Tag Archives: pizza

Grills Just Want to Have Fun…

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Believe it or not, I actually crack myself up.

Recently it has been quite warm here (gasp!) and we have not wanted to turn on the oven. The previous tenants of our little apartment left a small and dirty grill that has been mostly unused: The work of cleaning it off hasn’t seemed worth it to Andrew, and for me… well grills have always kinda scared me. By scared I mean… seem pointless. Why not use the broiler? But I’ve changed my mind!

On the fourth, we decided to have some friends over for food and drinks. I made boozy watermelon slushies, two kinds of grilled pizza, and grilled potato packets. People brought things also, such as mahi-mahi and some brats. I was a little nervous to grill a pizza, but oh.my.god. they turned out so good! Even the pickiest eaters enjoyed them and everyone kept telling me how good they are. Success! I imagine any pizza recipe could be used. I made a red sauce-mozzarella-roasted veggie and a pesto-mozzarella-chevre-roasted veggie. To my surprise, the pesto pizza was the overall favorite! Of course the chevre may have been a big part of that also… Anyhow, I did not get a chance to snap a photo of the pesto pizza, but here is the other:

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The picture does not do it justice. You have to trust me that it was fantastic :)

So how does one grill a pizza? Glad you asked…

Grilled Pizza:

Begin by making your crust. You can use store bought, or your favorite recipe. I used this, adapted from a baking book I have:

Pizza Crust (makes 2)

*1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

*1 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour (you could try all whole wheat, but I knew I was cooking for a crowd and wanted to make sure the texture was on target)

*1 teaspoon sea salt

*2 teaspoons active dry yeast

*1 1/4 cup warm water

*2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing

*cornmeal for dusting, optional

Directions:

Combine flours and salt in large mixing bowl. Make a well and add water, yeast, and oil. Let stand 15 minutes to dissolve.

Stir until just combined, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Avoid adding too much flour while kneading.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely. Let rise about 45 minutes.

You can prepare the toppings at this point. A sauce of some kind, maybe cheese, and some veggies. I recommend cooking veggies first, since they do not get heated from the top as they would in an oven. I roasted mine on the grill.

Meanwhile, fire up the grill.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and roll out into smooth, thin rounds. I use about a tablespoon of cornmeal to keep it from sticking to the counter at this point, which has the added benefit of imparting a pleasant crunch and flavor to the final product.

Now comes the fun part: Lightly brush the dough with olive oil and transfer to a couple sheets of foil. Place the whole dough and foil on the grill. It should puff up a bit and begin to brown on the bottom. Flip it over after about 5-10 minutes to lightly brown the other side.

Remove the crust and add your toppings to it: Sauce, cheese, veggies. Then put it back on the grill for about 10 more minutes, until cheese it melted and everything is hot. Remove from grill, slice, and serve. Thats it!

Chipotle Barbecue Tempeh

A couple days after our holiday grilling success, I wanted to play with the grill again! I Chipotle Barbecue sauce and coated some tempeh with it before grilling it. (There is also grilled corn on the cob in the above picture- super easy, just soak it in water for at least 30 minutes before tossing on the grill whole!)

The barbecue sauce was out of this world though! We used it on some lentil burgers last night also and it was great! It has quite a bit of heat from the chipotles, so if you dont like too much spice, you may want to cut back. Andrew and I loved it as is.

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce:

*1 cup ketchup

*1/2 onion, coarsely chopped

*2 cloves garlic

*1 can chipotle chilis in adobo sauce

*2 tablespoons brown sugar

*1 tablespoon soy sauce

*1 teaspoon mustard

*salt to taste

Directions:

Combine onion, garlic, and chipotles in food processor and process until smooth. You could also finely chop these by hand, but using a food processor makes a smoother texture and less mess on your hands!

Combine the pureed mixture with the rest of the ingredients in a small pan over low-medium heat and simmer 10-15 minutes to take the raw edge off the garlic and onion and meld the flavors. Makes about 2 cups.

Chipotle Barbecue Tempeh:

Slice tempeh (you could also use tofu) into large pieces and place in a container or plastic bag. Pour enough BBQ sauce to cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight or all day.

After heating up the grill, tempeh can be placed either directly on the grill or over foil on the grill. Foil will help keep all the sauce from dripping off and keep the grill cleaner. Grill about 15 minutes total, turning every five minutes or so and spreading on more BBQ sauce as it gets drier. It should be crisp and slightly charred in spots when done. Serve with more sauce!

What are some other great uses for BBQ sauce? I had never really used it much because I’ve been a vegetarian for so long and it is usually something associated with meat. I used it on lentil burgers and as a dip for pretzels. Any other suggestions?

xo/ Nikita

Asparagus Ribbon Pizza and CSA

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Are you familiar with Community Supported Agriculture? By purchasing a “share,” we are able to support a local farm and reap the bounty of their harvest. Its kind of a surprise exactly what you will get, and depends on what is in season and what is doing well. We purchased a share from Singer Hill Gardens, a local group that actually does “urban farming” around Portland. They offer a few different types of shares and we picked the “Harvest” variety, which will bring us not only weekly fresh fruits,vegetables and flowers, but also biweekly fresh eggs and locally made cheese and a “specialty item” such as local honey or jam. It is a 25- week share, so we will get packages from June to November. I am so excited and cannot wait start receiving packages!

While fantasizing about what exotic new veggies this summer and fall will have in store for me, I can’t help but think of one of my favorite spring veggies: Asparagus. I have been seeing a lot of asparagus “ribbon” recipes lately and wanted to try this new technique out! I decided to use it as a topping on a whole wheat pizza crust- a recently discovered recipe from smitten kitchen  that has become a quick favorite around here. She says not to use more than half whole wheat flour, but I used 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour with one half cup of regular whole wheat with good results. I have made it with all white and with half white and half wheat, and I like the whole wheat version best.

Asparagus Ribbon and Green Onion Pizza

One pizza dough (see below for recipe)

4 oz tomato paste

1-2 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

5-6 stalks asparagus, ribboned with a vegetable peeler

2 green onions, sliced into rounds

2 tablespoons wild garlic (green part only- can substitute chives or omit if unavailable)

4 oz fresh mozzarella

Parmesan, salt, and pepper to taste

Pizza Dough:

1 1/2 cups flour (white makes the easiest dough to work with, but if you want to go 100% whole grain try 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour with 1/2 cup regular whole wheat)

3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water

A couple hours before you plan to serve the pizza, combine dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Pour in warm water and the olive oil, stir until dough comes together and then turn out on a lightly floured work surface and knead 3-5 minutes. Roll into a ball and place in an oiled container. Cover and let rise for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.

After this rise, roll out dough into a circle and cover again to let rest for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat over to 500F, with pizza stone if you have one. Roll out dough one last time and transfer to stone or baking sheet. Prick with a fork all over for even cooking and bake 10 minutes, or until light golden but not completely done.

For a super easy pizza sauce, I add crushed garlic (crushed with salt by a mortar and pestle is best, but you can use the blunt part of a knife also) and the oregano, rosemary, and parsley to the tomato paste, then thin in with a couple tablespoons of water. I have found that this is the best way to keep the pizza crust from getting soggy- anything too “saucy” and you have a droopy, wet pizza. Another plus- tomato paste is loaded with lycopene, a super healthy antioxidant!

Top the prebaked crust with the pizza sauce, then the cheese, then veggies and season as desired. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and vegetables are cooked.

I like to serve pizzas with kale chips! I actually dreamt I was getting ready for my wedding and I was fashioning my bouquet out of kale… maybe I should go easy on the kale haha.

xo Nikita