I enjoy making pizza from scratch and occasionally make a pissaladière, the famous pizza from the south of France. Garnished with rendered onion and a crisscross of anchovy fillets and black olives, it is a staple from Nice to Marseille. In the last few years, with the availability of many flatbreads at the supermarket, I have taken on the habit of making quick pizzas, sometimes using pita bread or lavash as a base, but more often than not using flour tortillas, because I always have a package of them in my refrigerator. They come in different sizes, from 6 to 10 inches, and even in 12-inch disks. These tortilla pizzas are ideal to serve when people come for drinks, or when we play boules and share a bottle of white wine.
The toppings for pizza are almost endless. I love to make seafood pizza in the summer, when there are plenty of clams.
- 1 flour tortilla
- Olive oil
- 1 dozen cherrystone clams, shucked
- 8 medium-size shrimp, shelled and left whole
- ½ tablespoon plus 1 ½ tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon garlic, coarsely chopped
- A dash of Herbes de Provence
- 3 tablespoon scallions, minced
- A little chopped jalapeño or a dash of Tabasco (optional)
- 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- Flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
First, oil a tortilla round for each pizza you plan to make: sprinkle olive oil on a sturdy cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, and press the tortillas in the oil on the tray to coat them well on one side, and then turn them over, so they are oiled on the other side.
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Sprinkle 1½ tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on the oiled tortilla and arrange the shrimp and clams on top. (You can reserve the clam juice to use in a fish soup or to make a drink. My friend Craig Claiborne used to love “bullshots”, which were drinks made with fresh clam juice and vodka.) Add the garlic (this is a lot of garlic, but it is needed!), the Herbes de Provence, the scallions, and the jalapeño, if you like, a dash of Tabasco for heat. Sprinkle on another 1½ tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and then evenly drizzle the olive oil on top. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, or until crusty. Let rest for a minute or so, and sprinkle with the parsley. Cut into 8 wedges, and serve.