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*July 2011 COTM, BATALI II: Bruschetta, Pizza and Flatbreads

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the following chapters:

Molto Gusto: Bruschetta & Cheese; Pizza
Italian Grill: Pizza and Flatbreads

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  1. Leek Ragu – p. 93 - Molto Gusto

    We love leeks so this dish had immediate appeal when I first purchased this book. We’ve now had this on several occasions and it’s always well received. Prep and execution is simple and relatively quick.

    Oil is heated in a large pot prior to adding garlic which is cooked until soft. Liced leeks are then added, seasoned w S&P and cooked until softened at which point 1/3 cup of water is added, pot is covered and heat is lowered so leeks can cook until very soft (about 20 mins in our case). MB suggests you may need to increase the heat at this point to evaporate the cooking liquid. In my experience, this is always necessary. Leeks are tasted to adjust seasoning and, brought to room temperature for serving.

    We love to serve this as part of a “bruschetta” bar where folks can top slices of plain bruschetta w dishes of their choosing. The leeks are so rich and sweet, they are just lovely on the crusty, garlic rubbed toasts.

    This recipe can also be used as a component of MB’s Chickpeas w Leeks recipe on p. 27 of this book. We’ve made that dish as well and my review appears in the Antipasti thread.

     
     
    1. Ceci - p. 92 - Molto Gusto

      If guests are arriving unexpectedly or, you're just pressed for time and want to pull some antipasti or, bruschetta toppings together, this one's for you! We've made this on a number of occasions now and it really couldn't be simpler.

      Prep consists of thinly slicing half a red onion and opening, draining and rinsing a can of chickpeas. Oil is then heated in a large pot and onions seasoned w salt and red pepper flakes and cooked until the onion begins to soften. At that point the chickpeas are added and heat is reduced so mixture can simmer for 5 mins to heat the chickpeas through. Dish is now ready to be served or, set aside and served at room temp.

      Quick and tasty, I often serve these w a spritz of lemon juice or, a splash of balsamic. MB notes you can also slightly mash the ceci on the bruschetta if you wish.

      Sorry, no pics as I've made this pre-COTM.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Breadcrumbs

        Sounds quick, easy and delicious! Just my speed right now.

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          Fits the bill on all counts DQ . . . do enjoy!!

      2. So I tried out the Pizza from Italian grill last night. It calls for making the dough, letting it rise once, and then it says it's ready for use. I did this, punched it down, then left it in the fridge for about 6 hours until it was dinner-time.
        I figured I should just stick to his toppings, and he has only two pizzas, so I did two Margherita and two Salumi Pecorino Pizzas with pepperoni. Now I had done grilled pizzas before, the recipe from Peter Reinhart in 'American Pie,' so I knew the basic ideas and techniques. The first thing I noticed was this dough was a lot harder to stretch out and get to a nice 9 inches or so. Once you stretch it you just place it on the grill, flip once one side is cooked and leave it for 30 seconds on the other then take it off. At this point you put toppings on, then you put it back on the grill to heat the toppings.
        Overall it was great pizza, and it got some great reviews from neighbors who we brought dinner to (who had just had delivery pizza). If you haven't tried grilled pizza yet, definitely give this a go, but I would say once you get it down try some different grilled pizza doughs as well.

        1. Foccacina with Roasted Garlic, Scallions, and Provolone--page 72 Italian Grill

          This recipe consists of Mario's basic pizza dough recipe, grilled, split in half and stuffed with lots of roasted garlic, provolone, and chopped scallions. I thought the dough handled very well--it shaped nicely, and the grilling process was simple. I had no issues with it sticking or burning.

          Splitting the warm grilled dough was a little tricky as it was not a perectly even thickness (probably my fault). Once the dough is spilt and stuffed you wrap it in foil and put it back on the grill long enough for the cheese to melt. Everyone really enjoyed this bread--I'd make it again.

           
          2 Replies
          1. re: liamsaunt

            That sounds and looks terrific. You make it seem so easy to do. I overlooked this recipe but now... I might just give it a try. Thanks, Liamsaunt.

            1. re: liamsaunt

              So glad you made this. It looks absolutely scrumptious. I took the Grill book out of the library even though I don't have a grill, and that was one recipe that was so appealing I've been thinking about trying it with alternate cooking methods. Your report--and photo--confirms it's at least worth a try.

            2. White Bean Bruschetta with Grilled Radicchio Salad, Pg. 62, Italian Grill

              Because I'm saving my radicchio to grill in another application, I made this recipe as a salad with hearts of escarole ribbons. The rest of the recipe was made as written and the final dish was delicious.

              A tin of cannellini beans are drained, rinsed and place into a medium sized bowl. Add slivered basil, red pepper flakes, 2 T EVOO, 2 T balsamico, sliced garlic (I pressed it) , S & P. Mix all together and set aside. At this point I rinsed, cored and slivered the heart of a very large escarole. The heart is a lovely light yellow-ish green and much sweeter than the outer leaves. It's terrific as a salad. As it would have been done with a grilled radicchio these escarole ribbons were tossed with 2 T EVOO, 2 T balsamico , S & P. Mix to combine. I mixed the beans and escarole together and served it piled on top of a very thin, slightly warm multi grain, low carb pita. The main dish was Bluefish Oraganata from Fish Without A Doubt, page 282. Great meal...!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Gio

                White Bean Bruschetta with Grilled Radicchio Salad – p. 62 – Italian Grill

                Thanks to Gio for reviewing this dish as I’d somehow missed it when I did my first run through of this book. True to his (imaginary) Tuscan roots, mr bc is a big fan of beans so I knew he’d be excited about this dish and hoped it would entice him to eat some radicchio!

                Mario notes that the beans can be made up to a day ahead and says that in fact, they will be even more flavourful if you do this. I’m sorry to report that I can’t comment on this since mr bc devoured all the beans and there are none to be had for tonight’s meal! Needless to say this dish was a huge success!!

                Mario also notes that when he serves this at Po, he uses a Radicchio di Treviso which is longer and narrower than the round (Verona) type . . . who knew? Well not being savvy to the ways of radicchio, I think I’ve only ever seen the round ones and, that’s what we used last night.

                In my view, this would make a perfect dish for entertaining if you're serving a plated meal as it can be made ahead and the plated dish has high visual appeal. Since the beans were dressed and a little “wet” I decided to allow everyone to assemble their own bruschetta so I served the bean salad atop the radicchio leaves with a basket of the grilled bruschetta on the table.

                Lovely, delicious and I’m happy to recommend this too! Thanks Gio!

                 
                 
                 
                1. re: Gio

                  White Bean Bruschetta with Grilled Radicchio Salad – p. 62 – Italian Grill

                  I tried this without the radicchio and with dried beans. I thought the flavor of the sliced garlic was a little overwhelming. I would mince next time. Perhaps the absence of radicchio made the difference here, though, so I don't necessarily advice everyone to run out and mince their garlic.

                  This is pretty addicting. Would probably do it again.

                  Sorry, no photos. The phone rang.

                  ~TDQ