Friday, 7 November 2014

Dragon Rolls!

"Rotoli del Drago"

"Dragon Rolls"- 

Pizza-Dough Rolls with Chinese, Preserved Olive Leaves, Peppers & Parmesan Cheese


It is always so exciting to discover a new and exciting ingredient, especially when it is totally unexpected. And when it is ultra delicious and totally inexpensive, well, that just makes it all the better!

Have you ever heard of Chinese, preserved olive leaves? No, I didn't think so... I hadn't ever heard mention of them either! But let me tell you something... if you like olives, you will LOVE these! They are my favorite thing ever! For the moment that is- haha!


I have a million and one recipes to invent using this most wonderful ingredient- but this very simple one was the first and it gave me an excellent opportunity to become familiar with the amazing, rich flavor of these amazing leaves- and the exquisite oil that they come with... yummy indeed!


From one roll of pizza dough, I managed to make 6 lovely, twisted rolls. To flavor them I used bell pepper- 4 of the little mini ones, about a tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds, about 2 tablespoons of the preserved olive leaves and maybe 3 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


These would make wonderful party snacks or be excellent for a brunch or picnic- perfumed with olive and parmesan flavor and with the touch of bell-pepper and sesame, they really need nothing else added... especially if you serve them up still warm from the oven! Mmmm!


All you need to do before you can start putting the rolls together is to finely dice the peppers and to grate the cheese. Whilst you are doing that, turn the oven on and let it start heating up to 200°C to get nice and hot!

Next, spread out some of the preserved olive leaves and spread them about evenly, making sure that some of the delicious oil gets spread around too.


They may look a little scary, but they taste divine- a rich but mild olive flavor, with somehow a hint of sweetness to them and a little hard-tp-place spice- almost as if there is a hint of cloves in there- you will just have to get to your Asian supermarket and try them to find out!! But once you do... it will be a case of love at first bite!


And then add a generous (but not too exaggerated!) sprinkle of grated Parmesan.


And then of course, those finely chopped peppers...


... and then the sesame seeds as well, until the dough is well covered and packed with good stuff!


Now you can carefully press down all of those goodies into the dough and cut it into roughly 2" strips, then twist them together, trapping all of that good stuff inside.


Roll the twisted dough together like this- don't worry about any of the filling that might fall out whilst you are doing so, just add that on top afterwards- it will just go to make them look even prettier.


Once you have all 6 rolls assembled, lay them out evenly on your baking paper and bake them at 200°C for 15-20 minutes until they are a lovely golden brown.


They smell delicious and they taste even more so! But like I said- don't just take my word for it! Make some of your own as soon as you can!


This was a wonderful beginning of a great new friendship of mine with those wonderful olive leaves! I can't believe I have managed to live this long without them! I never want to miss having them in my kitchen ever again! Go find some... you'll love them! 


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