Pizza by the slice has a New York ring to it, but the style is very much alive and well in Italy and especially in Rome. Known as “pizza romana,” large trays are baked whole, often with elaborate toppings. They’re then sold al taglio (cut into squares) or even by weight. This is not your “intangible cultural heritage” style of pizza — literally anything goes, with colorful, seasonal toppings artfully arranged atop a substantial base.

This expressionist artistry parallels chirashi-zushi and the bright hues of raw fish scattered over a palette of rice. As Elizabeth Andoh explains, the color scheme of traditional Japanese washoku foods (red, yellow, green, black and white) creates eye-catching contrast. Five flavors (sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter; umami not strictly being necessary) and five ways of cooking (simmer, sear, fry, steam, raw) ensure balance of flavor and nutrition.

On our baked base, we’ll use simmered red tomatoes, white cheese, butter-fried black shiitake and dry-cured ham. Lightly bitter chrysanthemum greens, known as “shungiku,” steam when added to the hot pizza. They can be replaced with arugula or even mizuna greens. Dressed with lemon juice and zest, we have our sour yellow. Feel free to switch out any of the above toppings for your favorites.