A week dedicated just to pizza? Be still my heart.
First off, vote for my pizza here!!
YYC Pizza Week is just around the corner, running from September 25-October 4. But, prior to leaving it to the chefs to create delicious masterpieces, they gave us Calgary food bloggers a chance to compete.
We were provided with a list of four “mystery” ingredients – and told to choose two for use in our own pizza creations. The options were: pesto spread, fig spread, olives, and ricotta cheese.
I debated between each of the ingredients and canvassed quite a large group of people about their preferences, before deciding on pesto & olives.
Going somewhat Greek inspired, I headed to Scarpones to select the rest of my ingredients.
The shelves of Scarpones were lined with Italian pastas, cookies, meats, and rows and rows of cheese. I must have walked around three or four times, picking up items and putting them back down. Not only were the prices extremely reasonable, but there was just so much selection!
After a little distraction by the wide array of Milka bars, I had finally selected the stars for my pizza and returned home to get started.
Here’s what you’ll need to copy it:
- 100-120g of roasted chicken (thicker sliced)
- 50g of pitted assorted olives (get them pre-diced if you can)
- Basil pesto
- Red bell pepper
- A hunk of feta cheese
- Shredded Grana Padano parmesan
- Pizza dough
- Olive oil
- Garlic butter
- Finishing salt (either kosher salt or fleur de sel)
If your oven is anything like mine, you’ll want to start the pre-heat as soon as possible. Toss in your pizza stone (if you don’t have one, don’t worry – they just make the crust crispier), and heat the oven up to somewhere between 450-500F.
Start by shaping the dough. You will want to keep the middle portion thin so that it doesn’t taste to doughy or soggy – and then build the crust up a bit. Lay it on a piece of parchment paper and onto a pizza tray.
Next, brush the dough with a light layer of olive oil and then coat it with your pesto.
Third, start layering on your toppings. I placed a layer of roasted chicken first, then topped it with olives and sliced red peppers, before crumbling the feta.
Note: if you’re using mozzarella or parm, save it until the last final minutes of baking.
Fourth, brush the crust with a light amount of garlic butter, and pop that bad boy into the oven.
Step Five? Wait – and subsequently, drool.
Bake for ten minutes before removing the pie from the pizza tray. Then, place your parchment paper directly onto the pizza stone and bake for another 5 minutes.
When the crust looks nice and golden, quickly remove and sprinkle your parmesan on top. Bake for another 3-5 minutes.
Remove, lightly drizzle olive oil on the crust, and sprinkle a small amount of your finishing salt over top.
Baking the peppers on top of the chicken gave it a hint of spice, while the olives added a little more salt. It was quite filling and really yummy. The combination of feta and parm meant that there was enough cheese to call it a pizza, but not so much that you have a stomach-ache afterwards.
Test it out and let me know what you think! Naming credits go to Cole, for calling it the Tizza.
Then, check out the list of YYC Pizza Week chef entries here.
And once again, don’t forget to vote (for me, obviously) – here.