Julie Van Rosendaal: 6 fixes for YYC Pizza Week in Calgary

It’s Pizza Week in Calgary, which means 40 restaurants around town are cooking up special pies and donating part of the proceeds to Meals on Wheels.

Even non-pizzerias are taking part in the event, which is a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels

Over 40 restaurants are taking part in YYC Pizza Week. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

It’s YYC Pizza Week, which means some 40 Calgary restaurants around town are cooking up special pies and donating part of the proceeds to Meals on Wheels.

It’s not only pizzerias on the roster. Some eateries pushed the limits of their usual offerings, creating pizzas to reflect their menus. Here are some of the more unique pizzas you’ll find this week only — and a classic dough formula to create your own at home.

For more information and to see a full list of participants, visit yycpizzaweek.com.

The Reuben at Grumans

They’ve gone all out at Grumans Deli by building a Reuben — complete with Montreal smoked meat, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing — on a giant latke rather than a traditional pizza crust.

Grumans Deli, 230 11th Ave. S.E., 403-261-9003

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Colima Pizza at Añejo

As a Mexican restaurant, Añejo was a surprising contestant in pizza week. Their toppings of choice are Oaxaca cheese, adobo pork, charred corn, caramelized onions, roasted vegetable sauce and avocado, built on a (gluten-free!) corn crust.

Añejo, #2 - 2116 Fourth St. S.W., 587-353-2656

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Mountain Meadow Pizzahh from the Coup

At the Coup you’ll find a pizza unlike any other — a gluten-free crust with wild B.C. mushrooms, root vegetable pave, cedar glazed apricots, spinach, chèvre and mozzarella cheeses and pine nuts topped with — get this — leek ash.

The Coup, 924 17th Ave. S.W., 403-541-1041

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Quattro Stagioni at Cibo

Although the ingredients are more traditional, this "quattro stagioni" — meaning “the four seasons” — is broken into four quadrants inspired by the seasons: tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella for fall; crimini, oyster and shitake mushrooms for winter; ham and olives for spring; artichoke and white anchovy for summer. It’s four pizzas in one!

Cibo, 1012 17th Ave. S.W., 403-984-4755

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Meatballs of Fire at Christo's Greek Restaurant

Italy meet Greece. This pie has spicy capicola, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, sautéed mushrooms, mozzarella, feta stuffed Greek meatballs, diced tomatoes, fresh parsley, oregano and a three-cheese Alfredo sauce.

Christo's Greek Restaurant, 1324 11th Ave S.W., 403-244-0099

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Make your own

Making your own pie isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Mix up a batch of dough on Thursday for pizza night on Friday. To emulate the heat of a wood-burning pizza oven at home, cook your pizza directly on a preheated grill — the dough won’t stick.

Cook until it’s golden and charred on the bottom, then flip, top with your choice of toppings, turn the heat down and close the lid to create an oven environment. Alternatively, bake it in a 450˚F oven on a large preheated cast iron skillet.

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Classic Pizza Dough

The longer a yeast dough is alive before baking, the more its flavour develops. If you’re in a rush, let it rise for an hour. Otherwise, slow the rise in the fridge overnight for a better texture and flavour.

  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • pinch sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt

In a large bowl, stir the yeast and sugar into 1 cup of lukewarm water. Let it sit for about five minutes until foamy.

Add the flour, olive oil and salt and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let rest for half an hour, then punch it down, divide into two to three balls, cover with a tea towel and let rest for two to four more hours, or refrigerate for 24 hours. Refrigeration slows the rise. If it’s been in the fridge, let it come to room temperature again before using it.

Makes enough for two to three pizzas.

About the Author

Julie Van Rosendaal

Calgary Eyeopener's food guide

Julie Van Rosendaal talks about food trends, recipes and cooking tips on the Calgary Eyeopener every Tuesday at 8:20 a.m. MT. The best-selling cookbook author is a contributing food editor for the Globe and Mail, and writes for other publications across Canada.

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