saturday night i had it all planned out. i was going to relax, catch up on my tv watching and make homemade pizza. i went to the store and got everything i would need: pizza dough, mozzarella, etc. it was only after i got home i realized i forgot pizza sauce.
i thought about scrapping the pizza until another time but then inspiration hit me. i had some leftover cherry tomatoes in the fridge that were starting to wrinkle. what if i slow roasted them and then made some kind of pesto? i had a bag of spinach i could use. i also had some leftover prosciutto. i could throw that on top.
so i did.
slow roasted tomato and spinach pesto
i didn't really have a recipe for making this pesto but the following is what i ended up doing. i kind of winged it, which seemed to be the theme of the evening.
1/2 pint of slow roasted cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic (slow roasted with the tomatoes)
2 handfuls of fresh spinach (give or take)
1 tbs of tomato paste (again, leftover)
1 tbs of olive oil (give or take)
earlier in the day i slow roasted my wrinkled cherry tomatoes. i followed deb's recipe. half the tomatoes, lay them out on a foiled cookie sheet with two or three peeled garlic gloves. drizzled olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and allow tomatoes to bake for a good 3 hours. the tomatoes should be wrinkly and dry but still juicy, if that makes sense.
let the tomatoes cool for 15 or 20 minutes. in a food processor, combine the tomatoes, peeled garlic cloves that were roasting with the tomatoes, olive oil and one handful of spinach leaves. after blending, add the tomato paste and the rest of the spinach leaves.
follow the directions on the store bought pizza dough (i used trader joe's). preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. if using a pizza stone, allow pizza stone to heat up in the oven while oven is preheating. once heated, remove the pizza stone and stretch the floured pizza dough onto stone until it almost meets the edges.
drizzle olive oil onto the dough and spread all around. then spread the pesto onto the pizza dough. cover with mozzarella. add your toppings. (i used two slices of prosciutto, sliced.) sprinkle some more mozzarella over your toppings.
bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese and dough has browned. cool, slice and dig in.
new years eve was a lazy, rainy day here in chicago but i still found it to be exciting. mainly because i met someone. his name is dirk. he's tall, dark, handsome... and he has mussels. lots and lots of mussels.
and oysters and red snapper and tilapia and alaskan king crab..
my plans for new years eve included a night in with good food, good drinks and amazing friends. we planned on having bruschetta, prosciutto wrapped mozzarella, mussels and gnocchi. i was in charge of the mussels. having never bought mussels before, i felt a bit lost. you would think that if i were planning on making mussels i would firstly know how to get mussels. this was not the case. luckily chowhound helped me out and i found dirk's shop. i've lived in chicago for 5 1/2 years and i am just now finding out about dirk's?!! i'm sorry it's taken me this long to be enlightened but i'm ready to make up for lost time.
even on a rainy friday the line at dirk's was to the door. dirk and his wife terry were working. i love when owners are ringing up customers and available to chat. after i paid for my three pounds of mussels, i went back home, soaked them in water and reviewed the recipe i was going to use. i followed the mussels "peppetedda" recipe in julia della croce's latest cookbook, because we all know i can't get enough of her cookbook.
i forgot the parsley at my apartment but the mussels were still pretty good. and you can't go wrong with bruschetta, prosciutto, mozzarella, gnocchi and, of course, champagne. what a way to end 2010.