Sourdough Three Cheese Roasted Garlic Vegetable Pizza and Part 15July 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Posted in Breads, Dinner, Lunch, Rainbow, Vegetables, Vegetarian | 60 Comments
Tags: Blue Potatoes, Chevre, Corn, cream cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, Peppers, Pizza, roasted garlic, sourdough pizza, three cheese pizza, Tomatoes, vegetarian pizza
Motivation. Got some you want to lend me? I promise I’ll take good care of it and return it to you in perfect condition.
I have lacked the M word for some time now, especially when it comes to cooking, baking, photo processing and writing – outside of my BBFL memory, which is therapeutic writing for me. Writing, cooking, baking and photographing pretty much sums up a food blog, huh? I’ve made promises to people and I’ve delayed and delayed and delayed them.
It all started with everything that went on from late February through May. It continued with the crazy heat, making me not want to turn on the oven or do anything outside of lounging with a jar of peanut butter or nutella, something to dip in it, and the remote control – the AC on POLAR ICE.
Not a pretty picture.
Well..I’ve been tackling these promises one by one – and today is one I was very much looking forward to until the proverbial sh*t hit the fan, or, in my case..the AC.
Early last March, my friends Shelley of C Mom Cook, Jenni of The Gingered Whisk and Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood, started a sourdough challeng called Sourdough Surprises after loving this Daring Bakers challenge. With their new pets in their refrigerators, they decided to continue to create all sorts of treats using it – from sourdough bagels, to sourdough pretzels, ad infinitum. I wanted in, and I discussed it with Jenni and Shelley in a 2-hour-long conversation one lazy afternoon.
You remember Herbie, don’t you? Well..right before the first challenge, I killed him again. I put him in a turned off oven to sit after feeding him, because he needed a boost before I took out what I needed and refreshed that portion for the challenge.
I forgot he was in the oven. No need to get into details..you know what happened. Herbie was literally baked. So, I decided to birth another Herbie. The new Herbie died because he wasn’t yet strong enough to miss a meal or two, and I forgot the meal or two. It was actually 10 meals, but who’s counting?
I think I might be a serial killer *cue dramatic music, then stop it and zoom in on my face* – a sourdough serial killer.
Because I don’t have the motivation to build up another starter and frankly, am not a fit sourdough mommy at this time, I was given a half cup by a friend who’s had her sourdough starter going for 2 years. She named him Butch. A little refreshing and I was ready to turn Butch into pizza dough.
This months Sourdough Surprises challenge is pizza with a sourdough crust. I’m three days late. They’ve already moved on to pie for August, any kind of pie with a flaky, sourdough crust. If you want to join in the pizza dough challenge until the end of July, check it out and link it up HERE. To join in on the August pie challenge, click HERE for the instructions and the recipe.
Having said all that, I’m eating the rainbow again and will continue to do so as much as I can this summer. To sum up this pizza pie…I took advantage of the summer bounty of vegetables, plus blue potatoes ( I could only find baby blues this time) – which I adore, and created somewhat of a rainbow pizza on top of chevre with roasted garlic mashed in, and lots of fresh mooootz -ar- elll topped with some grated Grana Padano.
Three cheeses, roasted garlic..summer corn, basil and tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions and blue potatoes. Hot diggity! And, it’s vegetarian!
You can use any kind of pizza crust you want, but of course I used the sourdough crust recipe that they provided, which is lovely. You can see the sourdough pizza linky round-up, HERE..and again, if you make a sourdough crust pizza before the end of July..link it up!
Having said all that, I want to thank a sweetheart of a girl and a fantastic baker, Uru (aka Chocolate Chip Uru), of Go Bake Yourself for two lovely awards she gave me – The Illuminating Blog Award and the Addictive Blog Award! I’m very flattered! Thank you!
Finally, I prefer a thinner crust pizza in general, but I let this one do its bubbly, puffy crust thang because the dough tasted so unbelievably good. I wanted a thicker crust so I could enjoy more of it. You can roll it thinner if you prefer it that way, and yes, I really do taste dough for flavor before shaping and baking. Try it and you’ll see why.
Sourdough Three Cheese Roasted Garlic Summer Vegetable Pizza
Yield: 1 large, 2 medium or 3 baby pizzas
I batch Sourdough Pizza Crust or use any pizza dough you like.
6 ounces chevre or cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 head of garlic, roasted
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
mozzarella cheese..sliced, some shredded for topping (the amount depending on your stringy cheese preference)
Grated Grana Padano or Asiago or Parm Reggiano etc..-whatever Italian hard cheese you like
Summer Vegetable Topping
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or kept whole (I like the burst of small roasted tomatoes, so I kept them whole)
1 small or half a medium or large orange bell pepper,seeded, ribs removed, and diced
Kernels from one ear of corn
1 small or half a medium or large green bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed and diced
1/2 a red onion, or one small red onion, diced
about 1/4 lb (4 oz) blue potatoes, slightly steamed or boiled, peeled, and cubed
Torn fresh basil
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
NOTE – You will have leftover vegetables, especially if you make one large pizza. Either make more pizza dough or make a vinaigrette and enjoy this as a cold summer vegetable medley.
1. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the head into a bowl with the chevre or cream cheese. Mix together until somewhat smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside, covered.
2. Preheat a pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven at 500 degrees F for at least 20 minutes.
3. Combine all the prepared vegetables in a bowl, and drizzle with a little olive oil..seasoning well with salt and pepper. Toss well.
3. For one large pizza…press, roll, stretch and/or toss the dough to about a 12- 14 inch round. Place on a cornmeal or semolina coated pizza peel. Lay slices of mozzarella over it..covering all the dough within 1/2 inch of the rim. Spoon dollops of the roasted garlic cheese on top of the mozzarella cheese, then grab handfuls (with your impeccably clean and sterile hands) of the vegetables and scatter them evenly over the cheese.
5. Shred some of the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle it on top of the vegetables, along with the grana padano or any Italian hard cheese you prefer.
6. Quickly slide the pizza on the hot baking stone in one quick motion (it’s in the wrist), and shut the oven door. Bake for about 8 -10 minutes for a large pizza..6- 8 minutes for the mediums, and 5 – 6 minutes for the small pizzas.
Note – You can stretch the dough on and bake this pizza in a greased and cornmeal or semolina coated sheet pan, if you don’t have a pizza/bread stone. You just won’t get the uber, crispy, crust a stone gives you.
NOTE – If you prebake your crust for 5 minutes, like the sourdough crust recipe linked above recommends, spread the roasted garlic cheese on the crust, then top with the mozzarella and vegetables and finish baking.
Now to Part 14B (We’re closing in on the end – I swear!)) of Bad Boy First Love. If you’re just tuning in, Part One is HERE, Part Two is HERE , Part Three is HERE, Part Four is HERE, Part Five is HERE, Part Six is HERE, Part Seven is HERE, Part 8 is HERE, Part 9 is HERE, Part Ten is HERE, Part 11 is HERE, Part 12 is HERE, Part 13A is HERE, Part 13B is HERE, Part 14A is HERE, and Part 14B is HERE.
Once he was satisfied that my hair was dry enough so I wouldn’t catch a pneumonia and die, he insisted I have some of the chicken soup he brought over.
He actually ran to the Chinese take-out down the street and made it there 10 minutes before they closed so he could bring me this soup. I was flattered and grateful. It was steaming hot heaven, and I could feel my stuffy nose and head clearing with each spoonful. He put the flower in a cup of water and smiled at me.
I can still hear his accent clearly.
“I picked it out of the dorm courtyahd. Nowhere to get flowahs this time of night.”
I thanked him for being so sweet and considerate.
There was no living room or couch, so we could either sit at the kitchen table and talk, or watch TV in my bedroom, but that would entail lying in bed together. So, I’d be in bed with hockey guy if that was the choice I made. I decided to keep it platonic at the kitchen table. We talked until I could barely hold my head up. I was exhausted again and I needed to lie down. Looks like I was getting in bed with the hockey player after all.
I pulled my pillows and blankets down from my top bunk, laying them over my roommate’s bedding so we could watch TV. You could barely see the TV from the top bunk.
He was a gentleman, lying next to me with his hands behind his head, while I struggled to get comfortable in such a small space without touching him, eventually ending up with the pillows propped up a little and my hands clasped and resting on my stomach. Remember, this was a bunk bed, sit up any further and you knock your head against the upper bunk.
Awkward and SO uncomfortable.
We channel surfed until we found this hokey late night movie with William Shatner in it on a network channel. We ended up laughing our asses off because the acting was so bad and soon I was sobbing, but tears of laughter, not my usual and way too frequent, sad tears. I was enjoying his sense of humor immensely.
Before I knew it..we were so comfortable we were touching elbows, then I accidentally jabbed him in the ribs with that elbow during one scene where he made a remark so funny I couldn’t help it while I laughed – an elbow jerk reaction. I’m a natural ‘touchy-feely’ person when I’m interacting with people I like, and it tends to get misconstrued if it’s a man. He gently jabbed me back. Within moments, we were play wrestling, laughing hysterically.
He finally pinned me, holding my wrists down, my arms over my head, looking down at me with a victory smile. The laughter soon started to peter off and his face became more serious while he looked into my eyes. I knew what was coming, and I knew I wasn’t going to stop it.
He leaned down and kissed me softly, runny nose and all. I told him he was going to catch my cold.
“I don’t care, it’ll be worth it” he said
Now, let’s stop here for a moment. How can any girl resist a response like that? 1-2-3….Awwww.
He smiled, then kissed me again, a little longer this time. Soon, a little passion was meshing nicely with the softness.
His kisses didn’t do to me what Dreamboat’s did, the melting factor on low, but it was nice. There were very few butterflies and no JELL_O legs, but, again, it was nice, really nice. The more we kissed, the nicer it got, and soon I was very caught up in all of the niceness. It was so strange and unfamiliar running my fingers through his super thick, coarse, dark curly hair. Dreamboat’s hair was straight, thick and silky.
Although his body was athletic perfection, it kind of hurt and I think one of his biceps left a bruise. I like a little give on a guy, you know, an inch to pinch. and there was not an inch to spare anywhere. I couldn’t really snuggle into him completely because it was like trying to snuggle the Rock of Gibraltar, at certain angles.
After one man for 3 years - a new body, new hair, new lips, new smell, etc…was incredibly surreal, and, uhh, one more time – kind of nice.
After 15 minutes of kissing, a loud voice interrupted us. I turned my head to see thighs, a girl’s thighs. My bunk mate was back.
“What are you two up to?” she asked, her voice saturated with sass.
I gave her a goofy, embarrassed smile “Nothing, how about you?”
Hockey guy rolled off of me and sat up..also with a goofy smile.
“I better get going,” he said, taking my hand in his and pulling me up He wanted me to walk him to the door. We stood and kissed a little more, and although he bent down a little, I still had to stand on my tippy-toes a bit since he was about 6’2″. Dreamboat was about 5’11″, perfect to my almost 5’7″.
It was cute how he couldn’t stop smiling as he backed away before he turned and left for good.
When I got back to the room, my bunk mate couldn’t contain her wicked smile..
“I knew you two would hook up” she said, with a touch of humor and possibly, sarcasm.
I sighed..I still wasn’t sure how I felt. “I didn’t.” I responded. I was hoping I wouldn’t would have been a more truthful response.
I pulled my bedding off her bunk, threw it up on mine and climbed up. I was suddenly more exhausted than ever.
I didn’t replay his kisses in my head over and over like I always did with Dreamboat’s kisses, BUT, again..there was something there, I just couldn’t figure out the depth of it. If I had never met and fallen in love with Dreamboat, I probably would have fallen for this guy already.
I wish I had been able to take photos of this pizza straight out of the oven so you could see all the molten,gooey cheese dripping, but I couldn’t, so here’s a snippet of formerly molten, gooey cheese.
He called the next day to see how I was. He wanted to do something if I was feeling better. I begged off, although, deep down in the dark and mushy recesses of my now scattered brain, I kind of wanted to. Even though Dreamboat and I had an ‘unspoken’ thing where we really couldn’t ask each other not to date anyone since we’d be apart for long blocks of time, I didn’t feel good about it.
I couldn’t believe I was the one who probably did it first. I had been absolutely, 100% sure I wouldn’t be able to do it at all.
After that weekend, he would still come by my bench on his way to practice and I’d walk with him to the arena. He knew I still loved Dreamboat, but seemed happy with the teeny tiny piece of my heart I was willing to give him..maybe one valve at most. In time he was putting his arm around me as we walked, not reciprocated…or holding my hand – well, the two of my fingers I let him hold.
I stopped resisting after a while because the physical contact felt good, and just as I fretted, but expected, I was soon known as his girl. I’d try to convince everyone, most importantly myself, that we were more friends than boyfriend and girlfriend, but no one was buying it. Then the pecks goodbye when I left him at the arena made my insistence that we were ‘just friends’, sound ridiculous. I didn’t know what the hell it was, I couldn’t put a label on it no matter how hard I tried. I was completely flummoxed.
I started counting down the days to Thanksgiving. I had to get home to Dreamboat. I still ached for him, though not as fiercely as before, and I knew it was because of this little thing I couldn’t quite define with hockey guy. He was essentially waiting for me – circling like a vulture, expecting our relationship to die so he could move into the cavernous part of my heart – currently occupied by Dreamboat, rent-free. Remember, according to the experts, ..those relationships never last.
I started meeting him after practice two or three times a week. We’d go to dinner together to dine with his or my friends or just back to his dorm/apartment to eat and watch TV. This had all the makings a full-blown relationship, but a lot of the time, I felt like I was just going through the motions. Sometimes I was a walking, talking shell of myself..possibly faking it, trying to fill the space where Dreamboat lived, since it was temporarily vacated. With Dreamboat, every sense was always alive, hot and kicking, I never had a shell moment with him, not even once.
The only time I felt anything remotely close to what I felt with Dreamboat was at the hockey games. Watching him speed skate across the ice with the puck, especially when he shot it for a goal, was kind of sexy. Watching him body check an opposing player against the plexiglass, made me gasp a little – with delight.
It was confirmed, I was a FREAK. Anything tough or ‘bad’ about a guy, especially a good boy in this case – and BOOM, goosebumps and butterflies.
After one game against a rival school, in which he shot the winning goal with 2 seconds to go in the 3rd period, he looked for me as the team skated off the ice - then motioned me over so he could give me the puck. He looked so cute, sweaty, I thought, as I stared at his wet curls clinging to his neck. All of it was like a freakin’ scene in a feel good ending to a movie. Those rarely happen, but when they do, it’s kind of fun to be in the role.
He showed me around Boston one Indian summer Sunday, and speaking of movies, it was like one of those montages you see in movies – signifying the two lead characters are or might be heading towards coupledom Cue upbeat, background music.
Here we are eating ice cream cones at Fanueil Hall. I brush my ice cream against his nose, leaving a blob while I laugh maniacally.
Here we are walking hand-in-hand (well.his hand holding two of my fingers – I still couldn’t commit fully to serious hand-holding) looking up at The Old North Church!
Here we are on a swan boat in the Boston Common!
Here we are at the Waterfront – watching the sunset!
…and here we are sharing a big pot of zuppa di pesce at his favorite restaurant in the North End!
This thing we had was too movie perfect, therefore somewhat artificial to me. He was trying too hard, but once again..I kind of liked it, though not quite enough to give up another valve….yet.
I was starting to feel more and more guilty every time I told him I still loved Dreamboat, when we discussed it, but I did and that’s just the way it was – I never misled him. I didn’t know what was going to happen when I saw Dreamboat for the first time after 12 weeks of being apart, but the deep love was still there, firmly implanted and waiting to be watered.
Thanksgiving break came pretty quick once I started spending more time with hockey guy. It was a brightly lit doorway to god knows what, but I was soon going to find out. I had booked the last flight out the evening after my last class, weeks before. I didn’t want to wait until the next day. I couldn’t wait until the next day.
Dreamboat was picking me up at the airport. As the plane touched down on the runway, I felt myself trembling like a skittish Chihauhau (Yo quiero, Dreamboat). I didn’t know if it was all due to the excitement of seeing him again or a little part of me was afraid he’d know I was with another man just by looking at me. I can never hide my feelings or emotions, no matter how hard I try. My eyes are like a marquee, announcing them to whomever I’m with, in big, black, bold letters.
I made my way through the tunnel and gate..walking slowly into the terminal. As always, there were limo drivers holding large white cards with the names of people they were there to pick up. My eyes quickly scanned each card – a habit, almost expecting to see Dreamboat holding one that read..
The needy bitch who couldn’t make it three months without another man.
I cringed at the thought – then looked around the terminal while walking up a slight incline. I took a deep breath, feeling the zipper on my jeans strain. I’d already gained 7 lbs of the infamous Freshman 15. This worried me too – of course he would notice. I silently cursed the late-night Domino’s deliveries and candy machine hauls I hungrily and happily took part in when spending the night at my freshman dorm – not to mention always going for seconds at the dining halls.
The food was really good. The help yourself soft-serve ice cream and cone machines, with dips and toppings, even better. We would occasionally see who could pump out the tallest swirl into their cone without it tipping over. I won a lot of those and devoured every inch of my trophy.
Suddenly he appeared in my line of vision. He was sitting on a wide ledge against the long windows where you can watch the planes take off, one leg up, one arm hanging casually over one knee. He spotted me and smiled.
My legs felt wiggly..I was 15 years-old again.
I walked slowly toward him, gripping my carry-on as if it was a child’s chubby, little hand..occasionally looking down in almost shame because of hockey guy. I didn’t want him to see my eyes, since, like I said, they were a dead giveaway. He hopped off the ledge and I heard him say “Baby” as he reached for me – genuine love and happiness in his beautiful blue eyes taking my breath away, although my now too tight jeans might have played a part in that.
I never thought I’d be one of those people who dropped whatever they were holding and ran into the arms of their significant others at airports.
But I did just that. It just happened without thought.
I felt him lift me as I wrapped my arms around his neck..burying my face in it, breathing him in. Tears started streaming down my face – my second run-in with happy tears.
My zipper popped and broke. I didn’t care.
We stayed like that for what seemed like an eternity, or at least as long as it takes to feel your broken zipper break more. Whispers of “I missed you so much” and other corny sentiments that would make most of you hit the X in the upper right hand corner, were peppered throughout this incredible embrace. He pulled back and kissed me softly. I shivered and felt tingly..and there they were, all at once, the elusive goosebumps, butterflies and JELL-O legs.
Taking my hands, he stood back and looked at me while I looked back at him coquettishly. I had almost forgotten how beautiful he was in person. Photos just don’t cut it after a while.
I bashfully told him about my zipper breaking because of my weight gain. He smiled and said..
“More Lisa to love.”
Good answer. I couldn’t wait to be alone with him.
He picked up my carry-on…stuffed to the gills so I wouldn’t have to check any luggage. He let out a weight lifter’s grunt and then laughed as he lifted it.
“What’s in here, sweetheart? Rocks?” he jokingly asked as he continued to razz me about it.
I was giddy as I self-consciously pulled my shirt out of the waistband of my jeans and over my new muffin top and broken zipper.
“No, just shoes and clothes, baby” I squeaked. I was squeaking again..like that intoxicated 15-year old from almost four summers ago. He wrapped his arm around my shoulder, pulling me close to him..and off we went. I couldn’t help thinking how perfect we fit as I snaked my arm around his waist.
After he put my bag in the trunk and got into the car – within seconds we were kissing. I hadn’t felt this in 3 months, but it was all too familiar. I left the earth..I was completely lost in his kisses. I wanted to crawl inside of him and stay there forever.
The weight of passion a kiss from Dreamboat carried was akin to a herd of elephants to me. I couldn’t get enough of this man. Our fingers were tangled in each other’s hair in an almost ruffian way..and we barely came up for air. I remember his breath tasted like cinnamon that night – he always had great breath. It was a good thing the console with the stick shift was between us. I could only imagine what people walking by his car to their cars, were thinking…Get a room was probably in the top 3.
Hockey guy was already evanescent…our undefined ‘thing’ turning into a distant memory even though I had just said goodbye to him hours before.
We must have kissed for a half an hour before we sat back breathless…just looking into each other’s eyes, our heads resting against the top of the seats. Even though it was almost midnight..I whispered..
“Don’t take me home yet.”
“I had no plans to” he responded, sitting up and turning the key in the ignition.
…those relationships never last?? Ha! I beg to differ. I couldn’t imagine anyone ever making me feel like I was melting just by looking at me, nor could I imagine ever loving and wanting anyone this much. NO WAY, no how - never. We were predestined..he was my soul mate.
Part 16 coming soon.