From the Syrah chapter of “100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love” by Jill Silverman Hough (Wiley, 2010)
Italian dry salami has a beautiful affinity to Syrah. Both are meaty, rich, peppery, and the slightest bit herbal. It’s a match made in heaven. (For more about Syrah, read this post.)
Here, the flavors of the salami are complemented by rosemary and basil. Softly sweet and creamy, fresh mozzarella adds a nice counterpoint.
Serves 4 to 8
- One 12-ounce pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese (about 1 ounce)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 16 to 18 thin slices Italian dry salami (2 to 3 ounces)
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 12 to 16 whole fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven, along with a pizza stone if you have one, to 500°F.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll or stretch the dough out to a 12- to 14-inch round. Transfer the dough to a pizza pan or a flour- or cornmeal-dusted pizza paddle. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with the Asiago cheese and rosemary. Top with the salami and mozzarella cheese. Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pizza is golden and crisp.
Sprinkle the pizza with the basil, cut into wedges, and serve.
FOOD AND WINE TIP The big tannins of Syrah are complemented by nuts that are also high in tannins, like walnuts. Try a few sprinkled on top of the pizza with the basil. It’s a little kooky—but it’s good!