Prosciutto, Arugula and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza


After a sodden spring, the first weekend in June finally brought relentless, welcome sunshine. Our grapevines grew inches overnight, the hydrangeas went bonanza, all my spring garden greens looked like they were ready to bolt, and the change of season was upon us. If we could brave the mosquitoes, it was high time to dine outside.

We invited my husband’s distant cousin and his family over for dinner. Cousin Glenn was born in the north of England, went to university in Japan where he met his willowy and shockingly tall Japanese wife, and was newly stationed in San Francisco at the French consulate. They have a beautiful toddler son to whom they speak French and Japanese, so it was a multicultural evening indeed.

Pizza is the ultimate cross cultural bridge, and homemade pizza fired on the grill provides some hands on entertainment when language fails us. So, we made pizzas together, and talked about France and Japan, parks and Japanese mommy groups (who knew?) in San Francisco. And of course wine, proving once again that wine is the grownup glue that holds us all happily together.
I’ll show you how to make your own pizza dough here, and I encourage you to seek out some 00 flour from Italy. If you can’t find it, don’t worry, all purpose flour will be just fine. But the 00 flour allows you to roll that pizza dough out extra thin, and the crust results in that perfect nirvana of crunchy and chewy. We paired our pizza with our newly released Hanna 2006 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with its up front fruit and velvety tannins. We pronounced it all delicious in every language.

INGREDIENTS

Prosciutto, Arugula and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
One 12-in round Pizza Dough (recipe follows)
6 paper thin slices of prosciutto
4 oz sliced fresh mozzarella
2 cups arugula

Pizza Dough
Makes four 12-in rounds

1/2 cup plus 3/4 cup warm (105° to 115°F) water
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups 00 flour or all-purpose flour
1 tbsp salt

DIRECTIONS
Prosciutto, Arugula and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza


Preheat a gas grill/barbecue to the highest temperature possible, or prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill/barbecue. Place dough round on a floured pizza peel.

In a small bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Brush the garlic oil liberally over the entire dough round. Scatter the cheese slices evenly over the dough. Place the prosciutto slices evenly over the dough and then scatter arugula evenly over the dough.

Place the dough directly on the grill, cover, and cook until the crust is browned and the cheese is bubbling, about 5 minutes.

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main course.


Pizza Dough

Measure the 1/2 cup/120 ml warm water into a 2-cup/480-ml glass measure. Sprinkle the yeast over, stir to dissolve, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the 3/4 cup/180 ml warm water and the oil.
Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture and process for several minutes until the dough forms a sticky ball.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead several times until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a large, well-oiled bowl and turn to coat the dough completely with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled. If not using the dough immediately, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 pieces. Roll and press into as many 12-in/30.5-cm rounds needed.




WINE PAIRING
Pair with HANNA 2006 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon