Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grilled Pizza

This week's box contains:
  • Strawberries
  • Romaine Lettuce (traded for more agretti)
  • Red and White Mixed Turnips
  • Parsley
  • Mystery (shelling peas)
  • Leeks
  • Agretti
  • Red Orach
It's a gorgeous day in Silicon Valley.  We have plans to meet friends later today to grill pizzas and enjoy the sunshine.

Grilling pizza is a tricky, but rewarding, process.  The pizzas that result from this method are beyond compare.  Here are two toppings made from this week's box, but let your imagination run wild.  Instructions on grilling pizzas can be found here.

Two Grilled Pizzas

Lemon-Garlic Agretti with Fresh Chèvre
Tops one 15" pizza.

1 bunch agretti, cleaned and chopped in to bit-sized segments
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely diced
2 T olive oil
1 t salt
juice and zest of one small lemon
1/2 cup dry white wine
red pepper flakes to taste

Saute shallot and garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.  Add agretti and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add salt, wine, lemon juice and lemon zest, cooking till liquid is evaporated.  Set aside.

Spread agretti evenly on prepared pizza crust, top with dollops of chèvre and return to the grill.  Cook till heated through.  Serve with Sauvignon Blanc.

Mushroom-Leek Pizza
Tops one 15" pizza.
1 recipe white bean purée (below)
1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 T olive oil
1/2 pound white button mushrooms, sliced (~ 3 cups)
2 large leeks, or several small, cleaned and sliced (~ 3 cups)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
parsley, finely chopped

Soak the dried  porcini in hot water for 30 minutes or more.  Remove from soaking liquid and finely chop; set aside.  Porcini can be gritty, so take care to discard any undesirable pieces.

Heat half the olive oil in pan over high heat; add white mushrooms and sear, stirring as little as possible (you're after the carmelization).  Cook till golden brown and the liquid released by the mushrooms as evaporated.  Add the porcini soaking liquid (avoiding any grit from the mushrooms) and simmer till the pan is nearly dry.   Remove from pan and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add remaining oil to the pan along with the leeks and salt and pepper to tasted.  Cook for 3 minutes till the leeks begin to soften.  Add the garlic and porcini, cover, and cook till leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the wine to deglaze the pan, cooking till pan is nearly dry.  Remove from heat.

Spread prepared crust with white bean purée and top with sauteed mushrooms and leeks.  Return to the grill and cook till heated through.  Serve with Chardonnay.

Recipe adapted from adapted from Fields of Greens by Annie Sommerville, page 172.

White Bean Purée

1 pound white beans
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1.5 t dried savor leaves
vegetable stock or water

Add all ingredients to stock pot, bring to a boil, then simmer till the beans are tender.  Drain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid.  Combine the beans and 1/3 cup cooking liquid in a blender or food processor.  Process till it reaches the desired consistency, adding more cooking liquid as necessary.

Recipe adapted from The Vintner's Table by Mary Evely, page 149.
A quick note on wine pairing.  Hands down, the very best reference I've ever found on the topic is the Mary Evely book noted above.  The book is organized by varietal and at the beginning of each is a "profile" for each, clearly summarizing food affinities and food conflicts for the varietal across each of the following categories: seafood, meat and poultry, herbs and spices, sauces, cheese and nuts, and finally, fruits and vegetables.  She also recommends the best methods of preparation.  Commentary on substitutions are peppered throughout the book.  While the recipes are great, I use this book to tweak recipes to pair well with the wine I've chosen or to choose a wine for the meal we have planned.

As for the rest of the box contents, our plan is as follows:

Cleaned and frozen for smoothies.

Red and White Mixed Turnips
Stored for roasting, or perhaps a turnip purée, later this week.

ParsleyWe'll reserve some to garnish the pizzas, but the rest went immediately into parsley-walnut pesto (one of my all time favorites).
[Herb of your Choice]-Walnut Pesto
... makes 25 - 2 tablespoon servings

3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
1 bunch herb of choice, ends trimmed
1 large garlic clove, pressed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon mellow barley miso
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender, adjust salt and pepper and use or freeze.
Shelling Peas
Going to try to make tarts to serve for lunch tomorrow.  My good friends are coming over to do a little work related brainstorming, so the least I can do is feed them well.  I got the idea from the 101 Cookbooks entry Fresh Shelling Peas: Four Ways

Red Orach
We use this just like spinach.   Some night this week it will be cleaned, chopped, and tossed into whatever we are eating to sneak in a few more veggies.

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