Don’t freak out.
This isn’t weird. I swear.
But this pizza? It made me crazy.
While we were on vacation a few weeks ago, I ordered this pizza (err, I should say a pizza like this) and was SO FREAKING EXCITED to eat it. I was psyched up. Twenty minutes later the server came back and told me they were out of shallots and that the chef wouldn’t sub anything, so I must choose something else. Wah.
We went back to the same restaurant two days later, partially because it’s delicious but partially because I wouldn’t shut up about the stupid pizza that I was thisclose to eating. So. I order the pizza again. ……
It’s off the menu. It was seasonal. The seasonal menu had switched in the last 48 hours.
They are super strict with the menu. They won’t make it.
I was just intensely disappointed. Because, you know, blueberry pizza sounded weird and I love weird. And I am weird. No, not the type of like oh-I’m-a-girl-and-am-going-to-say-I’m-weird-to-try-and-be-relatable-and-cute kind of weird. I am talking WEIRD weird. Like sit-in-my-kitchen-and-listen-to-only-Kenny-Loggins-for-an-entire-day-and-have-an-actual-crush-on-Steve-Buscemi kind of weird.
Along with the chocolate potato chip ice cream I made on the day of my return, this was on the list. I was recreating it but had nothing to go off of aside from my super duper memory (which is super duper, it’s really a guy/boyfriend/husband’s worst nightmare, just ask) – which only consisted of what I remembered hearing the server tell me. Nothing in print.
All I conjure up in my brain was ricotta, blueberries, lemon and thyme. I whipped the ricotta, obviously. Like I can barely eat feta and ricotta these days without whipping the stuff. Darn good.
I added the blueberries. A little thyme. Some of my own cheese, i.e. copious amounts of EXTRA cheese.
Ate my face off.
1 1/8 cups warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 shallots, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 lemons, zested
8 ounces mozzrella cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 2/3 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising, heat a large skillet over low heat and add olive oil and butter. Add in the shallots and the salt and cover, cooking for 30 minutes and stirring occasionally and reducing the heat more if they begin to brown too much. Stir in the brown sugar and the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside.
Add the ricotta to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add in the lemon zest and puree until combined. After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (sometimes I use baking sheets and do rectangles or free form pizzas - this specific dough will yield one pizza large enough to feed about 3-4 people) and place on a baking sheet or pizza peel. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (or if you're using a pizza stone or the skillet method, follow those directions). Spread the ricotta on the dough and cover it with half of the mozzarella. Add the shallots and the thyme, then cover it in the blueberries. Add the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Remove and serve with parmesan on top.
[inspired by a pizza I never got to eat at Cafe Sante]