This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you can look forward to the following offerings from Sweetwater Farm and Fair Valley Farm:
fresh spring garlic and Red Long of Tropea onions
kale, chard, collards, and a variety of lettuces
sunflowers and cardoon flowers
Last Sunday afternoon we decided to go to the Sunday evening concert series in Washburne Park to hear the Eugene Highlanders Pipe Band, because how better to enjoy bagpipes than in an expansive open field. I had a bowl of pizza dough rising, which I repurposed for a loose rendition of Marcella Hazan's Palermo stuffed pizza or sfinciuni. "A coarse version of sfinciuni is indistinguishable from pizza in appearance", writes Hazan scornfully, but a "finer and more fascinating rendition is known as sfinciuni di San Vito, after the nuns of the order who are credited with creating it. It has two thin, round layers of firm dough that enclose a stuffing --called the conza-- which is sealed all around." Long ago the name for this dish permuted in our household to "stuffuchini," which one must admit sounds both impressively Italian and evocative of the final stuffed product, without holding one to the high standards of the San Vito nuns.
I did not adhere to strict doctrine with my conza, but took inspiration from Hazan's broccoli and cheese sfinciuni, using Sweetwater's Tuscan kale sauteed with their beautiful lipstick peppers and Red Long of Tropea onions. For a side salad, I cooked green and yellow beans just until tender and tossed them with yellow tomatoes and fresh tarragon. The pizzas were still warm as we settled down to enjoy our multicultural picnic of stuffichini and bagpipes.
Kale and Pepper Stuffichini
adapted loosely from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
I used 1 recipe of Jim Layhey's no knead pizza dough, which made enough for a couple of large adult stuffed pizzas and two smaller kids' pizza pockets, but here is Hazan's sfinciuni dough
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups flour (you may need more)
Pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons whole milk
1. Dissolve the yeast in a mixing bowl in 1/4 cup of the water for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup flour and mix thoroughly. Add another 1/4 cup water, sugar, salt, olive oil, and milk. Mix together. Add the remaining 1/4 cup water and the remaining 1 cup of flour.
2. Knead by hand or in a mixer for 5-10 minutes. Add sprinkles of flour as needed. The dough will be soft but shouldn't be sticky.
3. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 3 hours, until doubled in volume.
1 bunch kale
1 sweet red pepper
1 sweet red onion
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus 1 more for assembling the pizza
red pepper flakes and salt to taste
1/4 cup white vermouth
2 Tbsp fresh bread crumbs, lightly toasted
~2 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1. Cut the kale leaves from the stems and chop into thin strips. Seed and dice the pepper. Peel and dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic cloves.
2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and saute the onions and red pepper until the start to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook a minute longer. Add the kale and red pepper flakes and salt and keep cooking until the kale has started to wilt. Add the vermouth and cook until it has evaporated. Remove from heat.
To assemble and bake the Stuffichini
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If using, place a pizza stone in the oven. Divide the dough into two balls (if using Lahey's pizza dough recipe, use about 2/3 for the stuffichini). On a floured surface, roll out one ball of dough into a 10 inch disc. Transfer to a cornmeal covered pizza peel or a cornmeal covered baking sheet.
2. Distribute 1 Tbsp of bread crumbs on the dough and drizzle on one tsp of olive oil. Spread the kale filling over the dough, followed by the mozzarella cheese, followed by another Tbsp of bread crumbs, and a drizzle of 2 more tsp olive oil. Roll out the second second ball of dough to a slightly larger circle. Place it over the stuffing and crimp the edges of the two circles of dough securely together, bringing the edge of the lower one up over that of the top one.
3. Brush the top of the dough with water, and then slide the stuffichini onto the preheated pizza stone, if using, or place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the dough is golden and hard. Let the pizza settle for a few minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Cut into pie-shaped wedges and serve.
Green Bean and Tomato Salad
Handful of green beans
Handful of yellow wax beans
2 medium yellow tomatoes or a dozen cherry tomatoes
1 bunch fresh tarragon
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste.
Trim the beans and blanch in salted boiling water just until tender, about four minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the vinaigrette of mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cut the beans lengthwise into thirds and toss in the vinaigrette. Cut the tomatoes into pieces and toss gently into the salad along with the fresh tarragon leaves.