Pizza with the President

April 19, 2024

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Saller, at a kitchen counter, flanked by interns Annie Reller and Kalissa Green

Photo: Summer Moore Batte, ’99

Stanford interns Kalissa Greene, ’25, and Annie Reller, ’24, visit Hoover House for cooking and conversation with Stanford President Richard Saller, an expert on Roman social and economic history and a former dean of Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences. The topics? Everything from garlic and spinach to introductory seminars and campus protests to whether the weather at Stanford is warm or cold. (Spoiler: It depends on where you’re from.)

Richard Saller’s Pizza Recipe

1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½  cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, mix yeast, sugar, and water. As the yeast activates and starts bubbling, add olive oil. In a food processor, combine flour and salt. Gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the processor. Remove and knead by hand for 5 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1.5 hours. Remove and roll out for pizza pan or baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour.

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can crushed tomatoes
8 ounces (approximately) fresh baby spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

Sautée chopped garlic in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer until much of the liquid has boiled down. Add baby spinach and simmer until spinach is barely cooked.

Cover rolled out dough with sauce; add toppings as desired. Cover with 4 ounces grated mozzarella and top with grated parmesan.

Bake in a hot oven (500 degrees) until the cheese begins to brown.

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