April is in full swing and with it has come the hot Florida days of Spring. After all the recent packing and unpacking, I have finally started to feel like we are at home in our temporary beachside abode. The warm days are beckoning me to come outside and spend some quality time with one of my favorite cooking appliances: the Portable Weber 50060001 Q 1000 Gas Grill, or as we like to call her, “baby grill.”
The seared smoky flavor that comes from grilling, in my opinion, has no comparison to other cooking methods. After months of my poor grill sitting outside begging to be used, I finally fired it up over the weekend. There is nothing that replaces that smell that you get walking outdoors and knowing that something good is cooking on the grill. Especially when it is coming from your house. I would not call myself a jealous person, but when I smell that delicious smoky smell and know that it is not coming from my backyard, I turn the ever so tiniest shade of green…
Instead of my usual meat and veggie grilling sessions, I wanted to try something a little different. I have been dying for a flatbread pizza lately and the idea that the grill might replicate something close to a wood fired pizza oven was intriguing. It worked…in an awesome amazing I-don’t-think-I-need-to-go-out-for-flatbread-ever-again kinda way. This one has it all: sweet pears, spicy radish, smooth manchego, tart goat cheese, salty proscutto, nutritionally dense arugula all on top of a crisp smoky crust with a honey balsamic drizzle.
Seriously, that last sentence just made my mouth water.
The dough can be a little tricky if it gets too big, so I would recommend playing with different shapes and sizes to see what works for you. After several prototypes, I found a rectangular dough the easiest to handle. Grilling it for a few minutes on each side before adding the toppings was also important. I am glad no one was there to watch me wrangle my raw dough flatbread with toppings attached onto the grill. That fly on the wall really does get his good cathartic laughs in with me.
Go forth and grill something amazing this week! Post your pics back in the comments and we can swap awesome drool-worthy grill stories ;)
Seasonal Nutritional Highlight: Radishes
Radishes can come off really strong and spicy depending on how they are consumed. This recipe uses french radishes, which have a much milder, sweet flavor compared to the traditional red radish. They are available year round, but in abundance throughout the springtime. They are easily recognized by their shape, similar to a small carrot, as well as the red color that blends into white from top to bottom. Radishes are considered a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, much like broccoli and brussels sprouts. They are often used in Eastern and Ayurvedic medicine to help eliminate toxins from the body. Low in calories, radishes are a great addition to any meal as they have a soothing effect on the digestive system. Packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, phosphorus and zinc, they can help to keep the body hydrated. It is no coincidence that these little babies are available to our body during the warmer times of the year. It never ceases to amaze me how we are given the perfect produce each season to create the most effective health for our bodies.
Grilled Pear, Radish and Prosciutto Flatbread Pizza with Honey Balsamic Drizzle
In a large mixer bowl with a dough hook, add flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix well and add oil and just enough water until dough comes together, but not too much to make it watery (add more flour if this happens). Wrap in saran wrap and let sit in fridge for 15 min.
Meanwhile, slice pears and radish with a mandoline. Shred cheese and cut prosciutto. Whisk honey and balsamic together and set aside.
Heat grill to and then turn to low heat.
Divide dough into 4 parts and roll out into thin rectangular strips
Grill for 3 min on each side with ling closed on low grill heat.
Evenly divide toppings into 4 parts and place on flatbreads in this order: pears, radishes, manchego cheese, prosciutto, goat cheese and arugula. Close lid and grill for another 5 min or until cheese is melted.
Drizzle with sauce and enjoy warm.