Ruth GresserOwner and chef Ruth Gresser grew up cooking with her mother, who owned a catering business in Baltimore, Md. Ms. Gresser cooked her way through Grinnell College in Iowa before moving to San Francisco, where she cooked for several years at Friends a Cafe and at Le Trou Robert. In 1987, she graduated summa cum laude from Madeleine Kamman's Classical and Modern French Cooking School in Glen, NH. She then moved to Washington, DC, where she has helped open four popular restaurants: Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont Circle, Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown, Blue Plate and Obelisk. Ms. Gresser has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the Women's Chefs and Restaurateurs Madeleine Kamman Scholarship and a guest chef appearance at Alice Waters' renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. She has also been profiled in The Washington Post Magazine, The Washington Business Journal and by Georgetown University Television. Ms. Gresser has been a chef demonstrator, contributor and panelist for The Smithsonian Institution and for FreshFarm Markets in Washington, DC. She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.
Hi, I am Ruth Gresser from Pizzeria Paradiso, we are making pizza today. Right now I am going to make a couple of pizzas for you that don't have tomato sauce. So, this is just the beginning of the idea that you can put anything on pizza. For this pizza I have got actually a whole wheat crust, and I have got some red potatoes, new potatoes, that I have sliced and boiled so they are completely cooked, because as you can see they are a little bit thick, and if I put them raw on the pizza they would not have enough time to cook fully in the oven. So, this is a vegetable that you do want to cook ahead of time, and then put it on the pizza after it is already fully cooked. First I am going to start with some pesto, and spread some pesto nicely around the pizza. Now, as you can see, this is a pizza that you are going the start in the same manner that you make a tomato pizza, only instead of tomato sauce you are starting with a different kind of sauce, in this case, pesto. But there is no need to limit yourself in that way either. You can make a pizza that's all vegetables, you can make a pizza that doesn't have any kind of sauce at all. So, then we are going to put on our potatoes, and we are going to cover the -- or mostly cover the crust with the potatoes. As you can also see I have left a nice edge around the outside of the pizza that will be our crust, and then I am going to put some Parmesan cheese on top, and that's it. We are going to put some salt, some pepper, and some olive oil. There you have a pesto and potato pizza. The next pizza I am going to make is again with a whole wheat crust, and this pizza is just going to be a cheese pizza. It's going to have four different kinds of cheeses. In here I have Mozzarella cheese, I have Fontina cheese, and I have a Pecorino cheese. So, all I am going to do is scatter the different cheeses on the pizza crust. Again, not too heavy, but you want it to be well covered. Then I am going to sprinkle some raw garlic on top, and some chopped parsley, and I am going to put a little Parmesan cheese as well, a little salt, and some pepper. I am going to skip the oil on this pizza because of all of the fat thats in the cheese, I just don't think it needs any more oil. Now, one thing you will notice is these pies are basically made with three ingredients, and three is sort of a magical number. When you are cooking you should think of things in threes, because just like a tripod, a three makes a very stable relationship, and the tastes often develop very well if you stick to threes. So, here we have pesto, potatoes, and Parmesan cheese, and here we have cheese, garlic, and parsley. Here are two examples now of pizzas without tomato sauce. As I said, this is just the beginning, use your imagination. So, the next thing I am going to do for you is bake some pizza in a wood burning oven.