Italian Pub Night Recipes

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Friday and Saturday nights are pretty mellow around the Farm to Table household — particularly in the Fall and Winter. Krista will have spent a long week teaching. I’ll have spent a long week writing, consulting, promoting local foods, or doing whatever it is that my ever-varied career throws at me.

Foodwise, we try our best to whip up something both fun and easy. Friday nights are almost always pizzas. Nothing says Friday like pizza and either a cold beer or a glass of wine. Saturday nights are hockey nights. Krista does some of her weekly food prep — making cheese, yogurt, and granola — while I tune into Hockey Night in Canada. With hockey as a backdrop, I usually try to create something pub-like and, well… moderately unhealthy. You only live once, right?

While the pizzas always vary — they change with the season — the dough is almost always hand tossed, the sauces homemade, and the cheeses artisanal. Longtime readers may recall my decadent BBQ Grilled Pizza with Garlic Scape Pesto, Lemon/Herbed Chicken, and Double-Smoked Bacon. This time around, I’ve decided to offer up something a bit more healthy:

Autumn Harvest Pizza
Pizza Dough
Garlic Scape Pesto
OR the autumn seasonal Basil Pesto
Toscano Cheese
Pearl sized Buffalo Mozzarella balls
Swiss Chard

  • Preheat your oven to 450F. If you are using a pizza stone, let heat for 40 minutes.
  • Very thinly slice eggplant. Remove large veins from chard and rip into bite-size pieces.
  • Cut your tomatoes and broccoli into topping sized pieces.
  • Finely grate toscano.
  • Roll out your dough to your desired thickness and size.
  • Spread your pesto to taste.
  • Sprinkle toscano over pesto. A thin layer, you don’t need a tonne.
  • Add a single layer of eggplant and chard.
  • Dress with tomato and broccoli.
  • Add mozza balls — a few go a long way, trust me.
  • Bake on pizza stone or on a baking sheet: 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

For our dough, we either make it from scratch, using a breadmaker and then hand rolling/tossing, or (if we are really feeling lazy) we purchase Lisa’s really great roasted garlic/rosemary dough from Black Honey Bakery (located behind the Black Honey Desserts Café). You can definitely use some local Merrylynd Farm organic wheat flour in your dough, but you’ll want to balance it out with a finer sifted flour in order to have a more workable dough and lighter crust. Krista and I always make a tonne of garlic scape pesto in the spring and freeze it in ice cube trays for later use (dumping the frozen cubes into freezer bags for bulk storage). Because basil is also abundant in the early fall, you can also use a basil pesto. We alternate between using an aged Spanish Manchego and a Toscano from Mariposa Dairy — both available from Chasing the Cheese. The Manchego is a better fit for the dish, but the Toscano is local.

Up next: the Fallslaw. Cabbage, carrot, apple slaw with a balsamic dressing.