Central Park Pizza
I made a crazy pizza last night that incorporates lots of ingredients I collected while on a foraging tour of Central Park with “Wildman” Steve Brill.
Here’s a breakdown of the most “local” pizza imaginable. Lamb’s quarters-laced ricotta cheese with field garlic and Jersey crushed tomato (not found in Central Park) topped with sheep sorel and finished with black nightshade-infused olive oil and a light dusting of sassafras root.
And here are some photos of the foraging/assembly of the pizza. First up is sheep sorrel, which has leaves that look like little sheep heads. They taste acidic, a bit like like lemonade.
These berries are in the nightshade family, so they are related to tomatoes. They grow wild in Central Park and have a sweet and tart flavor. It would be a great sauce if you could find enough of them, but it’s the end of the season so I could only grab five. In order to harness their flavor, I crushed them up and infused the flavor in some Coluccio and Sons Extra Virgin olive oil. The oil sat for about 12 hours and was used to dress the pie post oven.
This pie was a fun escape from standard ingredients and it actually tasted pretty damn good. Just be sure to consult a field guide before you go picking wild berries for your pizza!