A Taste of Summer

Four Sisters Winery at Matarazzo Farms

Profile and photos by Alison Hein

Ask Matty Matarazzo, owner of Four Sisters Winery at Matarazzo Farms, how he became a chef and you'll get an interesting answer. "Ten years ago, the caterer called and canceled the day before a 160-guest wedding dinner. So I called a good friend of mine, a trained executive chef from the Basque region of Spain. He organized a menu and set up a line. We cooked all day and were ready for the wedding. The bride was thrilled and said it was far better than she could have possibly imagined."

Matarazzo has been cooking and perfecting his culinary skills ever since. What he doesn't grow on his own 150+ acre plot, he procures from local purveyors. "All produce and fruit used for our events comes from area farms and orchards. Our dairy and meat products are also sourced locally. We are wholly committed to cooking with fresh, local food." He describes his cooking style as inventive, combining the best of seasonal ingredients for an ever-evolving outcome.

Also important to Matarazzo is carefully pairing food and wine. "I believe that the wine should bring out the flavors of the food, and that the dishes served should enhance the taste of the wine."

In August, Four Sisters Winery will be at the Vintage North Jersey Wine and Food Festival, where vintners from along the budding New Jersey Wine Trail will assemble to holding wine tastings and serving accompanying food. On Matarazzo's menu? Homemade flatbread pizza: grilled hearth dough laden with seasonal eggplant, zucchini and broccoli, then smothered with local cheeses and popped into a 600° oven to a melty finish. Aromatic oregano, chives and tarragon from the Four Sisters' garden top off the pizza with a flash of greenery and taste of summer.

 

Matty's Grilled Garden Pizza

Prepare a small bowl with olive oil for greasing the grill grates and for brushing the pizza. Prepare the toppings so they are ready to go on the pizza - tomato sauce, cheese, and anything else you wish. I like to use fresh basil and thin slices of tomato and very little sauce. Either purchase pizza dough from your local pizzeria or follow a standard recipe for making pizza dough.

Shape the pizza dough by flattening it with your hands on a slightly floured surface, then let it sit for 5 minutes and then push out the edges with your fingers again, until you have a nice round shape, about twelve inches in diameter. Do not make a raised rim; it will interfere with the grilling process.

Set your grill on high (you can hold your hands an inch over the grates for no more than two seconds), dip a tightly folded up paper towel in olive oil and use tongs to wipe the grill grates. Then place a pizza dough round on a lightly floured rimless cookie sheet. Let the dough slide off the cookie sheet onto the hot grill grates. Close the grill lid and let cook for two minutes. Be careful it does not over cook as this will be your top side. Check underneath the dough to see if it is getting browned. When the top of the pizza dough starts bubbling up with air pockets, your dough is ready. Use your cookie sheet or pizza peel to remove it from the grill, then flip the dough over with a spatula, grilled side up. Keep the grill covered so it retains its heat for the next step.

Paint the grilled surface of the pizza with a little olive oil, then cover with one ladle of sauce – no more, or you'll end up with a soggy pizza. Sprinkle on your toppings, ending with Mozarella cheese (if using), and if using meat, put that over the cheese. Remember to go light on the toppings, or your pizza will be heavy and soggy. If you use onions, peppers or mushrooms I usually sauté them in some olive oil a few minutes before placing them on the dough.

Slide the topped pizza back onto the grill, reduce the heat, close the lid and cook for two or three minutes more, or until the bottom begins to char and the cheese is bubbly. Pull off the grate with a spatula and let it rest for a couple minutes before cutting into slices.

Four Sisters Winery at Matarazzo Farms, 783 County Road 519, Belvidere 908-475-3671

Nearby accommodations and attractions

  • Blairstown Museum
  • View original artifacts, postcards, and correspondence that illustrate the history of the township and its inhabitants, including former resident and namesake John Insley Blair. Museum collections are on display on a rotating basis throughout the year, and lovely gift shop items are supplied and crafted by local companies and artists.

    26 Main Street, Blairstown 07825, 908/362-1371

  • Garden State Heirloom Seed Society Museum
  • , Columbia

  • The Farm In Harmony
  • 7-acre military themed Corn Maze, with mini maze for little ones, open Wed.-Sun. through November 10.Fresh produceat farmstand or schedule pick-on-demand. Homemade soaps available online.Always a discount for Veterans with proper ID.

    231 Brainards Road, Harmony 08865, 908/283-0721

  • Forest Flowers of Musconetcong Gorge
  • , Bloomsbury

  • The Willows
  • Exquisite meal preparation using the finest ingredients under the supervision of our exceptional executive chef. Unsurpassed cuisine from plated meals to hors d'ouvres to elaborate buffets and everything in between. Flexibility is our specialty! Cozy tap room, on and off premise catering, special events. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner in the beautiful lower Musconetcong Valley.

    288 Anderson Rd, Asbury 08802, 908-574-5101

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