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Black Trumpet, Leek, and Meyer Lemon Pizzettes, Things Worth Fighting For

The things we think we need aren’t always the ones we really want. Did you ever hear the story of a young couple in love, each of whom was trying to save up the funds to buy the other a beautiful gift? She had long beautiful hair, so he bought her an expensive hairbrush. Unbeknownst to him, she had chopped off all of her hair so she could afford to purchase a nice gift for him. In the end, they both ended up with things they didn’t need. That was the moral of the story, at least.

A few months ago, I was drinking tea with grandpa and he told me about his first trip outside of Russia. It was to visit my family after we had recently moved to Israel. Knowing I had an insatiable sweet tooth, my grandpa purchased some of my favorite chocolates to bring with him on the trip. And he bought my mom an exorbitantly expensive bottle of French perfume. The chocolates, he told me, were taken from him at customs without so much as an explanation. In the garbage they went. The perfume, he told me, was stashed in his suitcase. After a long journey, he finally arrived in a land most unfamiliar to him and discovered that the glass bottle broke in transit, spilling French oils mixed in alcohol all over his clothes. Naturally, having spent so much time and money to find and purchase these gifts, my grandpa was crushed.

I’ve thought of this story often in the weeks following. I get stuck on stories that way. I kept thinking about my grandpa, running all around the city by himself, trying to find a nice gift for my mom (his daughter-in-law). And how upset he probably was to see those chocolates, procured for his only granddaughter, being tossed aside by an empowered feeling individual who had no good reason to pick a fight. Thing is, my mom’s dresser is now filled with several French perfumes. And I have eaten more chocolate in my lifetime than I care to admit. But in that moment, that perfume and those chocolates. They seemed so important. As if they were my last chance to taste sweets and my mom’s only opportunity to enjoy such an extravagance.

That’s the thing about life. We don’t often know what we want when we want it. And we don’t know that something better can come along. And we don’t always know there’s a better day ahead. The things that we fight for, well, they might not be worth fighting for at all. But in our time, we have to be resolute.

The black trumpet mushroom looks like a chanterelle dipped in black ink. It’s rather striking, but perhaps fear-inducing in some. Yet, this little mushroom is quite tasty, and when you spot it (at a reputable grocer, please! unless you are an experience forager) I urge you to try it. You won’t find many recipes for it on the web, but I was inspired to make this pizza after having a similar flatbread at one of my favorite San Francisco restaurants, Contigo. Paired with buttery, sweet leeks, and my favorite pizza dough, ever, it’s worth every last bite.

Black Trumpet, Leek, and Meyer Lemon Pizzettes
*makes four pizzettes

1/3 pound of black trumpet mushrooms, cleaned
1 1/2 cups of thinly sliced leeks
2 tablespoons of butter
triple cream cheese (we used Mt. Tam)
salt and pepper, to taste
Meyer lemon zest
splash of white wine
olive oil
Parmesan cheese
1 recipe for pizza dough (from this recipe, using 2 cups of bread flour and 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)

1. While the pizza dough is rising, add 1 tablespoon of butter to a small saute pan and heat it over medium-high heat. Once it melts, add the leeks and cook, stirring until softened (about 8-10 minutes). Decrease the heat if necessary. Place a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven and heat your oven to 500 degrees F.
2. Transfer the leeks to a small bowl and deglaze the pan by adding a splash of wine and scraping up any brown bits.
3. Next, add another tablespoon of butter and let it melt over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, season with a bit of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes, until softened. Transfer the mushrooms to a separate bowl.
4. Divide the pizza dough into 4 equal sized balls and then stretch them out (follow the instructions in this recipe). Transfer the pizzettes to two pieces of parchment paper. Cover with towels and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
5. Brush the pizzettes with olive oil, then top evenly with leeks. Sprinkle with mushrooms. Transfer two of the pizzettes (on the parchment paper) to the pizza stone and bake for about 8 mins.
6. Top with slices of cheese (we used about 3-4 slices per pizzette) and bake for another minute to a minute and a half. While you prep the first two pizzettes, cook the rest.
7. Drizzle the pizzettes with olive oil, sprinkle with Meyer lemon zest and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Musical Pairings: Papercuts – You Can Have What You Want + Black Trumpet, Leek, and Meyer Lemon Pizzettes

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • I would like to name my first daughter Pizzette, after my love of pizza, and individualized meals. Hell yeah. This looks awesome.

  • Your paragraph describing “the thing about life” is perfectly phrased. Thank you–that was a good reminder for me today. Sometimes all we can do is be resolute; sometimes that is the very best and very right thing.

  • Sara Forte

    Yum! I have heard such wonderful things about Contigo and this looks fabulous! Any place to work in some Meyer lemon is a winner in my book. Sweet sentiment as well, my friend.

  • Ha! I do love the word ‘pizzette.’ Mini meals are really fun 🙂

  • Hi Stacy, I’m glad that the post came at a good time for you. We can’t always be perfect, and we’re not fortune tellers. Sometimes the best we can do is definitely the best for the day. xx

  • Girl, me and those meyer lemons. I have been buying them by the bagfuls…making preserved lemons, lemon curd, and adding juice and zest to EVERYTHING. Next time you come, we shall go to Contigo!

  • Meyer lemons are one of my favorite things! I eat them constantly while in season, preserve them for the rest of the year, and pine for them when I run out around October. The pizzettes look fantastique!

  • Your pizzettes are gorgeous! I can imagine that every new visit to Contigo provides oodles of inspiration. I very fondly remember our wonderful dinner there 🙂 It’s funny how these snippets of life and stories can stick with us. I hope to learn and grow from all of my snippets!

  • I remember our fabulous dinner fondly! It is true that the San Francisco restaurant scene is a great source of inspiration. And I agree, snippets of life stories are important mini-lessons in and of themselves. xo

  • I preserve mine, too, Jess! I keep trying to find more and more things to do with them. Yesterday, I made lemon curd. I need more ideas though!

  • I make a super-rich lemon ice cream with them that’s addictive. The recipe is from the London River Cafe Italian Two Easy cookbook, and I don’t even use an ice cream maker for it.

  • Gosh such lovely storytelling Kasey, and grandpa awww! so touching and real at that moment. Love these pizzettes, fantastic flavors.

  • absolutely amazing! The pizzettes look homy and delicious.

  • You are so sweet, thank you! I’m totally in love with your blog..Lovely to have you stop by!

  • Thank you! That’s one of my favorite thing about pizzas (and pizzettes): they’re so homey!

  • That sounds incredible, Jess! I will need to stake it out. I still remember my first time digging into some lemon gelato in Italy…I never thought I could love lemon ice cream as much as I did!

  • What a sweet story! Grandparents are the best 🙂 And I am VERY intrigued by this pizza crust…I think it will blow mine out of the water!

  • means so much, happy to have a bit of a connection going. You guys do great things! crushing crushing definitely.. 🙂

  • Guest

    Wow! I never though of putting lemon on pizza- Great idea! Thanks!

  • Grandparents are the best for sure! This is my go-to crust, and I must say it is truly fantastic. If you go the all-white flour route, it’s a little lighter…depends on what you’re looking for. Enjoy!

  • You’re welcome! It was an accidental discovery, and a happy one.

  • Hey guys, try this pizza dough recipe. This is the one. TMI maybe, but if you ever wanted to know about pizza crust, this is the place!

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