This summer we have introduced a new tradition in the Amazing Sandwich home – Pizza Cook-off Fridays. What started as dinner with a friend who came over to show us how to make pizza on the grill, has morphed into my new favorite evening of the week. The basic concept is this: get some friends together, Anders and I provide the dough and competitors bring their favorite wines and toppings for 3-4 hours of trash talking, ardent pizza making, even more ardent eating, and just a wonderfully good time. So far, we’ve had some awesome creations: classic margarita with fresh tomatoes from our respective gardens; pesto with grilled mushrooms; feta with hummus, grilled pork and finished with tahini drizzle; smoked salmon with thin lemon slivers; apricots with prosciutto and arugula. But my favorite so far was one entry from last weekend: sautéed leeks with garlic, grilled oyster and shimeji mushrooms, buffalo mozzarella and then topped with dollops of a whipped goat cheese/lemon zest blend and sprinkled with fresh thyme. It was divine. I mean really…it was soo good it bears repeating – it was divine! We whipped the goat cheese with a fork, added some lemon zest and bit of olive oil. After baking in the oven, it was so light and creamy and the lemon just gave it the perfect amount of tang. I can’t wait till Friday – we might just make this one again.
This being winter, we thought we would provide a recipe for a summer garden favorite. And no, we do not find anything incongruous about this. What better time to start dreaming about the goodies of summer than now when the cold seems interminable. Okay, so as people lucky enough to live in San Diego which is as close to weather perfection as it ever gets in the US, we do not really experience winter – at least not of the snowmageddon variety. Anyway, one of the veggies that will reward you with copious production is the zucchini. Two plants can produce enough for a family of four for the growing season. With our limited space, we’ve regretfully stayed away from it. Our rationale – we have a well stocked market within 2 minutes walk of our house and it’s pretty hard to give up tomato space. So since we love zucchini but don’t always have it growing in the garden, we are so happy to be able to purchase was needed.
This little side dish is so simple, tasty and healthy. It is just bursting with flavor that we almost want to do a little dance as we eat it. Yes, it is that good.
For the vegetarians out there, you can’t go wrong with a delicious portobello mushroom burger. This is one of our favorite sandwiches, for yes, a burger is also a sandwich, much like a Lada is also a car (although reluctantly). Whenever we see fresh portobello mushrooms we try to secure a few for grilling. They are simply delicious when soaked in the right marinade, and actually taste better than most meat patties. The grilling really brings out the best in these shrooms, and you get to enjoy the wonderful colors and look of this gigantic Agaricus bisporus.