I found local cheese! Turns out that Ontario's largest goat cheese producer - Woolwich Dairy - is located just a short drive away - and is well-stocked at my local market. I keep learning the same lesson every week - the local food is all around you, all you have to do is find it!
So as soon as I spotted a tub of crumbled feta I knew what I would make this round - my signature pizza.
I'm unabashedly taking full credit for this pizza. I've never seen a recipe for it (although I'm sure there's one out there somewhere). The flavours are all bang-on. Hooo lordy I love it so much.
I'm going to give you the recipe. If I could I would write it out on a sheet of paper, fold it up into a tiny square, press it into your palm, close your fingers around it and tell you go forth and pizza-fy.
Who am I kidding. It's super easy - barely a recipe at all. But here goes:
Start with your favourite pizza dough. Here is the one I use which I've tweaked from my mother-in-law's:
In a bowl or stand mixer, dissolve a packet of instant yeast into 1/4 cup of warm water. Add 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add in 1+1/4 cup warm water and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix this up well. Then add the remaining flour until the dough stops sticking to the sides - but it should still be tacky to the touch. Oil your bowl and let your dough ball rise for about an hour, covered with a wet towel, until doubled. Punch down and divide into quarters. Each quarter will make one signature-sized pizza.
Now for the signature part. There are three main ingredients:
Carmelized onions: I use about 4 medium onions to make 2 pizzas. Slice into rings and saute them slow in olive oil. I let them sweat with the lid on until they're soft, and then add a pinch of sugar to speed up the caramelization and pump up the sweetness. Get them nice and brown, then set aside in a large bowl.
Mushrooms: I try to find the tiniest button mushrooms so most of them can be left whole. I probably use at least 4-5 cups, because they reduce in volume so much. I saute them in the same pan as the onions.
Zucchini: After the mushrooms have had a chance to get started, add about 2-3 cups of diced zucchini. Saute this on high heat until tender-crisp. Add a few big cloves worth of minced garlic and stir until fragrant. Add lots of freshed cracked pepper and at least a pinch of salt.
Combine the mushroom/zuke mixture with the onions and add fresh or dried herbs. Thyme works well. I used it this thyme (not funny) but oregano and rosemary are the best. This heavenly mixture will be your topping.
Now, roll out one of your dough quarters into an oblong shape (this shape is also signature - you could make a round crust, but it might be too topping-heavy in the middle). Place it on your pizza pan and prick it all over with a fork. Then brush your crust with olive oil. STAY FOCUSED: This is when you risk getting over-excited from being so close to pizza nirvana.
Steady yourself and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the oiled crust. Spoon a layer of warm topping over the parmesan. Top with crumbled feta and more herbs. Bake at 475 degrees Fahrenheit, near the bottom of the oven, for about 10-15 minutes. The feta will be browned and/or melted and your crust will look golden and crispy.
BEHOLD the stuff my dreams are made of:
Everything was local, save the parmesan, oil, salt, pepper & sugar. We ate it with a quick cucumber & cherry tomato salad. HINT: It's even better the next day.
Okay. I can't fathom this, but maybe my signature pizza doesn't do it for you. Maybe you hate mushrooms or had a bad experience with zucchini. Can I offer you some sweet Ontario peaches, farm fresh blueberries and a little local whipped cream?
Peaches are in season right this minute and are a sweet & tasty crop this year. Forgive me, I have to say it: Go forth and peach-ify.
Now that I've shared mine - does anyone else have a signature pizza I should know about?