Finish Your Pizza with a Little Bling

Homemade Ranch dressing, garlic confit, hot honey, and smashed garlic oil
Photo: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

While we'll always love the pizzeria shakers of crushed red pepper and salty "Parmesan," modern pizza requires a little something extra to finish strong. Homemade Hot Honey, made here with fermented Calabrian chiles; anchovy-laced Fancy Ranch; and Smashed Garlic Oil, which can also be brushed around the edges of a pie before baking, add pops of flavor to any pie. Garlic Confit, mellowed from an olive oil bath, can be smashed and used as a prebake topping, and the oil drizzled over finished pies. And of course, no one can turn down a dish of warm Basic Pizza Sauce for dunking the "bones."

Fancy Ranch

Total 5 min; Makes 1 1/2 cups

Spiked with umami-rich anchovies, this versatile condiment is perfect for drizzling over pizza or tossing with salad greens. Chill the ranch overnight to thicken it slightly and allow the flavors to meld.

1 to 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets (to taste), finely chopped

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup whole buttermilk, plus more if needed

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives

1 Tbsp. white vinegar

1 medium garlic clove, grated on a Microplane

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, plus more to taste

1/4 tsp. onion powder

Using flat side of a knife, smash chopped anchovies into a smooth paste on a cutting board. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients; whisk until well combined. Thin with additional buttermilk if needed to reach desired consistency. Season with additional salt to taste. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week. —Paige Grandjean

Smashed Garlic Oil

Total 5 min; Makes 1/2 cup

Pungent fresh garlic permeates the olive oil for a quick and easy finishing oil with big flavor. Salt works as an abrasive to break down the chopped garlic into a smooth paste.

6 medium garlic cloves

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano

Finely chop garlic, and sprinkle with salt. Using flat side of a knife, smash to form a paste-like consistency. Transfer mixture to a small bowl. Stir in oil and oregano. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 day. —Paige Grandjean

Garlic Confit

Active 10 min; Total 3 hr 10 min; Makes 1 1/2 cups

Garlic cloves become mellow and sweet as they bathe low and slow in buttery olive oil. Slather softened cloves over crusty bread, or whip garlicky oil into mashed potatoes.

1 1/2 cups olive oil

2 garlic heads, cloves separated and peeled (about 26 cloves)

1 (6-inch) oregano sprig

2 chiles de árbol

2 (3- x 1-inch) lemon peel strips

1/8 tsp. fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 250°F. Combine all ingredients in a small lidded ovenproof saucepan. Cover and roast in preheated oven until garlic is softened and very lightly browned, about 2 hours. Uncover and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.—Paige Grandjean

Hot Honey

Total 5 min, plus 24 hr infusing; Makes 2/3 cup

Relying on time rather than heat to marry the flavors allows the fruity Calabrian chiles and floral clover honey to shine. For a milder spice, remove some or all of the Calabrian chile seeds.

1/2 cup clover honey

10 jarred whole Calabrian chiles (about 1 1/2 oz.) (such as Tutto Calabria), finely chopped

Pinch of fine sea salt

Stir together all ingredients in a small lidded jar. Cover tightly with lid, and let stand at room temperature at least 24 hours or up to 2 weeks. (Hot honey will get spicier the longer it infuses.) —Paige Grandjean

NOTE Find Tutto Calabria chiles online at

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