This week I decided to try my hand at a few of my favorite recipes. On Saturday I made our homemade pizza, Pizza Rustica with Wild Nettles. I found this recipe in the back of a Coastal Living magazine issue. It looked interesting, save for the wild nettles. I don't know what those are or where to get them so we usually substitute kale. This is a type of "pizza bianco", or a pizza that lacks that the traditional layer of tomato paste. Instead, this particular pizza has as its base layer a paste of roasted garlic. It is then topped with a finely diced red pepper flake and thyme leaf seasoning, followed by four cheeses along with the chopped up kale. I highly recommend this recipe along with the accompanying pizza dough recipe, which I also made the same day. I'm pretty slow in the kitchen, so it seemed like the whole thing took me 3 hrs to make, but it was well worth it.
Sunday was such a nice day that I thought, why not barbeque something? Later this week I'm making Gordon Ramsay's Beef Wellington, so I wanted something other than steak. Some time ago I came across this Salmon on a Plank recipe in an in-flight magazine. I think I've written it up in this blog some time before. From another previous BBQ experiment with octopus, I had grilled Belgian endives, that I thought would go well with salmon. Unfortunately I'd forgotten where I saw that recipe for grilled endives, but luckily I found something similar in Mario Batali's Italian Grill.
Batali recommended Endive with Marjoram and Provatura on the grill. It looked simple enough, I happened to have the cheese (Provolone) left over from the pizza and we had a lemon. It seems like it's just a basic vinaigrette that is used to coat the endives before going on the grill. I was actually surprised that Batali didn't suggest a pinch of red pepper flakes to the vinaigrette, so I added it thinking he'd just forgotten. The cheese atop the now tangy endives combined really well and balanced out the sweet spice rub on the fish. My only trouble with this dish is that the fish takes way longer to cook on the grill than what the recipe suggests (more than double the time I find). My timing was a bit off so I had to hold warm the endives in the mircowave. Seems kind of lame but it didn't seem to spoil them; they still had enough of a crunch. Pretty good, simple dish in all, the pic (my presentation) doesn't really do it justice I'm afraid.