pizza slices : what I learned the hard way

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number one : a pattern is nice (here, butternut squash ; below, a line of red pesto)

number two : not everything needs to spend time in the oven and be threatened to overcook and lose its lovely colour (here, fresh marjoram ; below, aforementioned line of red pesto)

number three : contrast is good but difficult to achieve in the cold months when you need them most.

number four : the right colouring/taste of cooked cheese is difficult to hit on the head, you’d like the start of a grilled effect but you do not want all the flavour to go, here I’ve played safe and kept a rather pasty tone.

number five : the window for goat cheese is even narrower, a carefully sited slice of log is tasty but after a few seconds in a very hot over it starts looking ghostly (the rind burns while the inside has melted away), or ghastly, or both. So safe is to stick to rule number two and add dollops of fresh goat cheese after the bake.

number six : I never add salt (not even to my tomato sauce), relying on the saltiness of the ingredients, a lot of chili or herbs precludes all need for salt anyway. Kalamata olives are Greek and are the best.

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Any other rule you’d like to stick to ?

And, on another note, if you put it carefully into a pot of boiling water, a goose egg needs 15 minutes to achieve a perfect hardboiledness stage. I find goose eggs really pretty and they taste like a creamier version of a good hen egg. And was I delighted to find that my favourite egg cup was goose-sized too. I have not mastered the soft boiled stage, yet, still working on it.

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