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Squid Pizza with Saffron Aioli
© James Baigrie

Squid Pizza with Saffron Aioli

  • SERVINGS: Makes one 12-inch pizza

Michael Emanuel (an alumnus of Berkeley's Chez Panisse) tops this pizza with an irresistible mix of Provençal flavors: salty-sweet roasted squid, creamy aioli and crushed red pepper (French piment d'Espelette would also work well). The remaining aioli can be used as a dip for vegetables or a spread for sandwiches.

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  1. Pinch of saffron threads
  2. 1 teaspoon water
  3. 1 large egg yolk
  4. 1 garlic clove, minced
  5. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  7. Salt
  8. Cayenne pepper
  9. 6 ounces cleaned squid—tentacles halved, bodies sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  10. Freshly ground black pepper
  11. All-purpose flour, for dusting
  12. 6 ounces pizza dough
  13. Pinch of crushed red pepper
  14. 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  15. 1 large plum tomato, diced
  16. 1 teaspoon chopped marjoram
  17. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 500°. Preheat a pizza stone. In a small bowl, crumble the saffron into the water; let steep for 5 minutes. In a blender or bowl, beat the egg yolk with the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Gradually add the 3/4 cup of olive oil, beating constantly, until very thick. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and the saffron water and season the aioli with salt and cayenne.
  2. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the squid, season with salt and black pepper and cook over high heat until just starting to whiten, 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pizza dough to a 12-inch round, 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the round to a lightly floured pizza peel. Leaving a 1/2-inch border of dough, brush the round with olive oil and sprinkle with crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper. Scatter the onion slices over the round and top with the squid, tomato and marjoram.
  4. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for about 5 minutes, until the bottom is crisp. Transfer the pizza to a work surface and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the aioli. Reserve the remaining aioli for another use. Garnish the pizza with the parsley, cut into wedges and serve.
Make Ahead
The saffron aioli can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

A citrusy California Chardonnay complements this aioli-drizzled pizza.