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--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Robiola Pizza

I'm not sure I can talk about this pizza without veering off into the most ridiculous hyperbole.

I was inspired to get out the pizza stone by the S.'s daughter M., who visited after spending a week in California taking a workshop where she learned how to cook in a brick oven. She got us the pizza stone last year sometime, and I have used it on a few occasions, but pizza isn't the first thing that comes to my mind when I'm thinking about what to cook for dinner for Dr. and Mrs. S.--it's not really even in the top ten (at home is a different story, except that it's usually take-out pizza).

So--inspired to cook pizza, I looked in the book, and found a recipe for Robiola Pizza, which was serendipitous because we happened to have a nice square of Robiola cheese in the fridge. It also called for Portobello mushrooms (I had sliced Baby Bellas), and zucchini (I had two zucchini at home that needed to be used). I even had chives. The only thing I didn't have was white truffle oil, and I was a little apprehensive about it--when I was at the Emerson one of the chefs got a bottle from Sid Wainer (a specialty gourmet food wholesaler) and it was wildly expensive.

Don't worry, says the recipe, extra-virgin will be just fine, but that white truffle oil will put it over the top.

I figured I could get the oil at The Fruitful Basket, but I thought I'd have a look in Shaw's--you never know. And there it was, right next to the hazelnut oil, with a relatively low price tag of ten dollars. (New Low Price! said the tag underneath.) Score.

I kneaded the dough by hand--very satisfyingly tactile--and preheated the stone in a 500 oven, which promptly filled the entire downstairs with faint, unpleasant smoke. ("What's that smell? asked Dr. S. after tea. "It smells like something is burning." "I'll open some doors," said I.)

The recipe on Epicurious is a little odd, so if you don't have the book, I'll just tell you what the basic ingredient list is. On your pizza you put, in this order: 1/2 lb. Robiola cheese, spread or crumbled; and a mix of: 1 cup chopped mushrooms, 1 cup chopped zucchini, 3 tbsp. minced chives, salt and pepper. When it comes out of the oven, drizzle 1 tbsp. white truffle oil (or extra virgin olive) on top--I also took a pastry brush and sort of spread it around onto the crust and so on.

Dr. and Mrs. S. LOVED it (and asked for seconds--a rare thing). I loved it too--the taste and smell is simply intoxicating.

By the way, if Robiola is new to you--it's sort of like Brie with a bit of a pong--it's made in Italy. If you have a specialty cheese shop near you they would surely have it, or even a very well-stocked supermarket. You could certainly substitute Brie or Camembert, but you would lose some of that unique flavor.

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