Wednesday, July 30, 2014

French Pizza

Not French bread pizza, French Pizza!  Oil-cured black olives, tiny strips of anchovy, ripe roasted tomatoes top a slab of puff pastry smeared with soft cheeses.  If, like me,  you cannot get to Nice in the south of France this summer, get a taste with this beachside favorite picked up the local patisserie. 

French Pizza
Makes one medium pizza that serves 4 for lunch, 8-9 as an appertizer

Ingredients
one sheet puff pastry (10" X 15")
egg wash*
4-6 ounces soft cheese (combo of goat cheese, blue cheese, cream cheese)
3-4 medium tomatoes (or 8-9 small tomatoes)
1/4 cup oil cured olives
optional: anchovies, extra grated cheese like Parmesan, Asiago or even Gruyere

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.  
  2. Place defrosted puff pastry sheet on a cookie sheet.
  3. Using a butter knife, cut a strip about 1/3-1/2 inch wide from the long sides of the sheet.  Brush the long edges with egg wash and place the strip on top to form an edge.  Do the same with the shorter sides of the pastry.  
  4. Spread a thin layer of the cheese on the interior of the puff pastry.
  5. Slice the tomatoes no thinner than 1/4 inch and lay out over the cheese.  If using small tomatoes, cut them in half and arrange on top of the cheese.  (Note: if using roma or plum tomatoes, you may roast them in a 400˚F oven for 10-12 minutes before topping the pizza.)
  6. Finish the pizza by arranging olives and anchoives between the tomatoes.
  7. Brush the raised edges of the pizza with more egg wash. 
  8. Bake pizza at 400˚F for 15 minutes until the crust turns golden brown.  
  9. Optional: Grate some hard cheese over the pizza to finish. 
Enjoy French Pizza right out of the oven or room temperature as a light lunch or hearty first course over salad greens.

 * an egg wash will "glue" the pastry to itself and create a nice shine to the pizza edges.  Mix a beaten egg with a few tablespoons of water to create an egg wash.  If you do not want to use an egg, a light brushing of water will help stick the strips of pastry to the base.