Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pizza with Cherries, Honey and Gorgonzola

I didn't wake up this morning planning to extract DNA from strawberries. Believe it or not. 

Apparently strawberries have extra large DNA, so that inside each cell there are 8 copies of each chromosome instead of just one. 

So, when you crush up the strawberries, mix them with a DNA extractor (can be purchased or made simply with soap and salt), and then strain them through a filter, you're left with this strawberry goo. The DNA in strawberries is insoluble in ethanol, particularly in really cold ethanol. 

We poured that cold ethanol in slowly. The white DNA threads formed into these cotton-like fibers, and they clung together. We lifted them out and got these long, globby strands of DNA. 

Don't worry. This pizza has nothing to do with strawberry DNA. 

But it has everything to do with trying something new. 

Our Super Bowl party a few weeks back was really an eating party. We made pizzas, salsas, potato chip cookies, mulled wine, and raw kale salad. We agreed to talk only during the game and to stay quiet during the commercials. We had our priorities. 

We made pizzas inspired by Paulie Gee's, a pizza restaurant I've never visited. Our first was pretty standard. Mozzarella cheese sprinkled over a pizza crust rubbed with olive oil. We cooked it until the cheese was blistery, and then we topped it with a light salad of arugula and olive oil. It's one of my favorites. Simple. Fresh. 

But then, we tried their Cherry Jones. Two cheeses--mozarella and gorganzola. Topped with dried cherries and drizzled with local honey when it came out of the oven. 

This one was divine. The complex flavor of the gorganzola cheese contrasted perfectly with the sweetness of the cherries. The drizzle of honey finished it off perfectly. 

It's better as a second pizza if you're making two. It might be hard to eat several slices of. But it's fantastic. 

Cranberry, Honey and Gorganzola Pizza

1 recipe pizza dough (Here's my favorite!) 
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup dried cherries (whole if they're small; chopped if they're larger) 
2 tablespoons honey 

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. 

Thinly spread your pizza dough onto a baking sheet dusted with flour or your pizza peel (I was visiting someone's house when I made this, but I think it would be delicious on a pizza stone). 

Top the pizza dough with grated mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the blue cheese evenly over the top of the pizza. Top with dried cherries. 

Bake at 500 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, checking regularly and removing when the crust is golden brown and the cheese is browned and bubbly. 

Remove the pizza from the oven and drizzle with honey. Slice and serve immediately. 


  1. Although I know there isn't a snowball's chance that my husband would even try this, I am MUCH more inclined to. I may have to go the cranberry route though as I'm not sure I have any dried cherries around right now. Did you use tart or sweet cherries?

    (And if you can believe it, I was planning on making pizza tonight anyway!)

    1. What fantastic timing! We used dried bing cherries which were sweet, but I think either would be pretty tasty. I can see cranberries working great in place of the cherries in this recipe. Maybe if your husband sees a piece, he'll change his mind!

  2. Ahh I remember extracting banana DNA last year in science class. It was actually do much fun. This pizza looks delicious! I love sweet and savory things.

  3. oooh I love sweet and salty and honey on cheese. This pizza is right up my alley!!

  4. LOL do you work in a lab? I've extracted DNA a lot in my lifetime (but from mouse tails..not strawberries). It really is seriously viscous stuff. :P

    This pizza sounds awesome! I love the unique combo of flavors!

    1. I don't work in a lab but I'm taking a biology lab for graduate school. I opted for the strawberry DNA instead of the rat's liver DNA (mouse tail DNA has little appeal to me!).

  5. This looks so delicious! In the fall I made one with grapes, olive oil, rosemary and goat cheese!

    1. Ooh! That combination sounds fantastic. I'm headed right to your blog to see if there's a recipe for that up.