Pizza Pairing: A Not Entirely Surprising Result - Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club Blog at - 276327

Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club

pizza pairing: a not entirely surprising result 
May 29, 2012 5:37 pm 
Updated: Jul. 19, 2012 11:33 am
This one went pretty much as expected, with one suprise. And let me just say, we make a lot of pizza around here, but this was a real stand out, definitely top three best pizzas of all time. And there was some loose, mouth-full talk around the table that it was possibly the best ever. The pizza in question was Chef John's Asparagus, Ham, Ricotta Pizza. We mixed in a little crème fraiche with the ricotta white sauce and had some prosciutto lying around and we flash-blasted the asparagus in the 550 oven before adding it to the pie. And we also had some fresh mozzarella to use up instead of white Cheddar.

Phenomenal. I want this again tonight.

For the wine, we chose a Chardonnay from Oregon, a sauvignon blanc from Chile, and a Riesling from Washington. The sauvignon blanc seemed the most obvious match. It’s the go-to varietal for pairing with asparagus, a vegetable that can often put the funk to your wine. And oh yes, the sauvignon blanc was indeed beautiful: crisp, grassy, brightly addressing the best that this crème fraiche-based pizza had to offer. I loved it.

The Chardonnay was also bright enough and could deal with the asparagus. Actually, none of these whites clattered against the asparagus. The Riesling made the grade as well. So NO FAILS here, but of the three the sauvignon blanc just stood out. It was also smashingly successful with the simple green salad we had with a fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing. A nice wine. (And, incidentally, I think the key to making salads go well with white wine is to make a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. Can’t fail.)

But here’s the surprising thing. Just for kicks, because the wine was open and half-drunk and sitting there on the table, we poured a smidge of Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red, and I will be dipped in butter if that was not also shockingly good with this pizza! To be fair, I have not been able to find anything that clashes with Firehouse Red. It is a redonkulously food-friendly red wine.

It’s true, I’ll use any excuse to drink red wine, but this pizza was the exception that proves the rule; it was just crying out for white. So I had my sip or three of Firehouse Red, and then recorked the red and went back to the sauvignon blanc.
chef john's ham, asparagus pizza & some winning whites
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May 30, 2012 7:32 am
I love lemon in any salad dressing or vinaigrette. The pizza sounds delicious!
May 31, 2012 9:42 am
our garden has exploded with asparagus this year....i think i have all of these items to make the pizza, and maybe the wine as well! thanks for the tips!
May 31, 2012 9:44 am
you should drop your photo on the recipe page....
May 31, 2012 6:53 pm
good idea, njmom. I think I will. Thanks!
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About Me
My wife and I and our two devilish kittens live on Capitol Hill in Seattle. A few years ago, I got a masters in gastronomy. I'm a food/wine writer. I’m also blogging about cocktails.
My favorite things to cook
We cook fairly simple dishes using fresh local ingredients that we pick up at the Seattle farmers market. My favorite thing is making a nice slow-braised or long-roasted something on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I like cooking with wine (in the dish and in the glass...and in the cook).
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom never liked to cook, but she did well despite herself. Her mother, my omi, was from Munich and made delicious rouladen, sauerbraten and other traditional German and American dishes. Always bins and bins of home-baked cookies at Christmas. Wonderful rye bread. And beer. Opa would say, "Brotzeit ist die beste zeit."
My cooking triumphs
We’ve made the signature timpano dish from The Big Night a couple times. And for Thanksgiving 2007, we made Turducken. My wife and I are always volunteering to cook the big holiday meals with the family. We mix a signature cocktail, and get down to it.
My cooking tragedies
I made Thanksgiving Dinner for myself once when I was snowed-in in Denver. I nearly burned down the neighborhood.
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