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Monday, February 28, 2011

Do Not Dis This Dough

Pizzette with Wild Mushrooms and Gremolata a  la Chez Panisse Cafe
(no, you don't need glasses - the picture is a bit blurry, sorry)
(scoff not pizza dough from scratch makers) 
Another fun dinner I had with Cousin Lee and her husband Jay up in the Bay Area last month was at the uber-famous Chez Panisse, albeit the less costly upstairs Cafe.  Legendary Chef/Owner Alice Waters was in the foyer welcoming guests and I knew we were in for a special dinner.  We started with a salad of mixed greens, gold and red beets, fresh ricotta cheese, and the brilliant addition of fresh mint.  I can't believe it's never occurred to me before to add fresh mint to a salad other than tabbouleh - move over basil, cilantro, dill, there's a new herb in town. 

The salad was followed by this incredibly thin pizza dough topped with wild mushrooms, and gremolata, a parsley, garlic, lemon zest mixture, then lightly covered in melted mozzarella cheese.  Since I haven't been able to get this flavor combination out of my mind, and since I happened to have most of the ingredients on hand, and since I had a package of frozen bread dough in the freezer and know that it's never let me down before (remember to defrost 1 loaf in the fridge the night before), I cranked the oven up to 500 and the results are pictured above, described below, and completely eaten already.

Homemade Preserved Lemons, Fresh Cilantro, Dried Porcini Mushrooms, Fresh Garlic


My Gremolata
2 cups chopped fresh cilantro (because I like this better than parsley, always)
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
zest of 1/2 a lemon (then put lemon in fridge to juice another day)
6-8 Tbsp. preserved lemon oil (how-to preserve lemons coming to this blog real soon)

Mix the above together and set aside

Wild Mushroom Portion of Pizzette
1 package dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water about 20 minutes (save mushroom water and use in soup or risotto or something but do not waste)
1 fresh portobello mushroom cap, chopped
sprinkle of Kosher salt
olive oil

Saute' the portobello mushroom in a bit of olive oil for 3-4 minutes, then add the rehydrated porcinis + sprinkle of Kosher salt and stir until combined.  Set aside.

The Dough & Big Finish
1 loaf frozen bread dough (forgive me Alice), defrosted and cut into 2
olive oil for brushing
mushroom mixture
shredded mozzarella

Put a piece of parchment paper on a large baking sheet.  Spray or brush with olive oil. 
Roll out each piece of dough and place on oil brushed, parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush top of dough with more oil.  Pierce dough all over with a fork.  Bake about 10-15 minutes until dough starts to brown.  Carefully remove pan from oven, place on stove top and add the following:
- 1st spread with gremolata
- add mushroom mixture on top of this
- sprinkle cheese over everything
- brush a little bit more oil on crust
Return to oven for about 5 minutes until cheese has melted.
Remove from oven (carefully), let cool as long as you can stand to wait, then pull those kitchen scissors out of the drawer and snip yourself off a big slice.

                                                     Pizzette & Pinot = Perfect!


  1. Yum! Took off my glasses and the picture was super clear. I'll have to try this recipe.

  2. Cynthia, welcome to my blog. One loaf of bread dough makes 2 good size pizzettes, one for now and one for later (if you have any self-control which I don't).

  3. I wouldn't have self control with pizza like that in front of me either. Yum!
    Now you've convinced me that I have to keep both bread dough and cookie dough in my freezer!

  4. "cilantro (because I like this better than parsley, always)"

    I think your Moroccan roots are showing here!

  5. That's interesting because when I was growing up my grandmother, mother, and her sisters used parley, I think because cilantro was no where to be found in the midwest. Now my mother goes back and forth between the two herbs but I think she likes cilantro better too - maybe from her childhood?

  6. I would think so. Moroccan cooks I know use cilantro in copious amounts but seem to like parsley too. Some use parsley and cilantro together in the same recipe.