Written Recipes
Caesar Salad Dressing
Peter Reinhart

I’m not going to get into the history of how this dressing came into existence--you can read all about it on a bottle of Cardini’s, since Caesar Cardini owns those bragging rights (though I’ve heard it disputed by others who claim the dressing may have other origins--if you know these stories please tell us about them in the comments section). What I do want to say is that a good Caesar salad -- as opposed to a bad one made with a bottled dressing like you get in most chain restaurants -- is one of the most perfect flavor combinations ever invented. Sometimes people just nail a dish--like Reuben Kulakofski, who is one of the men credited with inventing the Reuben Sandwich (it has also been credited to Arnold Reuben, from another time and place--if you know the true origin story, or other "true" versions, please dish it here!); or Rafael Esposito and the Margherita pizza (if he really is the one--that too is in dispute, but one within our PizzaQuest wheelhouse). My point is, regardless of who really invented these iconic foods, there are just some dishes that represent flavor perfection and Caesar salad is one of them. I credit it with being the dish that single-handedly turned me into a foodie when I was about 11 years old.

I get into arguments everywhere about who makes the best Caesar dressing, and I’ve had some good ones over the years, but I’d put the one below one up against any. One of the tricks is to use

 
Fontina, Prosciutto Cotto, and Arugula Pizza
Peter Reinhart

Here's a great pizza from Kelly Whitaker of Boulder's fabulous Pizzeria Basta.

 

We asked him to create something on the spot, using Bel Gioioso Fontina cheese and he quickly pulled together a few other great ingredients: speck (smoked prosciutto), regular prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, local mushrooms, and a garnish of arugula. We all loved it! (I got to eat the slice you see me with in the video but the production crew devoured the rest, and a few others as well!!)

One point of note: Kelly is using --00--flour (low protein, Italian-style pizza flour), but it's not imported from Italy. Instead, it comes from San Francisco's Giusto Mills, the very same mill that supplied my flour when I had Brother Juniper's Bakery many years ago. It's a small world....

 

 
Focaccia col Formaggio di Recco
Peter Reinhart

I discovered this in northern Italy, in the Ligurian town of Recco, just south of Genoa. I'm in love with it!! It is made with the simplest of all doughs yet makes an extraordinary type of unusual focaccia. The dough is unleavened and, when rolled out paper thin, is not all that different from Greek phyllo (aka, fillo) dough. It is used not only in the Ligurian Focaccia col Formaggio di Recco, but also in countless Greek and Macedonian pastries of the pita tradition. While the focaccia col formaggio is made in large copper pans, such as what we had at da Vittoria Ristoranti in Recco, this version uses a 10” cake pan to make a smaller version; if you

 
Peter's Herb Oil on Brad's Cheese Pizza
Brad English

I've been playing with Peter's Herb Oil recipe for a while - ever since I first read his book American Pie "My Search for the Perfect Pizza".  I have only focused on using it with Pizza, but he has some very interesting suggestions and ideas I'd like to try some time.


I woke up early the other morning, about 5:00 AM, and realized that I while I wanted to sleep, what I really wanted to do was to take some photos to go with the Peter's Herb Oil recipe.  So I came downstairs and pulled a couple of frozen pizza doughs out of the freezer to use with my new batch of Herb Oil and went back to bed.  Later, after getting the kids off to school, I made the Herb Oil and took photos while the dough came up to temperature.

 
Multi-Purpose Herb Oil
Peter Reinhart

My guess is that you will use this more than any other specialty topping, and you can make as much as you like because it will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator. Its original use was for focaccia but then I discovered it is also excellent drizzled over many types of pizza, and can also be used to marinate or flavor various ingredients, especially fresh, sliced tomatoes and thinly sliced potatoes (for potato parmesan focaccia or, even better, potato bacon focaccia (or pizza). I'll give directions for making those in a future posting, as well as for my favorite herb oil clam pizza. I also use the herb oil as a bread dipping condiment, and even as a base for salad dressings. There are an infinite number of ways to make this, using both fresh and dried herbs in many combinations,

 

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American Pie Artisan Breads Every Day Bread Baker's Apprentice Brother Juniper's Bread Book Crust and Crumb Whole Grain Breads

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