RECIPE: Pizza with pesto, caramelized shallots and garden veggies.
Eating seasonally. Is so much easier in the summer, right? But it’s something I’m working to be more mindful about all year. Using what’s emerging in the garden and arriving in the CSA box. Crafting meals that way.
Which is exactly what happened at a orchard banquet I attended this weekend. It benefited the Portland Fruit Tree Project—an awesome local nonprofit that works to collect local fruit that would otherwise go to waste, and then distribute it to folks who lack access to fresh produce. Amazing, right?
The event’s chef volunteered her time to cook for the banquet guests. She’s the owner of Abby’s Table, a Portland restaurant that serves family-style seasonal meals—sourced from local growers. Look at her grilled apricots, above. They ended up atop a salad (with cherry balsamic dressing to die for.)
(That and the equal entertainment of being seated next to naked TSA guy. Totally. Who was super friendly. And, you know, clothed.)
Homemade pesto, frozen from last year. Zucchini, squash, shallots, asparagus and basil leaves from the garden. The format? A pizza. Hooray.
RECIPE RATING: 5 of 5 glasses of those rhubarb mojitos. And a high five for eating in season, too.
|Pizza in season||
- PIZZA DOUGH: (makes 2 thin crusts or 1 thick crust)
- 1 1/2 C warm water
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 C whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- dash of polenta or cornmeal
- Pesto, for sauce
- Seasonal veggies! We used shallots, which we caramelized in a skillet with a bit of olive oil first, and some raw/sliced zucchini, squash, basil and asparagus. Then topped with spinach.
- Cheese of choice. (We used very little.)
- PIZZA DOUGH: Be warned there is rising time, so give it about an hour and a half.
- In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the flour, slowly, until incorporated. It should not be sticky or shaggy. Put dough on a floured surface, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- When the dough is doubled, tip onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crusts, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll out the ball of dough.
- Here’s where Ken swears you need to pre-bake the dough a little. So toss some cornmeal/polenta on your pizza stone to prevent sticking. Place your dough. And bake, briefly, in the warm oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove dough from oven. Add sauce. Top pizza with your fave (chopped) seasonal veggies. Finish with cheese.
- Bake for 16 to 20 minutes until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.