Sunday, January 6, 2013

i made pizza, and then i got distracted....

Sunday night's 'pizza for dinner' plan is quickly becoming a household tradition.  It's so easy, and it always hits the mark:  little to no prep, short cooking time, scrumptious results, minimal cleanup.   Tonight's version consisted of the obligatory Udi's Gluten Free Crust, homemade pesto ( recipe to follow),  sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and parmesan reggiano.  Everything except the fresh basil, which I used in the pesto, was already stocked in my pantry/ refrigerator/ freezer.  It doesn't get much easier than that.
My husband, Thor,  opened a yummy bottle of wine and that was that.  These are some of my favorite evenings.
As it always does, our conversation drifted quickly - from pizza crust,( Thor doesn't like gluten free) to french cookbooks. Eventually we found our way to Henri Babinski, an french engineer turned cookbook author.  He is better known in foody circles by his nom de plume, Ali Bab, under which he published the  Gastronomie Pratique, Etudes Culinaires, or as translated, the Practical Gastronomist - culinary studies.   In an effort to be brief,  I'd love to suggest a visit to fellow blogger's Lost Past Remembered, for both a more in depth account, and a beautiful recipe for Veal Chop with Paprika Cream......

As for me and my house,  we ate pizza, and puttered around until bedtime.

tonight's pizza

1 Udi's Gluten free pizza crust
1/4 cup homemade pesto **
5 sun-dried tomatoes preserved in olive oil
a handful of mushrooms ( any kind will do, but I used pre-sliced white mushrooms for this)
a handful of freshly grated parmesan reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place pizza crust onto baking sheet. ( Make sure to check directions for the pizza crust - Udi's can beused right out of the freezer.)

Using a spatula, spread the pesto over the entire pizza crust. 

Remove the sun dried tomatoes from their jar and blot the oil with a paper towel.  Slice the tomatoes and sprinkle evenly over the pizza crust.

sun dried
Top the pizza with sliced mushrooms and finally grate the parmesan cheese over top.
ready for the oven
Bake at 350F  for about 15 minutes.
If you're like me,  there is never time to let the pizza cool before taking the first bite.


Pesto is so easy and there is no set recipe.  Each cook has his or her own special, sometimes even secret, pesto recipe.  Mine changes depending on what I have in my pantry.

Tonight's was especially good, even if I say so myself.
 If you don't have a food processor,  you can still make this using a good old fashioned mortar and pestle, or even a nice sharp knife and a little elbow grease.   I used my food processor. 

Ingredients/ Directions - it's that simple!

In a food processor combine the following:

Several handfuls/bunches of fresh basil.  (Stems are ok,  they all end up the same consistency in the end)

1 large clove of garlic - minced
1 large garlic clove
2 anchovies (preferably packed in olive oil - if they were packed in salt,  rinse them first)
image courtesy of BBC Good Food

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Fresh ground pepper -  I used a couple turns of the pepper mill.

Turn on the food processor and, as the ingredients are crushed into a gorgeous green paste,  slowly drizzle in olive oil - about 1/4  cup into the mixture.
 That's it.   Turn off your food processor, and UNPLUG it before trying to scoop out this garlicky, green goodness.  Remove the blade and, using a rubber spatula, scrape our every last bit of goodness.

Conversations with Thor are never predictable.  I am continually amazed by his

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