Monday, May 9, 2011

Ash-covered soft surface ripened goat cheese, mozzarella, spinach and bacon pizzas

Around here Friday night is pizza night. Not very original and not something I ever thought I would do, but I never knew small children could be so easily pleased by such a thing as pizza night. In my younger and more judgemental 20s I looked down on "events" designated for certain days without fail as uninspired and lacking in spontaneity. I have also never been an avid fan of pizza in the way many are, even as a child, but the kids are so gleeful on Fridays I do not have the heart to mix it up. Sometimes I make risotto for the grownups, but I am also celebrating the end of the week and am not very interested in cooking 2 meals. This past Friday I made a particularly good pizza. I was in a bit of a rush and decided to crack open a jar of strained tomatoes to use as the sauce base for the pizzas. I sprinkled the tomato sauce with crispy bits of bacon as compensation, but I was still a little worried the sauce would be too acidic. I should not have worried because the pizzas were delicious. Or as my husband stated: "This is the best pizza I have ever had!" Prepared tomato sauces, even organic, are usually very high in sugar and salt so to have the pizza turn out so well with such a simple tomato sauce base was a very nice discovery. Although the truly delicious addition to the pizzas was an ash covered soft surface ripened goat cheese.

Ash-covered soft surface ripened goat cheese,
mozzarella, spinach and bacon pizzas

Makes 4 individual (8 inch) pizzas

  • 3/4 cup / 180 ml strained tomatoes
  • 8 slices of bacon, chopped and cooked until crispy and golden
  • 4 cups / 1 l lightly packed baby spinach leaves, blanched and excess liquid squeezed out
  • Sufficient quantity mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 100 g / 3 oz ash-covered soft surface ripened goat cheese (like the award winning Le Cendrillon), sliced in medallions
Make your dough according to the recipe in link above. Separate the dough in 4 and form into balls. Lightly oil 4 bowls and let each dough ball rise, covered with plastic wrap, until doubled in size.

Pre-heat the oven to 450F or 425F convect.

Form the pizzas on a parchment large lined baking tray leaving a few inches between each pizza. Spread the sauce on the pizza dough, then sprinkle with the bacon, separate and evenly distribute the spinach. Cover generously with mozzarella. Add the tomato slices and finish with the goat cheese. Cook in the lower rack of oven until mozzarella is melted and beginning to turn golden, and crust is cooked (about 10 minutes).

On fridays I often make plain cheese pizzas and serve vegetables seperatley with dip before hand. The kids eat a lot more vegetables that way and everybody is happy.

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