The lovely thing about this time of year and living where I live is that I can get excellent ingredients at a fantastic price and cook in or outdoors. Tonight’s dinner was informed almost entirely by what is on sale or in season. I keep meaning to do a post about food shopping, but I rarely go to supermarkets anymore. Maybe once a month i’ll go stock up on protiens, but my weekly shopping happens at specialty stores and markets like East Village Cheese Shop and the Hudson Farmer’s Market (don’t worry, they do have food and not just palm crosses).

Serrano Ham -$2.99
Taleggio Cheese – $1.56  (1/2 lb at $2.99 /lb)
Roma Tomatoes – $.79 / lb
Basil – $1.99
Pizza Dough – $.98

Start by firing up your handy dandy grill and let that warm up while you prep your toppings. This is gonna go reallly fast so have everything chopped and set or you’ll end up with burned dough and cold cheese. Chop the ham, slice the tomato and cheese.Variations on a theme: If you’re sensitive to salt or like a strong sweet/salty contrast, consider adding ricotta,
subbing out the tomatoes for roasted red peppers, and / or drizzling with balsamic vinegar.

Because taleggio is a soft cheese, it melts beautifully. It’s flavorful and creamy enough that it can become a sauce of sorts. Form your dough into the size and shape of choice. Personally, I couldn’t find my rolling pin  prefer a more organic, hand formed crust. Brush with olive oil and grill. Flip when you get some browning and grill marks;  this is when the magic happens. Because we’re going sauce-less, we need the cheese to go down first to hold the rest of the toppings to the dough.  Layer the topings, then close the lid on the grill and let all those flavors get friendly.

Fragrant, earthy cheese. Fresh, sweet tomatoes. Herbacious basil. Tender, salty Serrano ham.
Small amounts of big flavors. Ya’ll the whole thing cost around $1.30 and took around 10 minutes. 

Less than two dollars for a fresh and flavorful thin crust pizza. It would have cost at least 10x that if you ordered out.
No more excuses, friends. Treat your palate, your body, and your wallet right. You’ll be happy you did.

Si va mangiare ora, ci vediamo la prossima volta. Baci!
(You go eat now, I’ll see you next time. Kisses!)