So I think I’m in a summer slump. It’s been hot. I’ve had multitude of work projects and social obligations (a.k.a. daydrinking). I’m repairing my twisted pelvis by hitting the chiro and wearing orthopedic inserts and Birkenstocks. Don’t get me started – I went with the flip-flop variety. I had to put my old sad car, Stalling Stan, down and purchase a new one. It’s not a bad thing, but all of this insanity is making me kind of cranky and tired. I have not been cooking as much at home and therefore, don’t have many new concoctions to share. I don’t even have a picture of this dish because I cleaned up my camera’s memory card in anticipation of my upcoming trip and this past Sunday’s Jazz on the Pond concert starring John Legend. So I apologize for the lack of food visual, but I’ll make it up to you with some delicious pics of Mr. Legend.
Jazz on the Pond is an intimate backyard concert and annual fundraiser produced by The Belasco Foundation and held on Cranberry Pond, north of Rochester, New York. Proceeds benefit the Eastman School of Music’s Jazz Studies program. Through the years, the concert has contributed to many scholarships for Eastman School students, many of whom have played at the concert. In addition to the aforementioned talented students, some major acts such as Chaka Khan, Jeffrey Osborne and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind, and Fire have performed at the venue. Whether you are a huge fan of jazz or not, the experience is like nothing else. This year’s concert headliner was our friend here, Mr. John Legend, and featured Bitchin Kitchen, Everette Harp and Rick Braun. There was also a surprise classical piece performed by an amazing violinist, Elizabeth Pitcairn, on the legendary “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius. With all of this talent at a private backyard concert, you might think that you’d feel out-of-place, but it’s actually quite the opposite: friendly, welcoming, laid back, casual, with plenty of food and beverages flowing freely. If you are in the Rochester area next summer, do yourself a favor and get a ticket – you won’t regret it. At all.
So I whipped this pizza up about a week or so ago. It’s kind of French-Riviera inspired. If you aren’t into Herbes de Provence, no worries. Simply substitute with your favorite infused oil and herbs (basil, oregano, etc.)
“Lazy” Sensory’s Save Room for my Pizza
1 pizza shell (I used that Wegmans whole wheat Naan like in the last pizza recipe)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
salt, to taste
1 tbsp Herbes de Provence olive oil
3 heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced – get some funky colors if you can (Green Zebra, Brandywine red or yellow, Cherokee purple, Black Krim, etc.)
3 oz pizza cheese (mozzarella & provolone mix – shredded)
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. I used my pizza stone again. Place your shell on the stone. Press three cloves of garlic into a small prep bowl and mix with 1 tbsp Herbes de Provence infused oil and add salt to taste. This forms the base for the pizza. Brush it onto the pizza shell in an even layer. Then sprinkle with about half of the pizza cheese (1.5 oz). Sprinkle the teaspoon of Herbes de Provence over the layer of cheese, then arrange the tomato slices so they look pretty and then finish with the remaining shredded cheese, about 3 tbsp of Parmesan, and cracked pepper to taste. Bake the pizza in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on it. Remove from the oven, slice, and enjoy. Then watch this clip that I shot of the finale. Or, simply visit this site for much more professional-looking videos, information on Jazz on the Pond, and how you can have a great time and support education for young musicians.