I think the talk of authenticity in today's global culture is just funny. Food is constantly changing and evolving and it was doing that since the beginning of time. The real question is whether your dish has integrity or not. Integrity means different things to different people. To me it means that only the taste was taken into account when a dish was created -- not nutritional value, not the speed of preparation, and not minimizing special equipment or skill. For example, if you buy a pre-baked crust in the store, top it with Prego Tomato Sauce, and sprinkle it with cheese, you've got yourself a pizza, but I doubt it would have much integrity.
My rhubarb pizza was born in my last pizza class. After 4 savory pizzas, we were ready for a change. In each class, we experiment with some sweet topping. So far, we've tried apples with cinnamon, kumquats (tiny sour oranges) with rosemary, and rhubarb with pistachios. All have been well received, but my favorite was rhubarb. I made it for my family yesterday with the addition of a few kumquats.
1 recipe pizza dough (start this a day ahead)
8 oz rhubarb (about 2 large sticks), trimmed and sliced extremely thin on a diagonal
3 kumquats, sliced thin, seeds removed
1 oz (about 2 Tbsp) sugar, plus more for sprinkling before baking
1/8 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp roasted pistachios, chopped
- Follow procedure for preheating the oven and shaping the dough
- In a small bowl, combine rhubarb, kumquats, 1 oz sugar and cinnamon. Toss to combine and let sit at least 15 minutes. Rhubarb will release a lot of liquid.
- When the stone has been preheating for 30 minutes, gently squeeze handfuls of rhubarb and kumquats and spread on top of the shaped pizza dough. Don't discard the sweet liquid, it's delicious reduced to a syrup and added to drinks or used on top of yogurt. Sprinkle the pizza with additional tablespoon of sugar and bake according to instructions in the pizza recipe.
- Sprinkle with pistachios and serve immediately. It's best hot.