Pizza Express

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A couple of weeks ago I was talking to my little brother about the food options in Scotland, and he was horrified that there were not that many good pizza places. Before speaking to him, I had only eaten from the local St Andrews Dominos to fill my Italian cravings.

So, I rounded up a friend and we headed to try Pizza Express, an Italian chain in the UK.

I ordered the Fiorentina, which consisted of spinach, free-range egg, mozzarella, tomato, garlic oil and black olives, and finished with Gran Milano cheese.

This was obviously much better than Dominos, and the salty olives reminded me of Bertucci’s back at home.  However, the dough was quite thick, and next time I think I will get their Romana style, which is stretched thinner.  The atmosphere was family friendly, and it was nice seeing kids running around with their parents.

You can make reservations online, to make sure that you get a table.

Up next on my list of restaurants to try is Little Italy, the last Italian restaurant left in St Andrews!

 

 

 

Don’t Be Blue: Food Edition

Pizza.  A hot, cheesy, saturated, carbo loaded, all American meal.  An easy crowd pleaser, it shows up at birthday parties, casual gatherings, meetings, and early mornings after a night out.  While I am all in support of a $5 cheese pie at Comellas, we are here today to talk about the finer things in life: Pizza with prosciutto, fig, and blue cheese to be exact.

Over the past several months I have sampled three varieties of this pizza to show you its whereabouts in Boston because it is one of my favorite combinations.  We will take a look at Locale in the North End, Figs in Beacon Hill, and Teatro in the Theatre District.

Locale 

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Out of all three restaurants this was my favorite.  The pizza was called Parma Due and had Prosciutto, Arugula, Mission Figs, and Gorgonzola.  The crust was thick enough to support all of the ingredients, while still being thin enough to keep a good dough to topping ratio.  None of the ingredients overpowered each other, while allowed the flavor combinations to meld well.  The prosciutto had a salty bite, the blue cheese added a funky rich note, the figs a sweet punch, and the arugula brought freshness to the dish.  However, what really set this pizza apart was the bottle of balsamic glaze the waitress brought to the table to drizzle on top.  Reduced balsamic vinegar brings a deeply sweet, slightly acidic flavor, which balanced the rich blue cheese very well.

Figs 

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Pardon me for the less than stellar picture quality, but the lighting in Figs made it difficult, and I remember being very hungry, so my patience was not at its highest level.  Figs had a much thinner crust than Locale, and the fig and blue cheese were almost combined together like a spread before the pizza was baked off.  This pizza did not have any balsamic reduction to top it off, but the flavor profiles of the prosciutto, blue cheese, and fig were spot on.  Fig’s atmosphere was also the best out of all three restaurants.  Located on Charles St. our party was seated looking outside of a beautiful window, greeted with old brick buildings, Christmas lights, and people passing by.  Figs’ small size creates a very romantic and intimate feel, but also makes it hard to get a table, so make sure that you get there early.

Teatro

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Lastly comes Teatro’s pizza, but don’t get me wrong it was still a stellar pie!  The presentation of this pizza was probably my favorite, and when it came to the table it really looked like a work of art.  The reason this was my lowest ranking was because the blue cheese flavor was not that strong and was lost among the salty prosciutto and sticky fig jam.  The blue cheese was actually labeled Gorgonzola Crema on the menu, which may explain the diluted flavor since it was transformed into more of a sauce.  As a side note you must order the parmesan truffle fries at Teatro.  To die for.

I hope you try all of these wonderful spots in Boston and let me know where your favorite pizza places are!

Crazy Dough’s Pizza

Spoon University just drafted another Sweet Olympia writer to join their forces.  Similar to my partner in crime Sarah, I shall be writing for the Boston College chapter, highlighting the best eats on and off campus.  My first article was reviewing a fantastic pizza place located steps away from campus, called Crazy Dough’s.

Check out my article below and look at all the other BC posts.  We launched today!

This Underrated Joint Has the Best Pizza Near BC’s Campus

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Kale, Sweet Potato, Red Onion Pizza

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I would say this is one of the tastiest pizzas I’ve ever had. I adapted this recipe for Kristine’s Kitchen.

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes, sliced into thin rounds

1 red onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ball pizza dough

1 mozzarella ball, sliced

2 cups kale, chopped

5 ounces goat cheese

1/2 tsp of Salt

1/4 tsp of Pepper

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine the sweet potato slices, red onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Then spread the contents of the bowl on a baking sheet. Cook the vegetables for 20 minutes, or until roasted.

Roll out the pizza dough. Add the sliced mozzarella. Then spread the roasted sweet potatoes and onion evenly. Add the kale. And then the goat cheese.

Cook at 425 F for 15 minutes.

 

Pizza Margherita

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More Pizza! My sister made this one because this is one of her favorite types of pizza. Once again we used the multi-grain pizza dough from Whole Foods, which was delicious. The quantities of ingredients you would need for this pizza depend on how large you want it to be, so it’s up to you. But here are the quantities she used:

2 mozzarella balls

1/2 a  jar of tomato sauce

1 pizza dough

3 large tomatoes

1 tsp of thyme

Roll out the dough. Spread the tomato cause evenly over the dough. Then add the sliced tomatoes and the sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle with thyme. Cook in the oven at 430 F for 12 minutes.

 

 

Spinach Pesto Pizza

Pizza is one of my favorite foods and I love how you can cater it to specific preferences to make people feel special!  For example, I am a big pesto fan and use it instead of the traditional red sauce.  Feel free to make your own dough, but I buy it from Bertuccis.  Whole Foods also has pre-made pizza dough or you could try your local pizzeria.

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Spinach Pesto Pizza (1 serving)

ball of dough to form 8 in pizza

1 tablespoon pesto

1-2 oz. feta cheese

1/2 cup spinach

4 kalamata olives pitted, roughly chopped

flour for dusting

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Using your fingertips spread the dough onto a baking sheet until you reach desired thickness.  I found sprinkling flour on the dough as well as the sheet helps.

Spread the pesto over the dough.  Add the spinach.  Sprinkle on the olives and cheese.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the dough is cooked through.  It took me around 15-20 minutes.

Cheddar, Mushroom, Scallion Pizza

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Yet another pizza recipe inspired by my sister. She loves cheddar and mushrooms so this one was a must. We used the Whole Foods multigrain crust again and it was very tasty. This one is a little bit more time consuming than the other tomato pizza because you have to caramelize the onions before putting them on the pizza. But overall, still a very quick, easy process!

Ingredients

4 scallions (finely chopped)

1 cup of cheddar cut into small cubes (more or less depending on how much you want)

12 small mushrooms (finely chopped)

1 onion

Teragon

Salt and Pepper

Directions

Chop the onion in the small pieces. Put the onions a hot pan with some olive oil to caramelize. Cook them until they are golden brown.

Spread out the dough.

Sprinkle the chopped scallions, leaving a 1 inch margin of dough on the outside. (This is so that you can fold it over at the end to have a really thick crust).

Then add the cheddar cubes, the sliced mushrooms, and the caramelized onions.

Sprinkle some teragon on top.

Fold over the edges of the dough for a nice, thick crust.

Cook in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees F.

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Tomato, Pesto, and Basil Pizza

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My sister actually came up with this wonderful pizza.  Pesto, tomato, and basil always taste great together, so naturally we expected this pizza to be scrumptious. And it was! It looks like a dish because we folded the edges over the tomatoes – this made for a really thick crust, which is basically my favorite part of all pizzas (Don’t worry, the ingredients are good too). For the pizza dough, we used the multi-grain one from Whole Foods. We had never tried it before, and we were pleasantly surprised. It had a lot of flavor and was perfectly crunchy. I would definitely recommend  trying this pizza dough!

Ingredients

3 large tomatoes

1/2 cup of pesto

1/2 cup of diced tomatoes (in a jar)

Tarrago (as much or as little as you want, depending on how much you like it)

Basil (as much or as little as you want, depending on how much you like it)

Cheese (we used swiss, but mozzarella would work well too)

Directions

Lay out the dough.

Spread the pesto on the dough, leaving a one inch margin around the edge.

Add the diced tomatoes and then put the fresh tomatoes (sliced) on top, maintaining the margin of dough.

Sprinkle on the basil and the tarragon and then sprinkle with cheese.

Add salt and pepper.

Fold over the edges of the dough.

Put the pizza in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. And enjoy!

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Otto Pizza

Alright, big declaration ahead.  Otto is one of my favorite pizzerias I have ever been to.  They use creative, wholesome ingredients and I can always count on their consistency.  I especially love their Otto four cheese and three cheese tortellini slices. They started out in Portland, ME and have branched out with 4 locations around Boston.  I first tried Otto in the Harvard Square location and have been hooked ever since.  Although the pizza is more expensive than most, it is a great way to treat yourself every now and then.  You can order take-out (which is what I usually do) or eat at one of their locations.  I most recently had their tortellini pizza (see below) and it was everything I expected.  The sweetness from the tomato sauce paired with a thin, yet substantial crust completely highlighted the savory tortellini and fresh cheese.  Enjoy!

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