select tenderloins from your butcher or farmer if possible. (ask for some fat too, this will add a tremendous amount of flavor and help in the cooking. If you cannot obtain tenderloin then two loins will suffice. Place the fat in the pan first and cook on medium high heat until just crisp. Salt and eat or discard.

Saute the tenderloin on medium high until just browned on each side. Cooking should be determined by a “rare” look. Remember, you will be cooking these on a pizza soon.

 For the pizza: preheat the oven to 485 degrees and place an upturned, heavy cookie sheet or pizza stone on the middle shelf.


Make a disc from the dough ball. Add a creamy goat cheese like this French Soignon then some chopped parsley to the dough.


Add the rabbit and place into the oven to cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crust is nice, brown and charred in places. The cheese should be melted and rabbit now medium to medium rare. Perfect!

Bring out of the oven and place the sauce atop the rabbit. Eat with the knowlege that you are creating the full circle of life and death. The rabbit ate the grapes, the grapes told you they didn’t like the rabbit, so you killed the rabbit and because no one likes a ratfink, you killed the grapes also. The parsley, goat cheese and olives were snitches so they had to go also! That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. 

See you in Paris!  AND thank you Neal and Oui at Shade Winery, you guys are awesome!

Rabbit Pizza with Jerusalem Artichoke, Carrot and Persimmon

Saddle of rabbit pizza, a real winter delight.

It’s holiday time and the Athens Farmers Market is cold, the northwest wind is blowing, but the great late season items look awesome. This week I’ve decided to make a pizza using only items from farmers, cheesemakers and ranchers here at the market. I’ve got lots to choose from, including arugula, French breakfast radishes, sweet potatoes, daikon, carrots, potatoes, buffalo, pork, butternut, acorn and hubbard squash, honey, local kimchi, jams, Asian pears, turnips, beets, and hot peppers .

Ed Perkins, organic master of the fields.

First I visited Ed Perkins, owner of Sasafrass Farm. Ed’s a great guy and always has the best organic vegetables at the best prices. Today, I bought some small carrots and some sunchokes, or Jeruselem artichokes. These tubers (called sunchokes) are not artichokes at all but tubers from a flower that looks like the garden sunflower. First noted in 1605, Samuel de Champlain saw the Native Americans cultivating this plant on Cape Cod, and his crew rewarded the natives with diseases that decimemated the East Coast for years to come. On a happy note, they taste great. raw or roasted just until al dente. Most chefs I’ve encountered always overcook them into a mush they call a puree. Most country folk eat them raw with lemon, ranch dressing or with a nice beer. (Yeah!)

Pete Shew of Shew's Orchard.

Then I went to Shew’s Orchard for late season persimmons. Majorie and Pete Shew sell some spectacular fruit and cider along with the best damn steak I’ve ever tasted. The hachiya persimmons were perfect, meaning just this side of mush, but that’s when they are at their best. It’s like tasting apple-pear jam with strong cinnamon notes. The fruit just melts in your mouth.

The cheese came from Chris Chmiel, owner of Integration Acres, a stalwart in the local production of paw-paw products, cheese, jams, kimchi, pesto, black walnuts and did I mention cheese. (He was the driving force in making the fruit the official State fruit of Ohio!)  I dream of Chris’s cheese, especially Griffin’s Dream. This cheese is made in the style of Saint Maure and is a little creamier than traditional chevre with hints of citrus and nuts. I love it because it won’t dominate a pizza with melting loads of fat or overpowering flavor. I use the citric brightness and smooth texture to enhance or compliment other heavy pizza flavors.

The rabbit saddle came from Harmony Hollow farms, where Rich Blazer has the best rabbit and pork for sale. The arugula is from Angie and Matt Starline at Starline Organics.

My winter foraging jackrabbit...I mean...jackpot! From top left: Griffin's Dream goat cheese, late season baby carrot, Jeruselem artichoke, arugula, persimmon, and saddle of Harmony Hollow rabbit.

Sauteed rabbit:

2 loins of rabbit

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Using a sharp deboning, filet or meat knife, trim the saddle of rabbit of all the silverskin. You must be delicate in this trimming. It helps to start in the middle of the silverskin and work toward the edges each way.

After seasoning with salt and pepper, saute in a cast iron pan on medium high with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, turning frequently to sear the outside.

Once the outside of the loins are seared, turn the heat to medium and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes until medium rare. Please note, you will be putting these on a hot pizza and back into the oven to warm up, so cook them on the rarer side of medium rare. I don’t care what any cookbook says, overcooked rabbit is tough.

Jerusalem Artichoke Chips:

1 large tuber of Sunchoke or 2 or 3 smaller tubers

1 tablespoon peanut oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

Wash the tubers well and pull off the “nubs” that are holding dirt or mud and the ones that will be hard to peel. Peel the tuber with a carrot peeler, then use a mandoline (I reccomend a Benrinner from Japan) to slice the tuber into thin chips. Do not cut too thin or they will discolor and disintegrate in the pan.

In the same pan in which you cooked the rabbit saddle, add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat until almost smoking and place the tubers in the oil. Heat on hight for 3 to 4 minutes, turning frequently to make sure they aren’t sticking. When you see the first chip start to brown, turn the heat off and keep tossing the chips. Some may not brown at all, but it is best to undercook the chips as they will turn to mush instead of turning to a potato-chip texture. Drain on a paper towel.

Sauteed Carrots:

7 small carrots, cut in half

2 cups water

Using the same pan and same oil, heat to high. Add the split carrots and cook in the oiled pan for 2 minutes. Add one cup of water and stir. Cover and cook for an additional 3 minutes. By this time, the water will have evaporated substantially. Check doneness with a fork. If there is any “give,” turn the heat off and reserve on a plate. Add a second cup of water and boil for another 3 to 5 minutes until the water has evaporated again. The carrots should give way to the prick of a fork, telling you they are done. Put them aside on a plate.

Persimmon Sauce:

4 persimmons

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Peel the persimmons and place in a bowl. Whisk together with the mustard.

Rabbit Pizza (Dang John, finally!):

1 dough ball from the Easy Dough Recipe



Preheat a pizza stone or an upturned cookie sheet in a 485 degree F. oven.

Form dough ball into a disc. Use a spatula to schmear on the persimmon/mustard sauce. Place the Jeruselem artichoke over the sauce.

Place the cheese on the pizza, then the carrots.

Place the pizza in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the crust has browned. While the pizza bakes, cut both loins of rabbit on the bias, resisting the urge to pop one (or all) in your mouth. When finished, place the pieces on the pizza and put back into the hot oven for 1 to 2 minutes to warm up. Take the pizza out, place the julienned arugula on top, and eat.