August Cookbook Club: Bianco by Chris Bianco

Classes & Events, Learn, Recipes

Twenty-nine years ago, Chris Bianco opened a pizza shop inside the back corner of a grocery store in Arizona. He had no idea that it would one day be dubbed “the best pizza in America” and play a seminal role in the artisanal pizza movement.


For fans of his pizza—and those who aren’t able to taste it in person—the James Beard Award-winning chef brings us a full-color, fully illustrated cookbook this month. Bianco: Pizza, Pasta and Other Food I Like covers everything from the fundamentals of pizza making to recipes for his signature pies to strategies for translating his pizza methods to the home kitchen.


Below is a look at two recipes from the cookbook. If you’re into the dishes you see here, join us tomorrow, Wednesday, August 9, at 6 p.m. for our August Cookbook Club. For $40 per person, you’ll learn how to make Pizza Margherita, Chris’s Simple Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Chocolate Italian Ice—plus, you’ll get to take home a copy of the new book. Get in touch with your local store for more details.


Roasted Tomatoes with Wild Oregano. Photo credit: David Loftus

Roasted Tomatoes with Wild Oregano

Slow-roasting tomatoes concentrates their flavor. With the earthy woodsiness of wild oregano, these tomatoes are sweet and intense. We serve them as an antipasto.


  • 8 tomatoes (any variety)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A generous pinch of dried oregano, preferably wild
  • 4 garlic cloves


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


2. If the tomatoes are small, cut them in half; if they’re bigger, cut them into quarters. Combine the tomatoes and olive oil in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss well. Add the oregano, crumbling it with your fingers to activate all that fragrance and flavor. Toss gently.


3. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer, skin side down, on the baking sheet. Scatter the garlic cloves around them and add another generous drizzle of olive oil. Roast for 2½ to 3 hours, until the tomatoes have collapsed and are very soft and wrinkled. Remove from the oven and let cool.


4. The tomatoes can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serves 4.


Lemon Ice. Photo credit: David Loftus

Lemon Ice


  • Special Equipment: Ice cream maker
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh lemon juice (8 or 9 lemons)


1. Combine the sugar, lemon zest, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the mixture from the heat, pour into a large bowl, and allow to cool completely. Add the Cointreau or Grand Marnier and lemon juice and stir to mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours.


2. Churn the mixture in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour.


3. Serve the ice in paper cups or small bowls. Makes about 1 quart.

From BIANCO by Chris Bianco. Copyright 2017 Chris Bianco. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


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