Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gourmet Date Night!

This week our goal was to get into the food in our fridge, freezer, and pantry that is otherwise getting neglected (I think the falafel mix has been waiting for us to get inspired for almost a year).  So date night led to me fishing out the frozen whole wheat pizza dough from the fridge (homemade... yum) and planning a vegetarian pizza (1. I wanted cheese, 2. it's the 9 days so we don't eat meat).

I found this recipe for pesto pizza online and we made it with a few adjustments.  Mainly, since Omri couldn't find pre-made pesto or a jar of kosher artichoke hearts, he came home with two huge batches of basil and a whole fresh artichoke.  I was totally overwhelmed but it turned out to be the best move possible!  

I learned that you can MICROWAVE AN ARTICHOKE!  After trimming the top and the sharp tips, taking off any gnarly leaves from the bottom, and cutting the stem, wash it and stick it in the microwave, covered.  (The website said plastic wrap but that scares me so we covered it with a piece of wax paper.)  7 minutes.  Done.  I made a poor-man's hollandaise imitation (good thing my dad doesn't read this blog or I'd be disowned) with margarine, mayonnaise, paprika and lemon juice so we could nosh on the leaves while making the pizza.  It was fine, since I wasn't looking so much for it to taste like hollandaise and was just hoping for a compliment for the artichoke leaves.  Great parve option, by the way!

Omri checked the basil and we put it into the food processor with fresh garlic and olive oil until it was just perfect.  

I also chopped up some veggies (as per the recipe)--green pepper and red onion--and grilled them briefly (not from the recipe but I get nervous putting raw veggies on the pizza since Mark Bittman says not to).  After they were done I added sliced olives and chopped fresh tomato.  I should have put in the fresh artichoke heart then but forgot!  

The (pre-cooked) dough was covered with the fresh pesto, piled high with veggies, then feta, then (when I remembered) the artichoke heart.  Here it is mid-process:

And here's the yummy result!

YUM!  I highly recommend this recipe to any pizza or pesto lover!

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