Thursday, 25 August 2011

Cheesed Off

Bastoncini di Pizza alla Feta, Miele e Timo con Crema di Fagioli Verdi e Salsa Piccante
Pan- Roasted Pizza Tubes with Feta Cheese, Honey & Thyme, with a Green Bean Dip and Spicy Salsa

In the mood for a healthy, quick treat for a hot Summer evening? Well good- I'm glad that you are- because I was too! Feeling playful and experimental and on a mission to use up my last leftovers in the fridge, I came up with this nifty little idea. 20 minutes in the making, these crispy rolls of pizza dough, filled with Feta cheese, honey and thyme, really hit the spot! 

First things first- there's a little pot of fresh green bean dip in this here recipe! So let's start with that, so that it has a chance to cool off by the time those pizza tubes are ready. Boil the beans in well salted water for 5 minutes. For each portion (approx. 1 mug full of raw beans) add a clove of garlic and a spring onion into the mix.  After 5 minutes, drain and rinse under a cold tap to retain the bright green color. Now give them a whiz in your preferred kitchen machine, along with a handful of basil, a tablespoon of mint and a good splash of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar and a dusting of nutmeg and set to one side.

As for those pizza- tubes... they are almost as embarrassingly easy to make as they are embarrassingly tasty to eat! Who knew?? I simply cut off a 1" strip from the Feta, halved it, and then drizzled each half with honey. I then sprinkled the cheese with thyme and a little cumin. Spread a little Dijon mustard on the pizza dough, set your cheese on top, and simply roll and wrap the cheese sticks... the dough will stick and seal all by itself. And anyway- all that you need to do is to place it onto a hot grill pan and wait for 2-3 minutes- and then flip it over to the next side for 2-3 minutes and so on until it is crispy and brown all round. 

And on to that dipping sauce- which is nothing more than Thai sweet chili sauce, Ajvar, tomato paste, lime and grated ginger... stir that together and add a little sugar and cayenne pepper and see what you think! Tastes pretty good to that savory Feta cheese and that's for sure!

I enjoyed mine with some peppery- fresh watercress which went nicely with both the cheese and the beans- and again I have managed to put something together that even my vegetarian friends out there can enjoy. Although I can't help thinking that wrapping the cheese in Pancetta before wrapping it, would have been a good thing.... But I shall have to remember that variation for next time...

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