Recently, we enjoyed a fabulous meal courtesy of our friends Dutch and Becky. It was one of those beautiful nights you wish you could capture in a bottle and release in, say February. We ate under the stars, drank good red wine and reveled in the pleasures of summer.
And then there's the food. Dutch is an excellent, creative cook, and his meals are always something to behold. His menu: cherry tomato poppers; Tuscan rosemary pizzetta; sweet summer corn and black bean salsa with a lime-mirin sauce; "cheater" ceviche and grilled salmon with dill butter. Amazing.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and I'm still dreaming about that meal, but especially the Tuscan rosemary pizzetta, topped with carmelized onions, kalamata olives, feta and anchovies. So, I set out to recreate it in my own kitchen.
Dutch used the wonderful handmade pizza dough from Fresh Farms Market, so I followed suit. You can make your own, or, in many cases, buy fresh dough from your favorite pizzeria.
He grilled his pizzetta, but for various reasons (ok, I don't own a grill right now, don't ask) I baked mine at 475 degrees. First, I rolled and shaped the crust - you'll want a thin crust - then brushed it with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and blind-baked it for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.
I let the crust cool for a few minutes, then topped with some well-caramelized onions (one large onion, thinly sliced and sauteed in olive oil, salt and pepper for a good long time, until well browned). Dutch, in a brilliant move, drizzles a bit of honey into the onions at the end, adding extra depth of flavor and sweetness.
Then, scatter some sliced, pitted kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese on top of the onions and pop it back into the oven or grill top. Mine took about 8-9 minutes. I added a few anchovies when it came out of the oven, but these are optional if you are an anchovy-hater. No worries. As a final touch, drizzle a bit more olive oil on the hot pie as you let it cool for a minute or two. Then, sprinkle with some minced fresh rosemary, serve and enjoy.
Honestly, it was delicious. Savory, salty, crispy, with a hint of sweetness. Not quite as good as the original, but pretty darn close.
Tuscan pizzetta makes a great appetizer, but it also stands alone as a meal, paired with a fresh green salad. If you give it a try, let me know if you become a fan, too.