Posts tagged ‘fall’

October 4, 2012

Naturally Elegant


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September 28, 2012

Recipe from the Garden: Tim Valley’s Bleu Rocket Pizza

Fall Morning – Fog on the Lake

The sun is shining, the trees are changing colors and leaves are gently dancing to the ground.  The crisp mornings lead to warm afternoons, but one sniff of the air and you can tell something is different.  The warm, floral scented breezes have been replaced by cool earthy, woodsy smells.  No need to check the calendar, its officially fall.

Fall is by far my favorite season.  It’s cool and calm, the earth’s energy is slowing in preparation for winter.  Squirrels and chipmunks run a muck burying acorns and walnuts in every nook and cranny (making a mess of my gardens and containers, mind you).  The cool evenings invite fleece and flannel and back yard bonfires.  And nothing spells a better weekend meal for me than my cousin, Tim Valley’s Bleu Rocket Pizza and a glass of Cabernet or Merlot.  Simply put, it’s heaven.

The only thing that could make it better is making this pizza in my backyard pizza oven, but that dream is yet to come to fruition.  Some day… until then, I will continue to warm the house with the wonderful smell of garlic, the smokey prosciutto, the nuttiness of the walnuts and unmistakable scent bleu cheese.   Top it all off with fresh wild rocket or arugula from your garden or local farmers market and its pure bliss.  By the time this pizza hits the table I’m usually drooling.

Tim, thank you so much for sharing this recipe, which has come to be a favorite in my house.  And for everyone else, I hope you enjoy it enough to put it into your recipe repertoire.

Without further adieu…

Tim Valley’s Bleu Rocket Pizza

Individual packet quick yeast
1/2 c water
A little salt
1 T honey

Light Fire in Oven

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Add the first 4 ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Whisk in flour until whisk is sticky. Let rise 15 min.  Roll as flat as possible onto lightly floured surface.  Spray pizza pan with cooking spray or oil.  Lightly flour the top of the crust, fold crust into 4ths (for ease of handling) and place onto pizza pan.  Unfold crust.

Olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
Prosciutto, cut into wide strips (recommended Trader Joe’s Stock Meier – smokey flavor)
Bleu cheese, crumbled
Walnuts, chopped
Mozzarella, shredded
Baby Arugula/Wild Rocket
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Drizzle Olive Oil onto Crust

Drizzle olive oil onto crust.  Using a pastry or silicone brush, brush crust with olive oil.  Spread chopped garlic over the oiled crust. Lay prosciutto strips in a single layer over the garlic.

Spread Small Amount of Bleu Cheese

Spread a small amount of  bleu cheese over prosciutto (careful not to use too much or it will overpower the other flavors.) Sprinkle chopped walnuts.

Thin Layer of Mozzarella

Spread a thin layer of mozzarella over the top.

Browned on Top

Bake in 500 degree oven until brown on top.

While pizza is baking, soak baby arugula/wild rocket, spin dry in a salad spinner or place on absorbent towel.

Topped with Arugula, Salt & Pepper

When pizza is done, remove from the oven and spread a layer of arugula over the top.  Lightly season with a minute amount of salt (don’t over do this, there is already salt in the cheese and prosciutto) and pepper.

Slice and Serve

Slice and serve hot.



October 22, 2011

Acknowledging the inevitable

Today it finally hit me. It’s over. Summer is over. Fall is here and winter is on its heals.

You’d think I would have figured this out when the colors peaked a few weeks ago, but it was 85 degrees then.  It made it easy to deny the change in seasons.  Honestly, that whole thing, as much as I loved the continued warmth, kind of freaked me out.  It was creepy for a couple of reasons.  Partly because warm winds, shorts and fall color do not go hand-in-hand in Minnesota.  The other reason is that although Doctors couldn’t figure out what exactly I had when I was sick.  The first thing that came to mind when they would ask me when it all started was a memory of a warm windy day back in August of 2009 when I had a reunion with a bunch of my college girl friends and their families.  The same winds blew through then and I remember being chilled.  Granted I didn’t realize I was running a fever until weeks after that, but that windy day in August was what stood out in my mind.  So the warm, windy days a few weeks ago made me incredibly uncomfortable to say the least.  Much as I love a beautiful breeze, I’ve come to really dislike wind. If people could put up hackles, mine were definitely up.  When out in the wind I even envisioned putting up my arms in a defensive position to try to fend off catching something again.

Anyway, as I took one of the dogs for a walk early this morning, I stepped out the door to my favorite weather and my favorite season.  The frost on the leaves, flowers and grasses was stunning as it sparkled in the early morning sunlight. The air was so crisp and so refreshing.  Although the color is past peak a few trees are still hanging onto their leaves and I completely understand why, they’re just too beautiful to let go of.

While I took every ounce of it in as much as I could I still had mixed emotions.  The growing season is over.  Oh, there are still a few raspberries clinging to their canes, shrub roses continuing to bloom and ornamental grasses dancing in the breeze like ladies in ball gowns.

But as a gardener, its with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to another season that flew by way too fast.

So while I love fall and look forward to more crisp morning walks, you won’t catch me rolling out the red carpet for winter.  In fact, you just may see my hackles standing up again. (Hey, I said I was finally acknowledging the inevitable – NOT welcoming the inevitable!)