Sunday, July 10, 2011

Newton-style Pizza

I still remember landing at LaGuardia airport the first time I went to New York City. I was in 8th Grade and I remember turning to my mom and saying something to the effect of “I can’t believe I am going to New York City! I mean, this is like the fashion capital of the world!” I was probably wearing a flannel button-down shirt and my Levi’s that I had to buy from the boys department because I couldn’t wear girl’s sizes (bless my heart . . .) but I was still in awe of the whole concept of New York City.
Nowhere else can you get anything you need at any point during the day just by walking a few (or many) blocks. Even myself, who is in bed on a Friday night by 11 pm, loves knowing that if I wanted to go to a club until 4 am, I could. Even though my mother and I did not go beyond a seven-block radius of our hotel on that first trip, I still loved all the action.
And now, I am excited to say, I will be living there in two weeks. With my husband. This is huge on many levels – Robbie and I will be in the same town in our own residence for the first time since getting married and I will be living in a city in which I never thought I would have the courage to live. But Robbie and I are going to take it on together. Luckily, he’s lived there before and I feel that I am well-prepared to bring some Southern charm to the Big Apple.
In honor of this moment, I decided to make pizza. But not just any pizza. I wanted to pay homage to the city that has prepared me for everything in life. So I used basil from my parent's back yard, squash from my father’s garden and goat cheese from Wal-Mart. Thank you, Newton, for being the foundation for everything I’ve accomplished thus far in life. For me, home will always be within your city limits.
Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza
Adapted from
Smitten Kitchen

Pizza Dough (makes a 10-12 inch pizza)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Stir flour, salt and dry yeast in a large metal bowl. Add water and olive oil and stir until a ball forms. Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a ball for a minute or two. Lightly spray the bowl with cooking spray and put the dough back in the bowl, flipping the ball over so all sides are coated with the spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size.
Dump it on a floured surface and gently press the dough with the palms of your hand to remove the air from the dough. Fold the piece into a ball shape (or close to it) and let it sit under plastic wrap for twenty minutes.
Roll it out onto a baking sheet or pizza stone and top with any toppings you like!
I used the following:
1 lemon
4 ounces goat cheese, not crumbled, the kind in the tube
Few leaves of fresh basil, cut into thin slivers
1 medium squash
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together goat cheese with the juice of half a lemon. Season it with salt and pepper. Spread this mixture over your pizza dough and sprinkle it with the basil slivers. Arrange the sliced squash on the pizza. Drizzle it with olive oil and a little more salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 10 to 25 minutes (depending upon your baking time and the placement of the rack). Most pizzas take 10-15 minutes but ours took more like 25. The pizza will be done when the edges begin to golden and the squash begins to look roasted on the edges.

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