Wickwood Inn Notebook recipes
A L L  T H E  L O C A L  N E W S,  G O S S I P,  R E C I P E S  A N D  L O R E  T H A T' S  F I T  T O   P R I N T Topiary S U M M E R   2 0 0 8

Homemade Pizza
"Two of the greatest things in life are true love and a great tomato and they are two of the hardest things to find"   
Armandino Batali

In Wickwood's Kitchen ... Pizza

Everyone has their favorites, and it’s great fun to experiment. You’ll be surprised what a little imagination and using the best ingredients you can find will do for your homemade pizzas.

Our Pizza Dough
Some like to bake pizza in a coal-fired oven, others a wood burning pizza oven, a traditional oven or a grill. Bake it on  a grill, a griddle, a pizza stone, screen, bakery sheet or a piastra. Whichever you choose, you’ll get your groove. Just do it - homemade is best!!

• 3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting (or half whole wheat and half white flour)
• 2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 cup warm water
• ¼ cup dry white wine, at room temperature
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Pizza Dough
Pizza Dough

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar and mix well. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the warm water, wine and olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until the mixture is too stiff to stir, then mix with your hands in the bowl until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
2. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn the dough out. Knead gently, dusting the work surface lightly with more flour as necessary, for 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and only slightly sticky.
3. Oil a large clean bowl, add the dough, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, set in a warm part of the kitchen and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400°F for one hour if you’re ready to cook pizza, or prepare another heat source.
4. Punch the dough down, and divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape each one into a ball. Let rest for 15 minutes, loosely covered with a tea towel or plastic wrap.
5. Using a floured rolling pin or your hands, stretch each ball into a 9-10 inch round. Don't fuss. We like it to look rustic.
6. Pre-bake pizza dough on a pizza pan, baking sheet, pizza stone, or baker’s screen for 8-10 minutes. Place favorite toppings atop and bake an additional 8-12 minutes, checking periodically until desired crispy goodness is as you like it.


As Farmer’s Markets reap their harvest, large bouquets of cut basil will appear. Take advantage of the season to make a stash of Basil Hazelnut Pesto to last all winter long. We make huge batches of this, always using the mortar and pestle and it stays bright green and fresh tasting all year long. We don’t add Parmigiano to the pesto now, instead we add it when we're preparing a dish. This yields ¾ cup, just multiply. A mortar and pestle makes all the difference to the taste of this pesto.

• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• 6 large cloves of garlic coarsely chopped
• ½ cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (added by mistake one day – now always)
• 1 cup fresh basil, leaves only, torn 1/3 at a time
• 1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste

"Trust your work. And never hope more than you work."
Rita Mae Brown

1. Mix salt and garlic in mortar crushing garlic with pestle. Add hazelnuts and crush.
2. Add 1/3 of basil along with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and continue to gently pound the ingredients. Incorporate the next 1/3 cup of the basil.
3. With the final 1/3 of the basil, add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and mix thoroughly. Season with black pepper.
4. Place in plastic container and cover with a thin layer of olive oil. You can store in refrigerator for up to 6 months, if after each use you top with a film of olive oil.

NOTE: At our recent Italian Wine Weekend, we made batches of this Pesto in our food processor and also by hand in a mortar and pestle. We passed the tastes around and there was no question which was  the favorite!!!!  Hands down, the classic technique won.

And, so while it takes a little more energy, just go into your Zen mode and mash everything into a chunky paste in your mortar. One taste  and you’ll agree.


To celebrate every stage of the wonderful heirloom vegetables ripening at our local Farmer's Market recipes, we're celebrating at Wickwood by serving "le Grand Aioli", the infamous village supper held all over Provence. It's a glorious way to begin every great evening.

Le Grand Aioli at Wickwood

The centerpiece of Le Grand Aioli, The Great Summer Feast of Provence, often called “the sunshine of provence” and it is the greenish gold garlicky mayonnaise made with a mortar and pestle. That is it’s secret. Neither doctored store bought, nor blender mayonnaise will do. It must be made in the traditional way for the flavor to be truly superb. When combined with the Summer’s freshest vegetables straight from the garden and some poached fish, it truly becomes a feast from the heavens! We always like to have plenty of Aioli and so you need to make two batches of the following recipe, one at a time. It can be made ahead of time, but gets stronger over time. Serves 12

• 8 garlic cloves, peeled
• 2 egg yolks, at room temperature, whisked juice of 1 lemon
• Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
• 1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil, not the greenest, nor strongest; or half grapeseed (or sunflower) and half olive oil, to taste.


Crush the garlic cloves in a mortar with a pinch of coarse sea salt until you get a paste. Whisk in the egg yolks. Then drop by drop, drizzle in about ½ cup of the oil, whisking continuously. Don’t rush it here. As the aioli begins to thicken, the oil can be added in a thin, steady stream. Whisk just until the aioli is stiff. Set aside.

The Vegetables Etc.
These are strictly up to you. They depend on your taste, your garden or the Farmer’s Market, and how long you want to feast.
For 12 people, I usually make:

• 18 hardboiled eggs
• 24 small gold or red beets, roasted
• 24 Fingerling or 24 Red Potatoes, boiled
• 36-48 baby carrots, roasted
• 3 pounds of green beans, blanched
• 48-60 Heirloom Cherry/Pear Tomatoes
• 2 pounds zucchini, sliced
• 2 pounds broccoli or cauliflower, trimmed
• 2 pounds chickpeas, roasted
• 6 large red and yellow peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced
• 2 pounds of sugar snaps
• 12 small salmon or cod fillets, poached and chilled
• Assorted garlic sausages and carpaccio, thinly sliced.


Present all of the vegetables in mounds, on a platter laden with dark green lettuce leaves. Place the aioli in bowls of hollowed out vegetables, nestle in the fish and meats and serve with plenty of napkins and rose.

When our heirloom tomatoes are at their prime one of the first dishes we think of making is one that we first tasted in Italy many many years ago. It’s perfect for those lazy days of Summer when you don’t want to cook, but still want something scrumptious. The secret ingredient is the Brie which melts, creating an instant sauce! You can also use mozzarella and Roquefort, St. Andre or l’Explorateur. It’s lovely. Serves 6-8

• 8 large ripe tomatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes, or loads of heirloom cherry or pear shapes, cut in half
• 1 pound Brie, rind removed, cut into bite sized pieces
• 1 cup fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and cut into strips
• 3-6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced (to taste)
• ½ cup best-quality olive oil
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 pound linguine
• Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Linguine with Tomatoes and Bsil

1. At least 2 hours before serving, combine the tomatoes, Brie, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl.
2. At serving time, bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the linguine, and boil until tender but still firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Drain the pasta and immediately toss well with the tomato sauce. Serve at once, passing the peppermill, and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Smell the sea breezes, even if you’re not near.

Peach Sorbet

Capture the very essence of summer.
• 4 cups peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped fresh peaches
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup sugar
• 5 tablespoons Amaretto

1. In a blender or food processor, puree the peaches. Add the remaining ingredients. Pulse to combine, and refrigerate until very cold.
2. Place the mixture in an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.      Serves 8


Very Berry Sorbet

A symphony of summer berries, ripe together for a limited time.
• 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled
• 1 quart fresh raspberries
• 1 quart fresh blackberries
• 1 quart fresh blueberries
• 1 cup sugar
• ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
• ¾ cup fresh orange juice
• Mint leaves for garnish

1. Place berries in a large mixing bowl and toss well. Reserve 1 cup of mixed berries for garnish. Puree the fruit in batches in a food processor or blender. Add the sugar and juices and blend until smooth.
2. Strain the puree to remove seeds, and chill. Place the chilled puree in an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.    Serves 8

Cooks Notes ...
Favorite Toppings but anything goes ...

Pizza sauce, mozzarella, arugula, basil, roasted tomatoes, Kalamata olives, smoked Spanish paprika
• Swiss cheese, arugula, slice ham or proscuitto, basil, mozzarella and marinated artichoke hearts
• Carmalized onions, nutmeg, garlic, arugula, mozzarella, toasted pine nuts, lemon zest, golden raisins, fresh fig quarters, proscuitto
• Pizza sauce, garlic, soppressetta, mozzarella, arugula, Kalamata olives, roasted tomatoes, parmigiano
• Swiss cheese, sautéed mushrooms, roasted garlic cloves, golden raisins, walnuts, fresh mint, parsley, parmigiano
• Basil pesto, mozzarella, arugula, gorgonzola, roasted red pepper, parmegiano
• Fennel sausage, carmalized onions, roasted garlic, roasted leeks, mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano
• Lobster chunks, guanciale, presto and rapini
• Clams, pancetta, lemon thyme, olive oil and parmegiano
• Roasted tomatoes, Grana Padano cheese, mozzarella, green olives
• Puttanesca or Amatriciana sauce, cream and Parmigiano

Some of our Favorite Pizza Joints
The Journeyman Café – Fennville, Michigan
• Spago – Beverly Hills, California
• Otto Enoteca Pizzeria – New York, New York
• Pizzeria Mozza – Los Angeles
• Pizzeria Bianco – Phoenix, Arizona
• Al Forno – Providence, Rhode Island
• Mezzaluna – New York, New York
• Spiaggia – Chicago, Illinois
• Apizza Scholls – Portland, Oregon
• Serious Pie – Seattle, Washington
• Pizzeria Delfina – San Francisco, California
• L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele – Naples, Italy


Fresh Herbs All Year
Collect as many fresh herbs as possible, wrap them in small amounts with plastic wrap and lay them flat in the door of your freezer. You’ll have fresh herbs to use in your cooking throughout the year!!

Pesto Mortar

Perfect Pesto
“Pesto” means “to make a paste” and once Americans fell in love with the classic pesto, we’ve all taken it to heart and let our imaginations run wild! Using the traditional pounding method we often change the ingredients, first using different herbs: basil, parsley, tarragon, mint, oregano and arugula and spinach, then hazelnuts, macadamias, walnuts, or sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds, vary the oils and cheeses, then sometimes pushing the envelope even further to include, roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, chipotle, artichokes, kalamata olives, sweet peas, or ginger. There are no rules. Theses new pestos simply dazzle everything they touch. You’ll feel like a very rich cook when you have a stash of pesto.


Garlic and Saints
Garlic in Provence is taken very seriously. Once a year, at the height of Summer in mid-August, all of the small towns of Provence celebrate their garlic harvest in a dramatic way. Each town has its own patron saint, who is honored by a three day festival-culminating with a Grand Aioli Feast for all of the village’s citizens. The feast itself begins with Aperitifs, olives, handmade potato chips, and then moves to Le Grand Aioli served with many, baguettes, bottles of rose and pastries. It goes on for hours, with dancing, boules, and fireworks far on into the night!!

A warm afternoon in
Cassis - Provence

Olive Oil
In Provence, at Le Grand Aioli, two types of Aioli are made, one with olive oil and one with sunflower oil. The one with sunflower oil is less strong and is preferred by some. Not me, but some.

The differences in taste between olive oils is considerable. Italian olive oils are stronger and fruitier and those of Provence, milder. Unless you truly love the deep fiery bite of olive oil, sometimes halving it with grape seed or sunflower oil is a good idea.

A major factor in determining the taste of olive oil is the maturity of the olives when they’re picked. Olives harvested when still partially green will produce an oil that has a hot aftertaste, while an oil made with fully mature, black olives will be mild and fruity, almost buttery. Most Provencal olive oil is the latter.

Traditionally, the olives in Provence are harvested when they are black, and consequently these are milder than those from Tuscany where the olives are picked when still partially green.

There is only one way to become familiar with olive oils and determine your favorite. Taste, taste, taste them! Simply, with bread, on salads, in sauté, in frying, baking and in slow cooking. Only then, will you know which you like to cook with when. It’s your taste that’s important!!

Family Heirlooms
This year treat yourself and taste a tomato with a past - next year you’ll want to grow them. They’re sweeter, more flavorful than you’ve tasted in years. Some of our favorites:
• Lollipop
• Mortgage Lifter
• Yellow Pear
• Cherokee Purple
• Mong

Remember if you over-water you’ll get green foliage - but watery tomatoes. Every few days is enough. Tomatoes want sunshine.

Heirloom seeds can be found at

www.seedsofachange.com www.seedsavers.com www.johnnyseeds.com www.tomatobob.com www.rareseeds.com www.reneesgarden.com www.tomatofest.com www.montello.com

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit"  
Nelson Henderson

Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
Tel (800) 385-1174   |  www.wickwoodinn.com  |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors