Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Whole Grain and Cream Cheese Pesto Grilled Pizza

Last night we got a glimpse of the coming Fall weather, here in the Rocky Mountains.  Rain showers, fog and a brisk chilly breeze were present most of the day and into the night. It was sweater weather for sure and way to early in the season for my liking.  I'm still wearing my flip flops and shorts and cringe when I think that I'll be shoveling snow in just a few short weeks.   I'd forgotten how quickly summer passes in the mountains after living in Florida for five years.  

As a lover of all things bright and sunny, I'm holding on the last vestiges of summer and enjoying as much outdoor cooking as I can manage, even if it's raining and cold outside! 

 
While living in the mountains, my family has had the wonderful opportunity to see wild life, up close and personal.  Elk, deer, chipmunks, skunks, and a myriad of birds live in our yard.   My neighbors tell me that they've had close encounters with bears and mountain lions too, but I haven't had the pleasure of seeing any...yet! 

One of our very favorite daily visitors is a fox my children have fondly named, "Ponderosa".  She visits us every morning and evening, each day of the week.  Her inner animal clock is on a perfectly synchronized schedule, 6 am and 3 pm.  Some times she stays all day, sleeping and lounging about and other days she's seen dashing through the yard after a tasty chipmunk or mouse.  We've grown so accustom to seeing her, she's almost part of the family.  Our dogs are still trying to decide if they like her and so far, she's not been interested in eating them. 

Of course, it's illegal to feed wild animals, so we refrain from the overwhelming temptation of giving her food.  Fortunately, she still visits us without fail. 

Standing in the drizzle, I started up the grill and began to make one of my favorite summer dishes, Grilled Pizza's!  Just as sure as the sunrises,  Ponderosa came to visit, at her usual time and joined me on the porch.  Together, in the mist I grilled pizza's and she watched!





I just recently entered two more cooking contests; the Real Women of Philadelphia, Cream Cheese "Appetizers, Make To Impress" and The Foodie Blogroll Royal Joust, "create a dish using, Whole Grains, Fresh Berries and Balsamic vinegar". 

Eager to save time and money I decided to make just one dish that I could adjust to work well for both contests.

I made my pizza dough with Spelt Flour, whole Flax Seeds and whole Red Wheat Berries, with a dreamy, creamy cheese Pesto, fresh berries and herbed salad greens...the greens were dressed in a drizzle of fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and dusted with sea salt and pepper to taste.

I'm not fond of whole grain anything, so having to adhere to the Joust guidelines was a struggle for me.  Luckily, I've had the chance to eat pasta made with Spelt flour  and to my surprise I liked it very much.  I decided to use the Spelt flour for my pizza dough and crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.  The pizza crust was crisp but tender and had a lovely nutty flavor.

I've also linked to a wonderful "Blog Hop" called Two for Tuesdays newly renamed....Hearth and Soul Blog Hop... amazing recipes and great fun...http://amoderatelife.com/hearth-and-soul-blog-hop/ go check it out, you wont be disappointed.

 
The Pizza Dough:

3/4 plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups Spelt flour plus more for dusting
1/4 cup whole red wheat berries
1/2 cup whole flax seed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
extra virgin olive oil



Method:

In a large bowl, mix together the water with the yeast and the sugar and let stand until the mix is foamy, about 5 minutes.  Add the 2 cups Spelt flour and stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms, add the flax seed and wheat berries and knead into dough just until all seeds are incorporated, pour onto a
floured surface and knead dough until elastic about 5 minutes. 


pour a small amount of olive oil into mixing bowl and return dough to bowl, turn the dough to coat with oil, cover and place in a draft free area until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours












With your fist, punch dough down and form into a ball, cut the ball into 4 equal pieces or 12-2 inch balls, for smaller appetizer pizzas


Dough can be made ahead, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for one week or frozen for up to one month. Allow cold dough to return to room temperature and rise according to directions

 
rub a small amount of olive oil on both sides of shaped dough, heat grill on high for 10 minutes then lower to medium, place pizzas on the clean, well oiled grill, cook the first side for approximately 5 minutes or until brown and crisp on the bottom, flip over 

Coat cooked side of pizza with 2 tablespoons prepared cream cheese pesto and cook for additional 5 minutes, remove from grill, add toppings and serve immediately




Toppings:


red raspberries, blackberries, herbed lettuce mix, shaved Parmesan cheese, salt and fresh ground pepper

Dressing:

1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, toss herbed lettuce to coat lightly


Cream Cheese Pesto:

4 ounces Philadelphia Brand Chive and Onion Cream Cheese (1/2 tub)
1 cup Italian parsley
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
sea salt and pepper to taste

Method:
using small electric chopper, add cream cheese, parsley, lemon juice and garlic and blend for 30 seconds, add olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper and blend till smooth









remember to check out the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
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13 comments:

  1. So summery! I love your interpretation of the ingredients! Thanks for participating in The Royal Foodie Joust.

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  2. Thank's Jenn! It was so much fun working with the whole grains.

    I really enjoy being part of your circle of foodies! xoxo

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  3. Hi Rebecka! This is my first time here. Thanks for visiting and following my blog. I am glad to follow you back :)

    Oh...how I miss Colorado! It is indeed one of the most beautiful places to live.

    What a coincidence! I just published a post on pizza too. Your whole grain crust sounds wonderful. I do so like spelt flour as it makes a tender crumb.

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  4. Hi Biren,

    Colorado is an amazing place to live and raise a family. We recently moved back here after living in Sanible Island, Florida for five years. I really miss the ocean and all the beautiful sea creatures but I don't miss the heavy air and humid conditions...oh, or the bugs!

    There's nothing more freshing than to step outside and smell the crisp and cool Colorado air.

    Thank you for visiting and following my blog. I'm looking forward to seeing what else we have in common.

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  5. Your pizza looks great and your pesto sounds delicious. Thank you for visiting me, it certainly lead me back to you, and I'm glad it did! You have a wonderful site. I can't wait to try your pepper jelly recipe! But I can't seem to find liquid pectin over here, only found the powdered pectin, which I have bought but have yet to try! Will be back to read your other posts. Have a lovely day!

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  6. Kitchen flavours,
    Thanks’ for taking the time to visit my site and posting a comment! I really appreciate your comments and suggestions any time!

    Go ahead and use the powdered pectin in the Pepper Jelly recipe. It does basically the same thing as the liquid pectin, but you'll need two use packages. I prefer the liquid pectin because it dissolves faster but they both serve the same purpose. Let me know how the recipe turns out!

    xoxo

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  7. Hi Rebecka, it's me again! Thank you for your reply. Will let you know how it turns out as soon as I make this (which should probably be within the next two weeks). I know that I am new to your blog, but I think that you have a fantastic site here and it should be shared by as many bloggers as possible, so I am extending an award to you. Please do drop by when you can. See you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I always enjoy looking at your blog! Your grilled pizza with the pesto sounds delicious! What you do with taking homemade goodies to friends is a wonderful thing and I'm sure they are all delicious!

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  9. @Pam, I covet your blog visits and your posts! It means so much to me that you've taken the time to view and read my blog...likewise, I enjoy your lovely blog and have already past you along to many other bloggers!

    @Kitchen flavors, I wanted to thank you again for thinking of my blog when you were giving out The Versatile Blogger Awards. I'm honored that you felt my blog was deserving of the award!

    Many thanks xoxo

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  10. What an incredibly interesting sounding pizza - I love the different flavors of the pesto and the fruit! Yum! Thanks for linking to hearth'nsoul!

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  11. This recipe looks like a winner, thanks for sharing it with Hearth and Soul. I'm a Colorado girl, and wouldn't trade her beauty for the world, especially at this time of year :)

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  12. I just love that fox...so beautiful =) The pizza sounds amazing, too...YUM!!! Thanks so much for sharing it w/ the hearth'nsoul hop, Rebecka!

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  13. Hi Becka! So sorry I am late in commenting, my only excuse being my kids are driving me crazy busy! I adore your little fox visitor! We stayed at a lovely place in vermont last summer and a she fox also visited us daily! What fun. I adore fruity pizza too and while I dont have access to a good grill right now, plan on making some in the oven soon! Thanks for sharing on the hearth n soul hop! Alex@amoderatelife

    ReplyDelete

♥I really appreciate your comments♥

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