Summer-in-winter pizza with pesto, sofrito, chickpeas and artichoke hearts

Pizza with sofrito, pesto and chickpeas

Pizza with sofrito, pesto and chickpeas

You wouldn’t believe the vast system of pantries we have here at The Ordinary. It extends for miles, beginning above-ground, with spacious, sunny rooms lined with floor-to-ceiling windows. And then it tunnels under to form a vast network of cellars, ice houses, larders, butteries, and spences. And the shelves are lined with bottles and jars. Those in the light of the windows glow like stained glass. Those in the darkened cellars shine with their own internal light. In each bottle and jar – a perfect distillation of a moment from each season from the year. We open these, as needed, to help us navigate the year as it unfolds. When you’re melting in summer, you can uncork a clear, cold, cleansing january day. In winter, we have a vial containing the cool-warm smell of a June morning. We have a whole room stocked with falling things. A jar of late spring’s flower petals – confused, whirled in a tangle; a summer sun shower; autumn leaves, curling to the ground; and a soft, quiet, gentle December snow. Each one will serve to remind you of what you’ve seen and felt, the fragrances and tastes that you have known, and each will remind you as well of the cycle of the seasons which will bring each moment inevitably back upon you. In one room, of course, we have flavors…ripe plump tomatoes, bursting with the hot sunny abundance of August, refined into a flavorful paste. Bunches of basil, sweet, sharp, and intoxicating, concentrated into one pure flavor of summer. And that’s what we used to make this pizza.

pizza with sofrito, chickpeas and pesto

pizza with sofrito, chickpeas and pesto

What? You think I’m waxing hyperbolic? You think this is why I earned the name “hyperboClaire?” Well, it’s totally true!! Every word! Okay, so I’m really talking about the sofrito and pesto that I made with our over-abundance of tomatoes and basil at the end of the summer. I froze them, and at the time I thought…in the middle of winter, this will make a welcome meal! And then the power went out for ten days, and I was worried that they didn’t stay frozen. But they seemed frozen! And our kitchen felt very near freezing through the time. And we ate them on this pizza and everybody seemed fine!! I also added chickpeas and artichoke hearts. I have long loved artichoke hearts on a pizza, and chickpeas on a pizza – well, it just sounded good to me! And it was good! They got all roasty and flavorful. If you happen not to have frozen sofrito in the summer, you can easily make it from a can of tomatoes (Spanish-style sofrito! Recipe to follow). And pesto can be bought in most grocery stores, if you don’t have that lying around in your feezer!! Anyway – this was a good pizza. It did taste like summer, and reminded me of golden afternoons spent picking tomatoes and basil. Very welcome indeed as the temperature plummets.

Here’s Summertime by Jimmy Smith.

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