Kelsey hosted, and in usual Kelsey fashion she decided to throw a wrench in the plan by turning dinner into an Iron Chef style competition, complete with a surprise ingredient. She provided all of the elements needed for making pizza. Mar, Christina, Serene and Lyndi volunteered to be judges, vowing to be unbiased. Names were drawn from a hat to determine the two-person teams. Names were drawn again to determine which team got which type of crust: wheat, white or herb, and once more for who would have the advantage of using the pizza stone. Plans were whispered, wine was poured and NewVillager was put on the stereo...
My name was drawn to be teamed up with Carol and we were initially told that it was an unfair pairing. Words like “power couple” were used. I think I heard someone murmur something about Martha Stewart and Julia Child. Exaggerating? Maybe. But the results speak for themselves… We won. Unanimously. So after a few minutes of basking in the glory of our triumph, we shamelessly asked what it was about our pizza that set it apart? Three words: Fresh Arugula Drizzle. Mid-competition when the surprise ingredient was introduced… Arugula!! … Carol opined that we should lightly dress the peppery leaves with balsamic and olive oil, then pile it atop the pizza after it was baked. I agreed. Then I pitched the idea of a light drizzle of garlic and basil infused olive oil on top of the plated slices after they had been served to the judges (I had just read this post from Smitten Kitchen earlier that day). Said combo of Arugula and oil drizzle scored big in the categories of presentation, drama and taste.
Sadly, we did not get a picture of our finished product, it was eaten up so fast. But here's the beautiful runner up!