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Pizza: Wood Fire Oven

I was very fortunate to be invited out to an incredible ranch in Montana for a few weeks in the summer. It was a great chance not only to experience ranch life, but to truly focus on cooking, and cooking only. Dinners were the main event every night, and I didn’t want to disappoint any guests. The kitchen I was able to work in has quickly climbed the ranks to my favorite place to cook, period. One of the main features, was a beehive structure just outside the kitchen door which functioned as a wood fired oven. My host was eager to use the oven in any meal. We had done a few things hear and there, but we scheduled in a serious Pizza night early in the week. Pizza making is all about prep. Sauces, cheese, toppings, herbs and dough has to be all ready before the cooking commences. A wood fire oven reaches around 1000* F and cooks the pizza in about 90 seconds. So in short, you have to be ready!

I had prepped out a few different salsas, and a ton of toppings so we could have a good variety of tastes. There was one pizza however, that we made a couple times because it was just so good. Moving away from the traditional tomato sauce and mozzarella, I used a parsley and basil pesto as a base, and this delicious gorgonzola from a local purveyor. The salty and savory needed a touch of sweet, so I also added some fresh slices of apricot. Not only did this add incredible flavor, but also a beautiful color contrast.