The formal name is crostini, but consider this the best pizza-ish-y dinner you will have sans pizza dough. Sans rise times. Sans yeast. Sans waiting. Don’t get me wrong, the pizza version will knock your socks off, but I just happened to have twice the amount of spinachy artichoke goodness with only one ball of boozy crust meaning, meaning I got to plan out the method in which we destroyed (because we in fact did) the toppings. As a dip with some chips, or piled on pita bread — excellent. By itself with perhaps a poached egg on top (creamed spinach style) — outstanding. Slathered on thick pieces of french bread that have been placed under the broiler until golden brown and crunchy with extra cheese melted until blistery and brown on top — I don’t have words people.
What did I do today? The second official day of fall that hit a record 90 degrees? A day so hot that it is scorching leaves and causing them to fall into my yard brown and crunchy instead of changing beautiful colors and staying on the trees for at least another month? Well, smart me, made spezzatino. Why? Because I like how it sounds. Say it with me. Spezzatino. Spezzatino. Spezz-a-tin-o. Fun right? Yeah, apparently I prefer to base my comfort level on the way a food is pronounced rather than the hot flashes that will ensue.
I have no idea if I am an artichoke lover or hater. I’ve actually tried to avoid finding out if the heart of this vegetable is something I really want to fall in love with. My first encounter was with a spinach artichoke dip. Good? Definitely, especially when it is a spinach artichoke fondu, but can I really base my like or dislike of something when it is drowning in a vat of cheese? I think not. It was not until a recent trip with some girlfriends at a pizza joint that it occurred to me to give artichokes a chance. Each of us being famished beyond reason, ordered an individual pizza telling each other we would “share” – I being the only one mumbling those words under my breath hoping no one would want an absurd pizza with four different kinds of mushrooms and three varieties of cheese, a girls gotta have her priorities and limits when it comes to sharing, right?
Well after putting in our order, we saw tucked behind the napkins and salt and pepper shakers a little side menu that talked of a spinach artichoke pizza. We all quickly discussed the possibilities of changing our order to include such a pizza, but it was a fleeting thought as they brought out all six pizzas not but five minutes later. Ever since, I have had a craving for this pizza. I don’t even know what it is suppose to taste like, but I imagine a cheesy dip filled with artichoke hearts and garlicky spinach spread onto flat bread and baked until the edges are crispy and golden. This was a pizza to be desired.