When making Ultimate Pizza fresh ingredients are one of the most crucial elements. I already went over the preparation of the Dough, the Pesto, and the Sauce. Now I’ll cover the bulk of the shopping and for toppings.
I get most of my “fancy” condiments at Bay Cities Italian Deli and Bakery. This is a convient one-stop-shop spot for all sorts of Italian (and other) goodies.
I have never been in there when they aren’t mobbed. The deli counter wait alone is usually 30-45 minutes.
They make some darn good hoagies, and they have a bit of outside seating. Even though it’s December 31 the weather is gorgeous.
I had them make a “Jersey Style” Italian Hoagie. No mayo. No mustard. Just cold cuts, provolone, and oil and vinegar. Oh and don’t forget the onions, lettuce, pepper-chinos.
I went to the Gelsons for produce. Bay cities doesn’t really have produce.
The loot nestled in the trunk. This is pizza only for five!
Dairy. Next after the dough, and possibly the olive oil, nothing is so important as the dairy. Burrata, world’s greatest fresh cheese, fresh from the local creamery. Mozzarella (balled and blocks from shredding), Creme Fraiche, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Ricotta, Bay Cities House Blend (parm and pecorino grated), and Bucheron (very fancy goat cheese). I threw in some Egg Nog because of the season.
Some jarred and canned stuff. Anchovies (in vinegar and in oil), black truffle oil, Italian tuna, capers, roasted peppers, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, tomatoes, various compotes, jams, corn (sometimes I’ll roast it fresh but I was too busy), and more.
Polenta to use as “pizza lube” (getting it off the stones and peels). Olive Oil (single vineyard), balsamic must (the Romans used this), honey, garlic, vinegars, onion marmelade, balsamic glaze, black mission figs, marcona almonds. I have white truffle oil too, but I forgot to stick it in the photo.
Produce. Five types of mushrooms, including morels and fresh chanterelles. Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Chives, Dill, Sage, Cilantro, Mint, Arugala, crushed red pepper.
More produce. Italian squash. Red onion, avocado, lemons, meyer lemons, roma tomatos.
Every item needs to be prepped and put in a bowl or similar so it is accessible during the pizza making. Here is the basil. In total, this is a huge amount of work.
Mozzarella is grated.
Arugala is coated in Meyer Lemon and fresh ground pepper.
Dried mushrooms rehydrated, fresh ones washed.
White asparagus boiled and blanched.
In aggregate, this prep takes 2-3 hours, even after all the shopping. The the above is just a sampling of photos.
Here is the complete spread prior to guest arrival.