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« Meatballs with Porcini Mushrooms | Main | Spinach Tart with Eggplant, Roasted Tomatoes and Olive Cream »

Calamari Pizza with Goat Cheese and Oregano

Calamari Pizza with Goat Cheese and Oregano

 

On the way to our fitness walk on the beach this morning, Elise asked me the question she asks nearly every day. She likes to have something to look forward to while she slogs along in the salt mines of fiction writing. I hadn't thought about what to cook tonight but I guess some of the fun of the food part of our relationship is that she challenges me to come up with a plan on the spot, and she can be pretty demanding. I've been delaying hitting the market until other business takes me in that direction so I have (for me) a relatively thin larder.

"Uhh..calamari," I said, since I knew that I had picked up a couple of blocks of the frozen baby calamari I like when I was at the Asian market a couple of weeks ago, and I know E's always up for calamari.

Then we went for our 3-mile walk which, since Elise is much faster than me, means I'm alone for about 45 minutes. I pass the time think about things and often working out recipes. "Calamari pizza," I said when we met for a minute at the turnaround point, and E gave an approving nod. Then, on the way back down the beach I was thinking of the oregano patch and its inexorable expansion plans, so by the time we finished I offered: "Calamari on an oregano green sauce, with some goat cheese...ok?" It passed.

I served the pizza with some baby bok choi (not used the other night when I switched the menu to cold platters due to the heat), done Italiano style, and a simple mixed greens salad.

Calamari Pizza with Goat Cheese and Oregano

8 slices, 14" diameter

Ingredients

  • Dough for 1 pizza (recipe HERE)
  • 3/4 lb calamari  (cleaned squid), cut in rings and tentacle chunks 
  • 1 cup (packed) oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup (packed) baby spinach leaves
  • 4 large garlic, peeled, sliced
  • 1/8 cup (packed) mint leaves
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg white
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheeses: parmeggiano reggiano, sharp provolone, etc. 
  • Chives or scallions, threads
  • 8 Greek olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, cut in 8 thin spears
  • 2 oz goat cheese

Method

Turn the oven on 450º with the pizza stone in place.

Roll or stretch the risen dough ball to a pizza shell. Set aside, covered, to rise 30 min.

Wash and dry the spinach and the herbs. Place in a food processor with the egg white and the garlic and pulse for a few seconds until the greens are roughly minced. Season the mixture with salt, lemon juice and hot sauce.

Wash and dry the calamari. Sauté calamari in a little olive oil - hot but not smoking - about 60 seconds, drain, season with a little salt and hot sauce and set aside. Sauté the red pepper spears about a minute, season and set aside.

When the shell has completed the second rising, spread it with olive oil and then the greens mixture. Bake 10 min.

Cut 8 disks from the goat cheese and arrange around the pizza in an 8-point star pattern. Crumble and scatter the rest of the goat cheese over the pizza. Place a red pepper spear across each goat cheese disk, again in the 8-point star pattern. Place a tentacle chunk on each of the goat cheese disks and the scatter the rest of the calamari over the pizza.

Return the pizza to the oven and reduce the temp to 400º and bake for 10 more minutes. The crust should be just browning. Remove from oven, brush the edges with olive oil and scatter on the olives and minced chives or scallions.

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Comments

hi stephen, what's cooking for the 4th? i can use some ideas -- gonna be at the beach with friends.

Hi Diane...I'm working on some competition entries this weekend for Build a Better Burger and Paper Chef...trying strange concoctions out on my friends...so I won't be posting these until after the competition deadlines...I suggest for the beach the Grilled Chicken with Fennel / Cumin Rub which is pretty easy do-ahead food, along with the spicy cole slaw and cornbread I show with them. The Rice Salad is another one we take to the beach (use frozen peas instead of favas to save a ton of work). Have a great beach trip - we have perfect summer weather here and will definitely be on the beach in the next few days...hope the sun shines for you too...thanks for your interest in stephencooks.com

Congratulations on your "Most Creative" winner in the Pizza Day contest at SlashFood!

http://www.slashfood.com/2005/09/27/pizza-day-winners/

Well deserved!

A number of years ago, we had a seafood pizza in a city southeast of Milano. It looks similar to the picture of yours, but I can't remember if it had other fish or shrimp.

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