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Abrazos! xox Penny

Monday, April 11, 2011

Splendor by the Slice

Over the weekend, I watched Splendor in the Grass on TCM. While familiar with William Wordworth's lines in the poem, I had never seen the movie. It was hard to focus on the whole movie at times. Natalie Woods was so breath-takingly beautiful. Warren Beatty in his youth was quite handsome, too, but she really stole the show for me. Towards the end of the movie, where pizza makes its entrance, a light bulb went off that I had not yet shared some pizza news with you.

There are some great pizza places here at home: Za-Za's, Vino's, U.S. Pizza, Dam Goode Pies. In New York, there are tons of fabulous pizza places...all serving "Best in New York!" pizza, of course. I love Motorino's, Roberta's, Fornino's and while waiting for Lissa to go to grab a veg lunch, I stumbled across this beauty, John's. Not open yet, the owner saw me gawking in the windows and came out to talk to me. He invited me in to see his restaurant. Over 100 years old, the floors and wall murals were spectacular. The smells coming from the kitchen were, too, and I bet his pizza is fab (such a menu!!) and certainly among the "Best in New York!"

Here are some pictures of John's 100 year old floor and murals, one mural for every province in Italy with its matching coat of arms...

Near Mom, there is a pizza chain in strip malls, Michelangelo's, that we had passed by for years. Oh, big mistake that fortunately we corrected. Fabulous, fresh, savory, totally de-lish pizza with lots of delectable veg choices, which can be hard to find. Oh, my goodness...additionally fun because you can buy by the slice. For one who has trouble picking a whole pizza to try, that was a delicious solution for me. Check out their pizza case:

I had a slice of a broccoli-zucchini medley (shown on top of case) and mom had a salad slice and for our slice to share, we inhaled a basil pesto and tomato fantasy called "mama's favorite". It looked very much like the pizza coming hot from the oven to soothe Warren Beatty in the film.

Here is the closest recipe I can find to what mom's slice of pizza was...unusual and splendid by the slice...

Mom's Salad Pizza (a recipe morphed from Mom's stash of clippings and a "why don't we make it ourselves" pow-pow)

1 (12-inch) thin pizza crust, unbaked (G-F options are available, too. The key to this pizza is a very thin crust!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 cups arugula leaves or spinach leaves or combo
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 cup small grape cherry tomatoes (or larger ones, halved)
1/2 cup feta cheese or non-dairy cheese substitute
Dried and fresh basil, if desired

Brush crust with olive oil and sprinkle with dried basil if desired. Bake pizza crust until crisp and lightly browned. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Add the arugula, olives, tomatoes, and feta. Toss thoroughly. Scoop a generous amount of salad over pizza, top with fresh basil, if desired, cut into wedges and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Another idea would be to brush crust with pesto right before the end of the baking process.

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