Pizza with Tomato, Prosciutto, and Greens

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This pizza was amazing. I got the recipe from my CSA (Farm Box LA) newsletter.

Ingredients:

  • pizza dough (homemade or store bought – I used Trader Joe’s brand for this)
  • cornmeal
  • olive oil
  • garlic (1-2 cloves)
  • salt (optional)
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes
  • fresh oregano (optional)
  • fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • greens of your choice (e.g. chard, kale)

Instructions:

First a note on quantity.  A tub of fresh mozzarella balls (get the medium or large sized, not the tiny ones), a 4 oz package of prosciutto, and a bunch of greens will be enough for two pizzas.  So make two pizzas! Double the very approximate quantities listed above.

1) Preheat oven to 450 (preferably with a pizza stone in the oven but ok if you don’t have one).

2) Cut or tear the greens and add them to a baking sheet, tossed with olive oil and salt.  Put in oven for 10 minutes, until they’re a little brown and dried out, but not completely dry (i.e. not as dry as kale chips). Remove from oven and set aside.

3) Roll out pizza dough and stretch it to a roundish shape.  Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel or a baking pan.  Transfer the dough to the peel or pan and adjust shape.  Brush some olive oil on the dough.  Add chopped garlic and brush it around to make sure all the garlic’s not in one place.  Then – my secret pizza technique – sprinkle a little kosher salt on the dough, especially the outer edges that won’t be covered with toppings.  Slide the dough onto your pizza stone or put the pan into the oven and bake for 4 minutes.

4) Slice your tomatoes.  After the dough has baked for 4 minutes, add the tomatoes.  The tomatoes don’t have to cover the whole pizza – just make sure there’s tomato in each bite. Bake for 10 minutes.

5) Slice the mozzarella balls.  After the pizza has baked for 10 minutes, add the mozzarella balls and bake for 5 more minutes until the crust is nicely brown. Remove from oven.

6)  Slice prosciutto into thin strips.  Scatter the prosciutto strips over the pizza and then scatter the greens over the top.

Enjoy.

 

CSA – Yes or No?

I’ve said in earlier posts that I joined a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture). I get a farm box with fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to my doorstep every Sunday. Now that I’ve been a member for a while, I can talk about the pros and cons. Some of the novelty has worn off. So in case you’re considering it, here’s my list:

Pros:

– The produce is all in-season, locally sourced and sustainably grown.

– Grocery shopping is fast and easy, since I’m building meals around my farm box produce.

– I try fruits and vegetables that I wouldn’t otherwise try. Mulberries, cherimoyas, guavas, fava beans are recent examples.

– I eat more produce than I ordinarily would.

– It gets delivered to me every week, so even I don’t have the chance to go grocery shopping I can generally make a meal out of my produce and staples around the house (e.g. eggs).

– It’s fun to see what surprise I’m going to get.

– It forces me to be a more creative cook.

Cons:

– Since the produce is all in-season, you get the same thing for weeks in a row. Enough with the beets – really! And I don’t care if it’s cone cabbage, Napa cabbage, or regular cabbage — there just not that many things to do with cabbage! They try to change it up by giving me a different variety of kale every week but it’s still kale every week.

– It’s more work to plan meals around the produce I’ve received rather than picking my go-to recipes and shopping accordingly.

– It’s a little pricey, although for me it’s worth it not to have to make an extra stop at the farmers’ market.

– Sometimes we don’t eat the produce fast enough and it goes to waste.

– Although the produce is very good, it’s not amazing. I used to buy my produce at Whole Foods or the farmers’ market and my farm box produce is equivalent. Once I added eggs to my farm box and they tasted just like the brown eggs that I buy at Trader Joe’s.

– Some of the produce is weird or too fussy. What’s the point of a baby artichoke? Too much work for too little yield. And once I got flowering rapini which I thought was going to be like broccoli rabe but it wasn’t. Watermelon radishes are gorgeous but kind of bitter. And I’m just not into guavas – way too many seeds.

– Sometimes this happens:

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Turnips? Beets? Watermelon radishes? You tell me what these things are!

So stay with the CSA or quit? I think I’ll stay for now, at least through summer fruit season. Then the jury’s out.