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Jan 18, 2011 06:08 PM

Wild Nettle and Pecorino Pizza at Pizzaiolo (Oakland)

Noticed the wild nettle and pecorino pizza, $16.50, is making an appearance on Pizzaiolo’s menu again tonight. I tried this pie recently and had to give it a shout-out.

The heaping amount of barely cooked greenery surprised me, going a long way toward the five-a-day goal. The chlorophyll-laden flavor of the wild netteles combined with thin slivers of red onion softened just enough to bring out all their sweetness, random salty shards of Pecorino cheese, underlying soft mozzarella, richness from a splash of olive oil, and the barest scatter of red chili pepper for the suggestion of piquancy. The mounds of tangled nettles make the pizza look top-heavy, but when the bite hits the mouth the proportion of crust to toppings was exactly right, no more and no less. The only real negative I have for this one is that the crust turned limp too fast from the juicy toppings. However, the crust of the half-pie leftover I took home with me crisped up beautifully the next day reheated in a heavy skillet for a great breakfast.

5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

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  1. one of my favorite pizzas definitely..although i recently went to chez panisse cafe and it was even better there, interestingly enough, given that charlie hollowell used to be the pizzaiolo there

    2 Replies
    1. re: vulber

      me too - one of my faves at Pizzaiolo. (and Melanie, you just didn't eat your pizza fast enough! ( : actually, i've had the same thing happen to me there, on an occasion where my tablemates wanted to let the pizza cool down while they ate other appetizers. i shouldn't have listened.)

      5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

      1. re: vulber

        We were lucky enough to have the pizzetta with wild nettles and pecorino ($14) at CP Cafe on our last visit in Nov 2010 and it was a standout. Crust was perfect with no leftovers :-). How I envy the embarrassment of pizza riches you Bay Area Hounds enjoy.

      2. We enjoyed one of these last week alongside a perfect Margharita pizza. Pure delight on both fronts. The starters were amazing as well. It was noted that the owner, Charlie, was running the kitchen himself that night.

        1. I haven't that pizza in years but still consider it one of the best in the Bay.

          1 Reply
          1. re: yehfromthebay

            i can't believe it's already been open almost 5 years. It is my favorite pizza, with Gialina's in Glen Park coming in at a close second.

            2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

          2. There was a great nettle, aged provolone, and preserved lemon pizza at Ragazza last week. Would have liked a bigger helping of the greens, though - as it sounds yours had, Melanie!