Category Archives: Asparagus

Getting Creative with Homemade Pizza

With my lease ending at the end of April and my future whereabouts unknown, my goal is to be sustainable and use up everything I have in the kitchen. I bought some dry yeast back in December and made these little Greek donuts called loukoumades but haven’t used anymore since. The other day, I was in the mood for pizza, so I made pizza dough and with pizza dough comes pizza!

Sustainable homemade pizza

I looked around briefly and came across a great blog written by Suzyhomebaker and she had adapted a recipe for pizza dough in a book appropriately called My Bread by Jim Lahey. I had virtually everything in the recipe, so away I went. Her adaptation for the pizza dough is below and my comments are in brackets.

As for the toppings, I was inspired to see if I could make a delicious non-pizza pizza since my roommate is doing his annual Greek fast, meaning no dairy and no meat. Luckily, I had some vegetables that were waiting to be transformed into sweet goodness…onions and garlic. I love cooking down raw onions and roasting garlic, so I did just that!

Ingredients for pizza dough

  • 3-3/4 cups bread flour (I didn’t have bread flour, just all-purpose white flour, it seemed to do the trick!)
  • 2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 3/4 tsp plus pinch of sugar
  • 1-1/3 cup room temp. water (72 degrees)
  • extra virgin olive oil

1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until blended, at least 30 seconds. The dough is a bit stiff so I added a tiny bit more water to be sure all the ingredients were incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic and towel and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

(I also found the dough a bit stiff and all the ingredients weren’t incorporated yet, so I added just enough water to combine everything and I didn’t cover it with a towel, just the plastic wrap. It seemed to do the trick, but it definitely didn’t look like Suzy’s or anything i’ve seen on the Food Network. I was so unimpressed with my dough at the time, I couldn’t even bring myself to take a picture of it.)

2. Once all the toppings are ready to go (which are just below), oil up a baking sheet. Divide the dough in half and gently pull and stretch the dough across the surface of the pan, and use your hands to press it evenly out to the edges. If the dough sticks to your fingers, lightly dust it with flour or coat your hands with oil. It will be very thin all around and ready for the toppings.

Toppings

  • 2 onions
  • 3 heads of garlic
  • 10-12 spears of asparagus
  • BBQ Sauce

3. While waiting for the dough to rise, start prepping your toppings. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the very top off an entire head of garlic, just enough to see the top of all the exposed cloves. Place the garlic bottom down on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle some olive oil over the top of the exposed garlic. Sprinkle some salt over the top and wrap it tightly and place it in the oven for approximately 35 minutes or until you can easily poke a knife through the aluminum foil (You’ll also smell the sweet garlic scent in the kitchen!) Once you remove the garlic, open up the foil and let them rest for a few minutes as it will be very hot! Once they cool, simply squeeze the bulbs out into a small bowl. (If you’ve never done it before, wait to be amazed!)

4. Chop up the onions and place aside. Heat up a frying pan with some olive oil over a medium heat. Place the onions into the pan and sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt. Don’t be alarmed if the onions are overflowing over the pan. Keep stirring the onions as they start breaking down and get brown. Keep stirring until they get soft and brown and look nothing how they started!

5. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and begin dressing your pizza. Shmmmear the roasted garlic over the dough. Place the asparagus and caramelized onions over the garlic spread and finally drizzle the entire pizza with BBQ sauce. Place on the centre rack of the oven and let bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the dough become golden brown.

6. Cut and enjoy!

I was pleasantly surprised with how the dough came out, it smelled like pizza dough and tasted like pizza dough, so I guess I made pizza dough! As for the toppings, everything is fair game to go onto a pizza, enjoy being creative and seeing what your kitchen has to offer. And in case you were curious, it wasn’t just me who liked it, my roommate thought it was great too.

Lastly, thank you for making it down all the way to the bottom for what is my longest post to date…I think!

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Filed under Asparagus, BBQ Sauce, Caramelized onions, Pizza, Roasted Garlic

Simple and Elegant Appetizers

I was put in charge of the appetizers for a little potluck dinner the other night and since I didn’t have much time to prepare my goal was something easy and delicious. I decided on baked asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and tomatoes with garlic, olive oil and bocconcini cheese.

The asparagus dish is something I had seen Jamie Oliver do on the Food Network (I can’t remember which series since he’s got 3-4 going). I had tried it once before with pancetta and even though it was good with the prosciutto, it is better with pancetta. It crisps up much faster and the salt really penetrates into the asparagus giving it a nice kick.

Asparagus wrapped in proscuitto

Asparagus wrapped in proscuitto

It is really easy to prepare,

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Once the asparagus has been washed and dried, roll the pancetta (or prosciutto) around the asparagus and lay them in a baking pan
  • Drizzle some olive oil over the asparagus
  • Bake for 10 minutes (or until the edges of the meat turns crispy)
Asparagus wrapped in proscuitto

Asparagus wrapped in proscuitto

As for the tomatoes, it was something I thought would be simple and a nice cold app to go with the asparagus.

  • Slice 4-6 ripe tomatoes lengthwise
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely sliced)
  • pepper
  • oregano
  • salt
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Combine them all and then drizzle it over the tomatoes
  • Add some bocconcini cheese
Tomatoes with olive oil and bocconcini cheese

Tomatoes with olive oil and bocconcini cheese

Tomatoes with olive oil and bocconcini cheese

Tomatoes with olive oil and bocconcini cheese

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Filed under Asparagus, bocconcini cheese, Jamie Oliver, Pancetta, Potluck dinner, prosciutto, tomatoes