Saturday, January 23, 2016

Melanzane and Arugula White Pizza

     Gourmet Italian Pizza!
     I never publish a boring pizza recipe!  Fast food style pizza with cheap toppings are taboo too.  Life is too short to settle for anything less than the best pizza!  
     New York Italian pizza is made with tomato sauce and cheese.  New York Italian pizza is what most people consider to be real pizza.  Today's pizza recipe is like the traditional pizzas that were popular in Italy long before New York style pizza came to be.  Traditional Italian pizza looks more like focaccia bread with a few select toppings.  In America, a pizza made with no tomato sauce is called a "White Pizza."
     For a white pizza, good olive oil takes the place of the tomato sauce.  A wide variety of Italian cheese can top a white pizza.  At pizzerias, the most common cheese combination for white pizza is Parmigiana, Ricotta and Mozzarella.  Some pizzeria chefs prefer a combination of Provolone, Mozzarella and Parmigiana or Romana.
    A gourmet white pizza can be made with cheese that is not offered at an ordinary pizzeria, like Gorganzola, Fontal, Asiago or any premium imported Italian cheese.  The quality and choice of Italian cheese can turn a white pizza into a truly gourmet dining experience.  
     Pizza Dough:
     Follow this link to the pizza dough recipe in this website:
     • Pizza Dough

     This recipe yields enough for 2 small pizzas.
     Step 1:  Cut a medium size eggplant lengthwise into thin slices that are about 3/16" thick.
     Place the eggplant slices on a sheet pan.  
     Sprinkle a few pinches of sea salt on both sides of each eggplant slice.  
     Let the eggplant sweat for 20 minutes.  
     Step 2:  Rinse the salt off of the eggplant slices under cold running water.  
     Pat each slice dry with a pastry towel.
     Step 3:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat. 
     Add 1/3 cup of blended olive oil.
     Place a few eggplant slices in the oil at a time, so they sit side by side.
     Lightly sauté the eggplant slices on both sides, till a few golden highlights appear.
     Step 4:  Place the eggplant slices on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan.  
     Lightly season the eggplant with sea salt and black pepper.
     Set the sautéed eggplant slices aside.

     Sautéed Garlic:
     This recipe yields enough for 2 small pizzas.
     Heat a small sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 8 to 10 cloves of fine chopped garlic.
     Briefly sauté the garlic till it becomes aromatic and so the garlic is still white in color.  (Do not let the garlic turn a golden brown color.)
     Place the sautéed garlic in a small bowl and set it aside.

     Melanzane and Arugula White Pizza:
     This recipe yields 1 small pizza.  (10" wide)
     Step 1:  Coat a smooth countertop with a very thin film of olive oil.  (Just a few drops of olive oil wiped on the counter is plenty!)
     Place a mini pizza size portion of the dough on the counter top.  (A dough ball that is about the size of a softball ... 7 to 8 ounces)
     Press and stretch the dough flat.
     Use your fingertips to gently press the dough outward from the center to form a flat round pizza dough shape that is about 3/8" thick.
     Step 2:  Place the flat pizza dough on a pizza pan that is lightly brushed with olive oil.  (Re-shape the dough if necessary.)
     Brush the pizza dough with virgin olive oil.
     Step 3:  Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the sautéed garlic (and its garlic oil) over the pizza.
     Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of finely grated Italian Parmigiana Cheese over the pizza.
     Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of grated mozzarella over the pizza.
     Sprinkle 2 pinches of oregano over the pizza.
     Step 4:  Arrange 5 of the sautéed eggplant slices on the pizza so they look nice.
     Step 5:  Toss about 20 arugula leaves with 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small bowl.
     Place a few of the oiled baby arugula leaves on the pizza between each of the eggplant slices.
     Step 6:  Sprinkle 3 more tablespoons of mozzarella cheese over the pizza toppings.
     Sprinkle 1 more pinch of oregano over the pizza toppings.
     Step 7:  Bake the pizza in a 450ºF oven.
     When light golden brown highlights appear on the cheese and crust, then the pizza is ready.
     Step 8:  Slide the pizza onto a cutting board.
     Cut the pizza into pie shaped slices.
     Slide the pizza slices onto a serving plate.

     This is a nice looking gourmet pizza that features a traditional Italian flavor combination!      

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