while there are many advantages to living in maine, one of them is that indoor-pizza-making season hasn’t ended yet. it’s still cool enough up here during the day and especially overnight that cranking the oven up to 500° F for an hour isn’t forbidden (i see you coming, july).
sure, we can make grilled pizza in the summer, and that has its own charms, but there’s something to be said for the consistency of making pizza in the oven and knowing, really knowing, that it will be perfectly cooked, as long as i follow the magical 4 + 8 formula* and don’t glop too many wet toppings on the dough. (though in fairness to grilled pizza, i did figure out a lot of its quirks last summer and now have a pretty reliable method/recipe.)
*what is this magical 4 + 8 formula you ask? well, for those who don’t want to live in suspense until you get down to the actual recipe below, it’s this: prebake the dough for 4 minutes, take it out, top it (something more in the neighborhood of sparing than glutinous), then bake the whole thing for 8 minutes (if your oven only goes to 500° F; if it goes to 550° F, 7 is your number).
so, yes, grilled pizza is fun because it’s novel and it’s summer and we’re outside and there’s the fun thrill of potentially dropping our entire dinner on the ground and having to eat cereal instead but sometimes i just want the excitement to come from a new combination of toppings. as was the case here.
this pizza, specifically the toppings – kale, fig, and gorgonzola – started at the farmers’ market, where one of the farmers was selling “sweet siberian kale”. the little tag indicated that this variety of kale was sweeter than “standard” kale. sold! i bought a bunch and brought it home, with intentions of turning it into a pizza with dried figs. and indeed, that is just what i did.
except that i didn’t really plan terrifically well and the only viable cheese i had in the fridge was mozzarella. so that’s what i used. and the pizza was good (especially the kale!), but missing a little something, even when topped with basil and drizzled with balsamic.
so this past weekend, i went back to the same farmer at the market, hoping that he would have more of this delicious and mild kale that had proven to be so delicious the prior weekend. and lo, i was in luck! having procured more kale, i then picked up some gorgonzola to add to the pizza, along with the mozzarella and other toppings from last week’s pizza. i should note here, it’s really a special situation if i’m using gorgonzola: i mean, the cheese comes from the store already full of mold! i just don’t know…
it works here, though. as i suspected, the gorgonzola is exactly what the round one pizza was missing. we’ll just ignore the mold and focus on how delicious the two cheeses are with the kale and dried figs. and then the whole thing gets topped with fresh basil and balsamic vinegar to elevate it to pizza superstar status.
nutrition facts are for 1 slice of a pizza cut into 8 slices