These are the best days of summer. Slathering on sunscreen and donning straw hats, braving the weather and bee stings to gather up baskets full of juicy purple treasure.
The heat radiates in jittery waves off the nearby pavement, hot dust clouding up each time a car passes. The berries, baking in the sun, perfume the air all around, and you pick and pick until you can’t reach any more without coming perilously close to meeting your end in the neverending tangled web of thorns.
By the end of the day everything’s stained a dark wine hue: fingers, lips, countertops, cheesecloth… And it’s all in the pursuit of that taste of summer: the blackberry.
I can’t believe how early they ripen in Seattle! Or how little attention people pay to them. Oh well, more for me!
I came across this pizza recipe on The Food Charlatan, tried it out, and I am going to make it again! It takes literally 20 minutes (if you don’t take photos, heh) and it is scrumptious. I tweaked it a bit from the original recipe, leaving out the green onions and salt (a first for me!), and adding little dollops of goat cheese.
- pizza dough (here’s a recipe, I used store bought, don’t kill me!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh blackberries, smashed
- 3/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
- 3/4 cup ricotta
- 2 tablespoons soft goat cheese
- 1/2 cup blackberries, whole
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- fresh ground pepper and salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. If you are fancy and have a pizza stone, put it in the oven.
- Roll out pizza dough on sheet of parchment to about 12 inches, depending on how thick you want your crust. If using a pizza pan, transfer crust into it at this stage.
- Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the entire crust, including the edges.
- Mash up half a cup of blackberries in a bowl. Spoon the pulp onto the crust, and spread it evenly over the crust (this is basically the pizza sauce!)
- Sprinkle the pizza with the parmesan and mozzarella cheese, all the way out to the edge of the crust.
- Use a spoon, or your fingers to put dollops of ricotta and goat cheese over the crust. I tried for quarter-sized dollops for ricotta, and pea-sized dots of goat cheese (it depends on how strong of a goat cheese flavor you want, the particular cheese I had was mild, so I put lots of dots!)
- The best part: top with whole fresh blackberries.
- Put pizza in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown. You can broil it for up to a minute, if desired.
- After pizza has cooled a tiny bit, add fresh ground pepper and sprinkle with roughly chopped basil and serve!
I just have to rave about the ricotta I used for this recipe. Usually we get whatever vaguely Italian stuff they have in the cheese section of Fred Meyer, but for the pre-made pizza dough I had to go to Metropolitan Market, and I came upon this ricotta instead (next to the irresistibly knobbly mozzarella I also got). It’s farm fresh, and you can SO tell. It’s Bellwether Farms hand-dipped whole milk ricotta, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.