Posts Tagged 'Kalamata olives'

Grilled Pizza Margarita

Grilled Pizza Margarita

Collyn Wainwright was the first person to introduce me to grilled pizzas. It was close to 10 years ago and I still remember it.  Sautéed wild mushrooms and smoked mozzarella on a slightly charred pizza crust. Heaven!

The sky is the limit on variations you can make, but this is a good starter recipe. The smoked mozzarella and the kalamata olives add great flavor to a “not-so-traditional” pizza margarita.

You can use this same technique with your favorite pizza toppings. Since the crust cooks rather quickly, it is best to use toppings that are pre-cooked or thinly sliced.

If you choose to add tomato sauce, be sure to lightly sauce your pizza. Too much liquid will result in a soggy crust.

Also when grilling pizzas, the lid is your best friend. Use the lid to control the heat as well as to help your toppings to cook and melt more quickly.

You have lots of options for the pizza dough. You can always make you own – click here for my recipe. For a short cut, you can now find pizza dough in the refrigerated section of most markets. Gourmet varieties are available, but to be honest, that first  delicious grilled pizza I had years ago at Collyn’s house was made on Pillsbury canned pizza dough! Definitely not gourmet but definitely a great short-cut option! Another route is to pick up dough from your neighborhood pizzeria. I often get dough at my local Whole Foods store from their pizza station.

Enjoy!

Grilled Pizza Margarita

Vegetable oil, for the grates
Unbaked pizza dough, enough for a 12-inch pizza
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound smoked mozzarella, coarsely shredded
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Preheat a clean grill to medium with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Let the pizza dough come to room temperature. Place the dough ball onto a baking sheet. Using your hands, gently flatten, and pull into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Brush the crust with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the dough to the grill, oiled-side down. Close the lid and cook until the dough begins to bubble on the top, about 2 minutes. Working quickly, brush the dough with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn and top with the mozzarella, tomatoes, and olives. Close the lid again and cook until golden and crisp on the bottom and the cheese is melted, 4 to 5 minutes more.

Remove the pizza from the grill. Evenly sprinkle the basil over the top of the cooked pizza. Serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6.

Recipe from Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

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Grilled Herb Chicken with Greek Tomato-Olive Relish

A good relish can make an everyday chicken breast into a show-stopper. This Greek-inspired tomato relish from my new cookbook Simply Grilling is just such an example.

Enjoy!

Grilled Herb Chicken with Kalamata Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese

For the Greek Tomato-Olive Relish:
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4  cup finely diced red onion (1/2 small onion)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint 

For the Herb Chicken:
Vegetable oil, for the grates
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the Greek Tomato-Olive Relish: Place the tomatoes, olives, red onion, oil, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Add the feta cheese and mint and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the chicken: Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Season both sides of the chicken with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Place the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes per side.

To serve, place the chicken on the plate and top with a generous spoonful of the tomato-olive relish.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tips: To evenly cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I suggest pounding them to a uniform thickness before grilling.

Dried Italian seasoning is a mixture of several dry herbs. To make your own, combine 1 tablespoon each of dried basil, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried marjoram, dried thyme leaves, dried rosemary, and dried sage. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

Do-Ahead: The tomato-olive relish can be made 4 hours ahead. Store covered in your refrigerator until ready to serve.

Variation: Fresh basil would be a delicious substitute for the fresh mint.

Grill Pan Friendly: Don’t have a grill or the weather is not so great, this dish can be made inside in a grill pan.

Photo credit: Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Asparagus, Roasted Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad

Asparagus, Roasted Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad
From Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler

This tasty salad makes an elegant presentation for a dinner party first course.  Arrange on a platter for a wonderful buffet offering.

For the White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For salad:

1 bunch (about 1 pound) asparagus, tough woody ends snapped off and discarded
1 package (5 ounces) Baby Arugula salad blend
1 roasted red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

For the White Balsamic and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and mustard.  Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking to emulsify.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until vibrant green and crisp tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain the asparagus and immerse in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain again and set aside

On each plate, place a bed of arugula. Layer the asparagus on top.  Arrange the peppers on top of the asparagus. Generously drizzle with the vinaigrette to taste.  Garnish with the olives and red onion.

Makes 4 appetizer salads

 

 

 


Jennifer Chandler

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