Saturday, November 09, 2002

Fire It Up

Now that the warm season is officially and utterly over, we're using the stove again. Sure feels good. Roasted stuff, boy oh boy. Chickens, sweet potatoes, fingerlings, beets, carrots. Sweet and savory stuff. Tonight we veered in a slightly different direction, to pizza. The best pizza, ultimately, remains one consisting of a thin crust, a lightly (or not-even) cooked tomato sauce, whole-milk mozzarella, some basil and maybe a touch of reggiano and fresh oregano scattered on top after it's out of the 475 degree oven. But that doesn't mean this is the pizza you want to make on a dramatically cloudy, spitting Saturday in the fall. Pizza's greatest charm—to the guy at home having fun, the CD player cranked, the wine flowing—is its ability to succeed no matter what you put on it. I mentioned fingerlings. I love fingerlings. I am on a fingerling rampage. So of course fingerlings went on one of the two pizzas I made tonight. Roasted fingerlings cut lengthwise and salted. Mild Italian sausage bursting with sweet, luscious fennel. Then the white cheeses and a drizzle of olive oil. Done. Pizza 2 was caramelized onion and the cheeses. Niko wasn't too fond of these oddities, really, but Rebecca and I sat in the kitchen while the lad hopped about to Exile on Main Street and we loved 'em. Tomorrow we'll find another reason to crank the oven well above 400 degrees for several hours, I'm sure of it.