This past weekend we had dinner with our small group that comprises what we refer to as "gourmet" -- the same three couples that get together every few months, as our busy schedules allow, to eat exceptional food and get caught up on each others' lives.
As usual, this meal did not disappoint. I was assigned the appetizer -- a pizza on the grill loaded with sweet and salty goodness. The recipe by Todd English combines fig jam, prosciutto, Gorgonzola cheese, and fresh rosemary. I added dried figs, a gift to me last Christmas from the friends and neighbors hosting this dinner. I was surprised at how moist the dried figs were when I sliced them open. I had assumed I would need to rehydrate the fruit, but that was not at all necessary.
We were served a refreshing "cocktail" to sip along with the pizza. Made with watermelon, lime juice, loads of fresh mint, and tequila, it was easy to down this drink quickly (a little too quickly) on a day hovering around 90˚.
We ate dinner in the garden where we were surrounded by herbs, flowers, and vegetables.
The main dish was Salmon and Pea Risotto with morel mushrooms that Paul, another member of our group, picked and dried this past spring. I don't think I have to tell you how good this was.
…Fig and Prosciutto Pizza…
adapted from a recipe by Todd English
• Pizza dough (recipe here), divided into 4 balls
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 cup fig jam
• 1/4 pound Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
• 4 ounces sliced prosciutto
• Dried sliced figs, or halved fresh figs
1. Make the pizza dough; keep covered and chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use
2. In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, rosemary, and salt & pepper to taste
3. Prepare the grill. (I grill my pizzas on low heat, using a gas grill.) Remove 2 balls of dough from the refrigerator. I used to roll each ball of dough on a floured surface, but now I just take the ball of dough in my hands and start turning and stretching, letting the weight of the dough form the disc. When the dough is about 8-inches in diameter, place it on the grill. Repeat with the second ball of dough; place the cover over the grill When the bottom of the dough is a golden brown, flip, and begin adding the toppings.
4. Spread the surface of the dough with a thin layer of the fig jam. Sprinkle 1/4 of the garlic-rosemary mixture evenly over each pizza; top with 1/4 of the Gorgonzola cheese. Take 1 ounce of the prosciutto and tear into pieces while scattering over the pizza. Add either dried sliced figs, or fresh figs, cover the grill and continue to "bake" the pizzas until they are puffed and golden brown. Remove to a cutting board and slice into pieces. Repeat this process with the remaining 2 balls of pizza dough.
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