Another Garden Bounty Salad

This rich Avocado Salad with Tomato and Radish incorporates bounty from the Ample Bites Vegetable Farm. Juice cherry tomatoes, radishes and fresh basil accompany silky green avocados. If only we could grow avocados in the Midwest. Try this salad alongside Lamb Pizza (see previous post). They make a nice dinner combination.

Avocado Salad with Tomato and Radish
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2012)

Serves 6

1 large shallot, sliced thin
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp mayonnaise
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 avocados, halved, pitted, and cut into ¾-inch pieces
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 radishes, sliced thin
½ cup chopped fresh basil
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Place shallot in 2 cups ice water and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Whisk vinegar, garlic, mayonnaise, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in non- reactive bowl until mixture appears milky and no lumps remain. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil.

Gently toss avocados, 2 tablespoons dressing, and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Transfer avocados to a large platter or individual plates.

Toss shallot, tomatoes, radishes and basil with remaining dressing. Spoon tomato mixture over avocados and sprinkle with feta. Serve immediately.

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A Different Kind of Pizza

When Ample Bites found this intriguing Lamb Pizza recipe it was a certainty that I would have to make my own version. Ample Bites loves lamb in any form and ground lamb on pizza is amazing. The sauce for this pizza is added after the dish is cooked and it can either be drizzled over the finished product or used for dipping.

Lamb Pizza
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine, September 2012)

Serves 6

For the Dough:
1 ¼-ounce packet active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup semolina flour
2 tsp fine salt

For the Toppings:
8 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 large red onion thinly sliced
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
6 Tbsp tomato paste
1 pound ground lamb
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
¼ cup Greek yogurt
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

For the Sauce:
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Make the dough: Combine the yeast, sugar, olive oil and 2 cups warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk both flours and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and knead with dough hook in mixer until the dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl that has been lightly brushed or sprayed with oil, cover and let stand until doubled in size, about one hour.

Punch down the dough and divide into six pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and let stand cover with a damp cloth until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the toppings;
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced red onions. Soften the onions, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, onion and bell pepper; cook stirring often until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook one minute. Add the remaining ¼ cup oil, the lamb, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, breaking up the meat, until browned, 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt, lemon juice, cilantro and parsley; season with salt.

Make the sauce: Stir the yogurt, mint and lemon juice and ¼ cup water in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 450F and preheat the pizza stone(s) for about 10 minutes. In batches, stretch each piece of dough into a 12-inch round. Brush both sides of the dough before baking. Move each piece to the pizza stone and bake until golden brown. Flip the baked dough and spread about ½ cup of the lamb mixture then top with 1/6th of the caramelized onion, leaving a border. Continue baking until the dough is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the finished pizzas to a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the sauce.

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