Category Archives: Pesto

Asparagus and Prosciutto Pizza

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It’s been a crazy, busy, fantastic week at work, so I am way behind on posting this pizza. 

I love asparagus. It’s pretty, it’s tasty, and it’s good for you.

I love pizza. Okay, I’ll be honest – I like pizza in general, but I love my homemade pizza!

So on Saturday night when I was trying to figure out what fun stuff I could put on a pizza, I thought about asparagus. I got hungry. Then I thought about bacon-wrapped asparagus. I don’t love bacon on pizza (it can be a little greasy), so I had an a-ha moment – prosciutto! I’ve had success with that on previous pizzas, so what the heck, right?  With that thought, I got hungrier. 🙂

And so was born my pizza homage to bacon-wrapped asparagus!

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I started with my standard pizza crust. First I added some garlic scape pesto (sadly, I think it was the last of my pesto from the freezer), then the asparagus. (I cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and popped them into the microwave for two minutes before putting them on the pizza.) I topped that with parmesean and mozzerella cheese, a little fresh ground black pepper and prosciutto.

It baked up beautifully! The asparagus was cooked perfectly and the cheese and prosciutto complemented it so well…yum!

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I’m having so much fun with pizzas since I learned how to make awesome pizza dough. What pizza will I create next? I can’t wait to find out!

This post is linked to What’s in the Box?  at In Her Chucks.

California Chicken Pizza

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Since my first pizza attempt turned out so well, I’ve gone a bit pizza crazy.  To be fair, the pizza dough recipe I used did make enough dough for at least four 12-inch pizzas.  And I have to use it, right?  Right.

Here are the toppings I put together for my California Chicken Pizza: garlic scape pesto I made this spring and froze, a tomato, mozzerella cheese, some thinly sliced red onion and some leftover chicken.  Plus, I sliced up an avacado and squeezed some fresh lime over the slices.

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The chicken/avacado/red onion combo always makes me think of California (hence the name), and I wanted something bright and summery tasting to offset the cold Ohio winter.

Before I shaped the dough, I sliced the tomato really thin and salted the slices.  I let them sit for a few minutes to draw out the moisture and patted them off with a paper towel.  Nobody likes a soggy pizza!

I started topping the pizza with the garlic scape pesto – so good!  Then the tomatoes, followed by cheese, chicken and onion. (No avacados yet – those are for later.)

I would be more specific if I could, but I really don’t measure anything when I’m putting it on a pizza.  I just pile it on until it looks right – pizza decorating is more of an art than a science., I guess.  🙂  I also thought I had taken a picture of the pizza before it went in the oven, but apparently not!  Next time.

It was a little easier to get the pizza from the pizza peel to the preheated pizza stone this time (but I still used a spatula for some help).  I love that the bottom crust of the pizza immediately starts to crisp up when it hits the pizza stone.

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I sliced it up and topped the slices with the fresh avacado with just a hint of lime – it was delicious!  It was light and summery and well… it just made me happy.  You can’t ask for anything more than that!

My First CSA Box From Basket of Life Farm!

Goodies from Basket of LIfe Farm!

So today I went to Basket of Life Farm to pick up my first CSA box.  I had no idea how close to me the farm was – less than 10 minutes away!  The people are friendly and the farm is great.  Just behind the “sorting shed” where the CSA pickup is, I could see tons of chickens just happily running around.

Now, they say that the first box is always the smallest, so Heather at Basket of Life Farm told me that she made all the CSA folks homemade strawberry jam for a little something extra in the box.  The box also included a half dozen eggs from their chickens, garlic scapes, adorable little onions, a bunch of yellow squash, and a bag of cornmeal.  The cornmeal is organically grown in Holmes County at Stutzman Farms.  It looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to make some polenta!

The first thing I made from the box tonight was a garlic scape pesto – I haven’t actually eaten it yet, so I’ll post pictures later.  I did try a taste, though, and it’s good!  I’m thinking some pasta this weekend…

As soon as I post this, I’m going back to the kitchen to make some compound butters – one with thyme and garlic scapes, and one with sage and green onions.  Yummy!!

Here’s the garlic scape pesto recipe I used (I added some basil leaves as well, since I had cut the basil plant back yesterday and needed to use up the leaves):

Garlic Scape Pesto

6 garlic scapes, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Place the garlic scapes, Parmesan cheese, Asiago cheese, lemon juice, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor. Drizzle the olive oil over the mixture. Blend until the pesto is a brilliant green color and smooth in texture. Season with salt and pepper. 

Laptop issues and kitchen efficiency

Sadly, my laptop has been sick this week.  This creates a dilemma that I’m sure everyone has faced: the joy of shopping mixed with the annoyance of spending hard-earned cash.  Plus, I’ll have the annoyance of transferring everything over.  I suppose it’s like all the construction in Kent – annoying for now, but wonderful when it’s done.  And at least it’s happening before school starts.

At any rate, one result is that I’m terribly behind when it comes to posting on the blog.  So here come a few images and descriptions from the week.  First, we finally got to eat the Ohio City Pasta spinach ravioli that we picked up a few weeks back.  I made a quick marinara sauce with all our tomatoes, garlic, and basil.

Then last night I made pesto chicken.  Between Matt’s basil and our own basil plants we’re going to be eating lots of basil for the next few weeks!  I fried the chicken with lots of pesto, some onion and garlic, and a bit of butter and served it with the beans (no picture from last night, I’m afraid).  But my efficient moment of the week was to boil some cavatappi at the same time.  That allowed me to deglaze the pan with chicken broth and toss in the pasta to soak up all of the flavors from the chicken.  Then tonight’s dinner was simply a matter of reheating the leftover chicken along with the pre-made pasta and refreshing it all with a bit of fresh basil.  Boiling the last of our green beans only took a few minutes.  So no fuss tonight, but it looked and tasted like I had spent an hour in the kitchen.

Best-o Pesto!

First, I’d like to remind everyone to carefully rinse their lettuce. I found two small slugs in mine yesterday! While I’m sure it’s an excellent source of protein, it’s an unpleasant surprise. However, as Alycia said, “And truthfully, I don’t want to eat any lettuce that a slug isn’t interested in.”

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are invited to pick fresh herbs from Dean’s Greenhouse when we pick up our CSA box. I had some left over from last week and I also picked a bunch of basil and parsley. What to make? I suddenly had a flashback from when I spent the summer in Italy and remembered all the pesto I ate. For some reason, I didn’t like it then. But, I decided to give it another try. I had some random elbow mac in the cupboard, so I threw that in a pot to cook. Then, I made pesto using all the basil, lemon basil, and parsley I had lying around. Oh, what a glorious thing to have fresh herbs just lying around!

Into the food processor they go along with some crushed garlic. Tomato photo bomb!

Give it a few pulses while adding enough olive oil to taste. I neglected to take a picture of this step. Sorry.

I scooped it out of the food processor and put it directly on the pasta. Then I mixed in some salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.

Meanwhile, I had some chicken cooking on the stove. I tossed up a salad from the CSA box and Voila! Dinner is served! P.S. It was delicious!