09 August 2013

grilled pizza & fried artichokes with herbed-yogurt dip.

After a long, leisurely afternoon of watching cooking shows, Jediah & I found some real inspiration for a lovely outdoor dinner. Oddly enough, both of these ideas came from two different Barefoot Contessa episodes. I have always been a little nervous about cooking pizza dough on the grill, thinking it would surely stick & cause a terrible mess. Gladly, I was wrong--it is super simple.

We used pre-made dough (a regular flour dough and a basil gluten-free dough) from a local pizza place, Portland Pie Company. The toppings here are super simple, but really, the options are endless. Just take a stroll through your local farmer's markets & let your imagination run wild.

The fried artichokes are another super easy appetizer, & I listed it as it is on the Barefoot Contessa site. I know there seems to be a lot of oil, but keep it! We used some to brush our pizza dough, but it also can be used for dressings & sautees. The dip is an adaptation of the one on the Barefoot Contessa's site, because the one there made way too much for what I would need.

As you can see, I can't get enough of the gorgeous, colorful perennials!

grilled pizza. with cherry tomatoes & mozzarella.
serves 4

1 pizza dough or gluten-free pizza dough, cut into 4 even pieces & rolled out into individual pizzas
a glug of olive oil (we used the oil from the fried artichokes)
1 cup of pearl mozzarella or 1 mozzarella ball torn into pieces
a handful of basil, chiffonade

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, larger tomatoes halved
4 cloves of garlic, minced (we used the cloves from the fried artichokes & mashed them with a fork)
1/4 cup of white wine
3 basil leaves, chiffonade
a pinch of sea salt & cracked pepper
  1. To make the cherry tomatoes sauce, heat a bit of oil in a pan over high heat. Toss in the tomatoes & garlic, cook & stir for about 2 minutes. Add wine, basil, & seasoning. Cook for about another 2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Set up a grill with heat source, coals or gas, on medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill.
  3. Using your hands, place dough, oiled side down, directly over heat source. Brush dough with herb oil or olive oil and cook until underside is lightly charred and bubbles form all over top, 1 to 2 minutes. With tongs, flip dough & add your toppings (here, tomatoes, cheese, & basil). Cover & cook another 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  4. Take off the heat & serve. 

fried artichokes.
serves 4

10 baby artichokes
Olive oil
6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

  1. Remove and discard the artichoke stems. Peel off lower leaves (approximately 18.) Slice off the top half so that only the light green remains (artichokes should be approximately 1 1/4 inches), then cut the artichoke in half lengthwise.
  2. Place the artichokes in a medium pot, flat side down, and add olive oil to just cover. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring the olive oil to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a low flame and simmer for 15 minutes. Insert a knife into the lower half and if easily penetrated, it's done.
  3. Remove the thyme and garlic from the pot, raise the heat and fry uncovered for approximately 2 minutes, turning over the artichokes midway. They are done when brown and crispy. Remove the artichokes from the pot and place them on paper towels flat side down. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

herbed yogurt dip.
This dip is great with veggies & even with potato chips!
serves 4

1 cup plain 0% fat Greek Yogurt
2 TBL Vegenaise
1 TBL fresh basil, finely chopped
1 TBL fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp dried sage
1 clove garlic, minced
a pinch of sea salt & cracked pepper

  1. Whisk ingredients until combined. 
happy eatings & cheers!
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