Friday, 19 September 2008

Royal Foodie Joust October

Yes it is that time once again. The Left Over Queen, bored with the relative calm, has looked down upon her Queendom and announced "A Joust!"

The people were sent scrambling to the kitchens to prepare a meal that would please the Queendom and the people alike.

The rules? Make a dish out of the three theme ingredients, then pray for mercy.

The ingredients this month? Peter (Protos), the winner from last month's joust, has chosen fennel, parsley and dairy.

What did I make? Pizza!!

Fennel and Sausage Pizza with Parsley Pesto.

Grilled Fennel
Grilled Sausages
Red Onion
Parsley Pesto
Cheddar, mozzarella, diced and blue cheese, crumbled
Parsley and fennel fronds for garnish

1 cup warm water
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Combine warm water and yeast in mixing bowl. Stir to mix well. Add flour, then everything else on top. Mix well, I use a stand mixer with the dough attachment. Add a little more flour if needed to make a smooth, leathery ball. Place in an oiled container and let rise in a draft-free location for about 1/2 hour. This is enough for one extra large pizza or 4 large single pizzas.

Parsley Pesto

Pesto just means paste and can be made with many different ingredients.
A type of nut - I used toasted almond.
An herb or green - I used parsley
Olive oil

Combine a large handful of parsley with a smaller handful of the toasted almonds, a generous glug of olive oil, two pinches of salt and 4 cloves of garlic. Whiz away in your food processor and taste for seasoning. Add salt or more of anything that needs it.

To Assemble Pizzas

Preheat oven to 475f. Get two baking sheets and line them with parchment paper.
Divide dough into 4 pieces. Press them out into pizza rounds with your fingertips. Two will fit onto each baking sheet. Top with parsley pesto and add sliced tomato, sliced sausage, sliced fennel, and thinly sliced red onions. Dot with a little more parsley pesto and cheeses. Bake until dough is golden and cheese is nicely bubbling. About 17 minutes. Garnish with more parsley and fennel fronds.

Serve with beer.