Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pizza and a Roasted Beet Salad

When I was posting last night I realized how ambitious last night's dinner was :) Oops! I was able to do most of it ahead of time so it didn't seem that bad, and anything I can do to put off working on the revisions to my thesis... Not all my meals are like this, but since I've got some time this month, and my parents (and aunt) are just here for a few more days, I'm using them as my guinea pigs-- I don't think they mind, though!

My old lab-mate Michelle brought me back some smoked provolone from her trip to Italy (thanks MB!!!), which I thought would be best put to use on a pizza :) I decided to pair it with pesto and turkey after doing some searching online (found alot of smoked turkey and provolone recipes... so the opposite pairing should work, right?!).

in the blender

The Pesto:
scaled down from Cooking Light

~2c basil (loosely packed, or 1c packed)
1T pine nuts (i didn't chop or toast them)
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced (via garlic press)
1 1/2T extra-virgin olive oil
1/4c grated fresh Parmesan cheese
dash teaspoon salt

I just used (or fought with) the blender to make the pesto a couple of nights ago, so that was ready in the fridge, along with the leftover turkey from dinner Saturday.

Since everything else was pretty much ready, I decided to try my hand at pizza dough, following this recipe from Mel over at bitchin camero that used white whole wheat flour. I didn't have the vital wheat gluten, but followed the directions (even her "lazy mel" tips!). It came out quite wet after the rising, but somehow I managed to get it stretched out on the preheated pizza stone (I preheated the oven to 450deg). Brushed it with some olive oil, spread out the pesto (should've made a bit more!), topped with turkey, then sprinkled on the smoked provolone. Popped it back into the oven for ~12min until the cheese was bubbly and just beginning to brown.

After worrying that it wasn't going to make it off the stone, we all really enjoyed the pizza! Great combo of flavors and the smoked provolone melted quite nicely. I have some other whole wheat crust recipes bookmarked, so I'll have to give those a shot and see how they compare. As they say, practice makes perfect! And there's no such thing as too much pizza, especially when made yourself!

On the side I used up a bunch of ingredients we already had in the fridge to make this salad...

Roasted Beet and Green Bean Salad
thrown together by Shannon

2c chopped roasted beets (I'm totally guesstimating with these amounts, but it was about a 2:1 ratio beets:green beans)
1c steamed green beans, chopped into 1" pieces
~ 1/2T dijon mustard
2T white balsamic vinegar
dash salt/pepper
goat cheese, to taste
chopped walnuts, to taste

In a large serving bowl, whisk together mustard, balsamic vinegar, EVOO. Season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust according to your taste. Add in the beets and green beans, toss to coat. Top with goat cheese and toasted walnuts and viola! Deeelish :)

Beets are a funny thing, along with brussel sprouts, I would NOT eat these as a kid. I even made mom put them at the other end of the table I couldn't stand the smell-haha. I tried beets again last year and adore them (especially with goat cheese)!! Brussel sprouts I've tried once, and while they were ok I'm not sold on them yet. Anyone have a way to prepare them that is sure to win me over, I'll be sure to give it a shot!


alexandra's kitchen said...

oh my, so many good ideas here! I can't keep up. I love pizza anything, but this pesto creation looks particularly divine!

Erica said...

yum!!!!!!!!! That is such a great gift too- how thoughtful! I love food/kitchen gifts!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Oooh, what a great meal!! Especially that pesto - yum!

healthy ashley said...

I've made lots of pizzas (and the dough), but none have looked as good as yours! I'll have to follow your lead a bit more :)

Anonymous said...

This look great! Love the pesto with the turkey. I'm now starving!

I'm sorry you had some trouble with the dough. I make it every Friday (yes, made it this morning) and it's always the same. If it's wet and sticky next time you make it, just keep sprinkling with flour and kneading it under it's no longer sticky.

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