Saturday, January 27, 2007

Green olive & artichoke pizza with pecorino

I'm always told that we don't need to pay a high price for excellent extra-virgin olive oil (aka evoo... thanks Rachael!) , at least most housewives in Italy don't, we do need to pay to taste and find out though. I've tried quite a few different evoo imported from Italy, their prices are fairy high, but taste? really so so, except being assertive nothing else distinguishable. Weeks ago in an Italian grocery store I saw this Spectrum cold pressed NOVELLO evoo, something it said on the label caught my eye: "early harvest, limited release ... crafted by the experienced artisan hands of the Pons family ... hand picked olives ... ", and it's organic, and it's from Spain. I thought since I love their wine and olive, might give it a try, and heck, only USD 4.99 for 500ml (16.9oz), I usually paid more than double for that size! I bought it, tried it, very impressed. It's floral, buttery but clean in taste, and inexpensive! The day when I made this pizza, there were two young kids (I do baby-sitting occasionally, that's how I got my little model to hold that heart candy) totally crazy for the crust that dizzled with this oil allover. If this product isn't available in your area, hopefully my message here gives to you is, we really don't need to pay a lot for good evoo.

The simpler the pizza, the higher quality of the basic ingredients you need (as no sauce or cheese as camouflage). Use the olive oil with superb flavor! And if the pizza crust you used to make isn't spectacular, it's time to change another flour, or another recipe.


Place a baking stone in oven and preheat to 475F for half an hour at least. Stretch the dough to your desired thickness, drizzle evoo, spread green olives, artichokes, capers, rosemary leaves and coarse salt. Baked until gold brown, shave some pecorino to serve.



FH said...

Gorgeous crust!

Anonymous said...

Oh, these tiny pizzas are just the cutest things ever!

Burcu said...

Gattina, your blog has always been delicious, but for some reason, your recent pictures (as well as recipes) make me drool!

Brilynn said...

Good olive oil really does make a difference, but there's so much to choose from it's hard to know what's good.

Marce said...

Good find. Yep, Spanish olive oil is outstanding. For me, the blurrier, the better. If the color is too light, I know it´s not going to have that lovely olive flavor I love so much.
Another tip: if you ever find Argentine olive oil, give it a try, it should be a little cheaper and it´s also superb.
A good way to try new varieties is at gourmet expositions where you can sample tons of brands in one place for free.

Anh said...

Agree with Brylinn on the importance of great olive oil. Oh my Gattina, the type of topping for this pizza is my fav - olive, artichoke, capers etc. Must be gooood!

Krithika said...

You need to slow down ... can't keep up with you. crust looks amazing

Anonymous said...

Every autumn/winter in Italy we await the olio novello. It is new for only a short period of time, but it is so exquisite that you find a finger is pretty much all you need!
I rarely find an oil I don't like, but those that have been blended and filtered to make them universally acceptable are in truth universally blah.

Unknown said...

Oh my god!!!!!!!!!!! How did you make that porous crust??? It's so beautiful, how I yearn for a HUGE slice of that!!!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, what a treasure of a site you have here Gattina! I saw your comment at Patricia's Tecnicolor Kitchen, and I'm so glad I popped over for a visit!
I live in LA but grew up in Providence, so all of these homemade breads, pizzas, and pastries are dear to my heart. I agree about using good olive oil; it can enhance so many dishes.

Food "Blogga"

Patricia Scarpin said...


I have a thing for mini versions of food, so your tiny pizzas won my heart!

The ingredients you chose as the pizza topping are delicious and I bet they are perfect together!!

Callipygia said...

Gattina- what a great tip about the Spectrum oil, which I'm sure I can find here. I was just talking with a friend about wanting to spring for the good stuff like McEvoy...but now I can hold off. The crust, the crust, I really need to get a pizza stone, mine didn't look that beautiful.

Sri said...

Gattina that's a perfect porous crust...those snaps look great and making my mouth water.

Anonymous said...

That crust--perfection! And the topping makes me drool. :):) You keep topping youself with every post!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I like the looks of this. And I always like to find some good, inexpensive EVOO (Yeah, thanks Rachael).


Saffron said...

I think you have to open a resturant so all the pepole can come to taste your wonderul recipes! You're a genius!!

Lis said...

OMG that's like the ultimate breakfast for me!! haha Seriously, it looks so good that I'd eat it for breakfast (and lunch and dinner) in a heart beat. =)

J said...

What a lovely crust! Its my first visit here and I can see you have a treasure chest of recipes here!!

Gattina Cheung said...

Asha sweetie, thanks for always giving me such a big encouragement!

Ellie, thanks! The only problem for me, if I wanted to make very thin crust, this tiny size pretty hard to judge.

Burcu, from a person like you always impress me with wonderful recipes, your compliment means a lot to me :D

Brilynn, I agree with you... just keep trying, and keep spending (hehee). I usually keep more than one evoo.

Marce, it's just wonderful to receive your advice, thank you so much!!!

Anh, I have a taste for sth salty and oily, glad to have someone like you on the same frequency :D

Krithika, heheee :D thanks for your sweet words!

Judith, thanks for your great advice too!!!

Angie, if you come, I'll make you a whole pie! Too keep that holes, our fingers got to install TLC sensor (you're an experience baker I know you have no problem for that) And some recipes yield more porous texture.

Susan, it's just wonderful to have your visit! I saw your blog, so beautiful!

Pat, glad you like my choice of topping! My taste is pretty wide when come to pizza, from pizza bianco to 10 different things jamming in!

Callipygia, really thanks for your kind words hon! I have another way to yield very brown bottom crust without using baking stone... after you stretch the pizza dough and top it up, lay it on the "back" of your baking tray (I assume you guys use baking tray to bake pizza, right? Anyway, pre-grease the back). Tuck the tray inside the hot oven, after 5-7 minutes (do this step quick, and with a big spatular on on hand...) open the oven door, use the spatular to push the pizza (it's slight harden already) directly on the rack, take out the tray. Bake until its all done. Mine turned out with a good brown color. Next time when I post my pizza, I'll elaborate it little bit :D

Sri, thank you for your compliment! Taking pizza photo is harsh for me... I don't want to eat it cold! :D

Sher sweetie, you're always so sweet! Thank you!

Paz, thank you my friend :D

Simona, you're such a darling *baci*

Lis, hehee... my husband used to eat pizza for breakfast :D

jyothsna, thank you for your visit!!!

Anonymous said...

Those are adorable little pizzas. Your photo is top notch!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful as always.

I need to find that evoo.

Kalyn Denny said...

Just yummy. I love the combination you chose for the topping. I just got a whole grain baking book and am going to venture into making pizza myself.

Linda said...

yum. wow -- i'm in love with your blog. so glad to have found you. i can't wait to try this. thanks for posting it!

Chez Megane said...

These are some of my favorite flavors on pizza! Yum! On vacation in Provence, I spent an embarrassingly huge amount of money on olive oil. I couldn't resist the little shop that offered tastings and such detailed flavors. Now it's hard to know what supermarket oils are decent, so thanks!

Katie said...

The pizza looks fabulous - 2 of my favorite foods.
Did you know that Spain provides Italy with most/a lot of the olives and olive oil used there?
There are tankers hauling it from Spain to Italy.

Anonymous said...

You have a awesome blog. The pictures speaks of themselves how wonderful your cooking is.

Anonymous said...

Three of my favorite things on one pizza...awesome.