Good morning. The theory of pizza cognition tells us that an individual’s first and primary source of pizza — say, Joe and Pat’s on Staten Island in New York; the California Pizza Kitchen in Alpharetta, Ga.; the frozen aisle at Vons in California; a House of Pizza in Massachusetts; the No Name Pub in the Florida Keys; Buddy’s in Detroit; or Domino’s anywhere — is the pizza that will become that person’s inner optimum, the pizza against which all others are judged.
That may not be fair. Tastes can be learned and unlearned. I grew up on slice pizza but now harbor a deep love of pan pizza, which I couldn’t have imagined when I was small. We’re always evolving in taste and discernment. And so I’m going to explore Dawn Perry’s recipes for French bread pizza this evening with an open mind: a pepperoni lover’s (above), a four-cheese, and a pesto and mozzarella.
Or, as Dawn suggested, I might freestyle: “Thinly sliced red onion adds bite, hot chile or a pinch of red-pepper flakes cuts the richness of the cheese in almost every case. Dried oregano and grated Parmesan lend pizzeria vibes, while fresh basil brightens things up.” Here we go!
Other things to cook in coming days: Melissa Clark’s new recipe for a mushroom and farro gratin, Tejal Rao’s adaptation of the recipe for spicy and tingly beef from Xi’an Famous Foods in New York, Julia Moskin’s recipe for salty-sweet peanut butter sandies.
And it’s been some time since I enjoyed roast marrow bones with parsley salad, so maybe that as well. Likewise this vegan tantanmen with pan-fried tofu. And sheet-pan Cajun salmon would be very nice, I think, some night when I don’t make this butternut squash and green curry soup.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with stocking your pantry or the relative merits of an air fryer, but I loved this collection of articles the editors of Popular Mechanics put together to celebrate the magazine’s 120th anniversary: “Our Favorite Stories.” What an archive.
Finally, here’s Mitski with “Love Me More,” a single from her forthcoming album, “Laurel Hell.” Listen to that, nice and loud, and I’ll be back on Friday.