It wasn't even Pi Day! This is overdue, since I've been living a dog-centered life, but I just had to share the adventure.
My family and I have a tradition that has developed over the last few years (ever since I discovered the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes tricks) of creating fun, interesting and delectable pizzas. I make up the dough and have it ready and then we all go into a frenzy, chopping and preparing all the things that will be used for toppings. We have a few favorites, but we usually try and come up with several new ideas for pizzas we haven't done before. After the flurry of preparation, I'm usually left to decide exactly what goes with what else and assemble things (and occasionally cry for a little more of this or that to go on top). Then, my brother takes them out to cook on the grill. This is our crop of artisan pizzas.
I had heard of making pizza with wild ramps and since we had some growing out in the woods, my sister gathered them and I cleaned them up and sauteed them to use as one of our main focal points. My brother was a little skeptical - he thought we'd be overwhelmed with the flavor of too much onion, but we were all pleasantly surprised with the fresh, delicate flavors. This one has just a brushing of olive oil, ramps, a little tomato, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and Romano cheese. It reminded us of leeks and spinach, since we used both the stem and leaf parts of the plant.
My sister's husband grilled some of his famous wild grouse breasts to use for this one and it has fresh mozzarella, just a touch of tomato sauce, a little Romano on top and a sprinkling of fresh scallions when it came off the grill. The grouse speaks very well for itself. Yum!
This one was simple and deliciously fresh tasting. It's an idea I read about this spring. The asparagus is prepared by using a vegetable peeler to shave thin strips of the stalk and head (you can hold the woody end while you're doing this and not have to worry about breaking that part off). Toss in a sprinkling of kosher salt and let it sit while rolling out the dough. Then, just use a light brushing of olive oil, some fresh mozzarella and the asparagus.
Mexican pizza is a longstanding favorite. It can take a lot of different forms, depending on the ingredients at hand, this one had salsa, some refried black bean dip we had on hand, onions, jalapeno and poblano peppers, cheddar and jack cheeses. We top these off with fresh tomatoes, scallions and avocado slices (and sometimes black olives, sour cream and anything else that sounds good) when they come off the grill.
Here is the final wreckage, after we'd all eaten our fill. Of course, these are all great as leftovers, too, so it's fun to be extravagant and make a bunch of different varieties, as long as the dough is made and the grill is hot!
I hope that's an inspiration for a summertime dinner or two. Leeks or shallots and spinach or kale would work well in place of the wild ramps, and chicken or turkey could be substituted for wild grouse, if you aren't lucky enough to have a game hunter in the family. There are no wrong answers with artisan pizza! :)