There must be something in the air, because even before I clicked over to Michael Ruhlman’s blog yesterday, I had pizza on the brain. See, I had these baby artichokes that I picked up on Saturday, and for some reason, the thing I wanted to do most with them was to make an artichoke pizza. But with everything else that was going on over the weekend, I wasn’t able to get my butt in gear and make a batch of dough ahead of time, so I asked Mike if he would do it for me. I forwarded him a few recipes that were close to what I had in mind, and he settled on the Jim Lahey version Deb blogged about last year.
When I got home from work, the dough was ready to work with, and after our customary break for cocktails and catching up on the day, I started on dinner. First, I trimmed half a dozen baby artichokes, slicing them thin and placing them into a bowl of acidulated water to keep them from browning. I sliced up a ball of uber-fresh Narragansett Creamery mozzarella and set it aside for later. Then I got to work on the saucy component of our pie, which was quite possibly my favorite element of our meal.
Into the food processor went two garlic cloves, a couple of spoonfuls of toasted pine nuts, one bag of young sorrel leaves from Ledge Ends Produce, and a couple of pinches of sea salt. I pulsed this into a coarse, chunky mixture, then, with the motor running, drizzled in some olive oil. I added the pesto to a small bowl of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, then stirred it to combine. I tasted it for seasoning and… well, the pesto almost didn’t make it past this point of the evening, because it was so darn good. Bright, lemony, beautifully green, I want to make this pesto for as long as this sorrel is available. I want to spread it on sandwiches, toss it with pasta, spoon it over grilled fish…
But back to the pizza. We had two balls of dough, one of which I stretched out into a square-ish round, and I slathered some of that pesto all over it. I added a layer of cheese, the sliced artichokes, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of sea salt. This went into our preheated oven (onto a pizza stone) for about 35-40 minutes at the highest heat setting (Broil, for us). Then I pulled the pizza out, grated on a little more parm, dotted the remaining sorrel pesto over the top, and let it rest for a few minutes before cutting it up to serve.
The crust was heavenly, the artichokes tender and crisp at the edges, the cheese as creamy and gooey as ever, but it was the sorrel pesto that really made this pizza sing.