Garden Fresh Pesto Bruschetta Topping
5-6 small to medium tomatoes (or 3 c. cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 c. packed fresh basil leaves
¼ c. loosely packed fresh parsley
4 ozs. fresh mozzarella, cubed
½ c. finely diced sweet onion
½ c. garlic stuffed or plain pitted Kalamata olives
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 T. red wine vinegar, to taste
1 t. kosher or other coarse salt
Additional salt and pepper to taste
Cut tomatoes in half. Using your hands or a spoon, remove the seeds and core from the tomatoes. Roughly chop into pieces that are about ¼ to ½ inch at their largest point. Transfer to a bowl.
Stack the basil leaves and slice very thinly. (This is a chiffonade of basil.) Slice the garlic clove and olives and lay on top of the basil chiffonade. Lay the parsley on top of the pile and sprinkle with one teaspoon of Kosher or other coarse salt. Roughly chop through the herb pile until the garlic is finely chopped. Scrape onto the tomatoes in the bowl, then add the diced onion, olive oil and red wine vinegar and toss to coat completely. Stir in the fresh mozzarella cubes and cover tightly. Allow the bruschetta topping to sit at room temperature for an hour before using. This can be tossed with freshly cooked pasta or served on bread. We like ours with ...
Scant 1 T. instant yeast or one packet active dry yeast
Pinch granulated sugar
¾ c. very warm (not hot) water
1&¾ c. all-purpose flour
½ t. salt
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. minced fresh garlic or ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
1 t. Italian seasonings
Additional olive oil for brushing
In a mixing bowl, combine yeast, water and the pinch of sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes it should be foamy and puffy looking.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt, then pour all at once into the wet ingredients. Stir well until a shaggy but cohesive dough is formed, adding more flour one tablespoon at a time, if needed.
Flour a work surface and knead dough for a couple of minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Allow the dough to rise for 15 minutes.
Preheat one half of the grill to high and another to medium-low. (For a charcoal grill, make a hot bed of coals over to one side of the grill.) While the grill is getting hot, generously oil the back of a cookie sheet. Use your hands to stretch and spread the bread dough over the back of the pan. The bread dough should be no more than a half of an inch thick. It may take a couple tries to get the dough stretched as thinly as it needs to be. If it is fighting you, let it rest for a couple minutes so the gluten can relax and try again.
When it is thin enough, liberally oil the cooking rack on the grill. Transfer the dough to the hottest part of the grill. This is done most easily wearing oven mitts; flip the pan over on top of the cooking rack then remove the pan. If it is oiled enough, the pan should pull right away after the dough is on the rack.
Close the lid to the grill and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the dough is firm enough on the bottom to lift without flopping when a spatula is slid under it. Brush the topside of the dough with more olive oil then use a spatula to flip the dough onto the cooler side of the grill. Close the lid again and cook an additional 2-5 minutes, or until the dough has grill marks and is easily lifted with a spatula. Transfer to a waiting plate or sheet pan and cover lightly with foil. Allow the bread to cool before breaking or cutting into wedges or squares.