Category Archives: Jack Bishop

Vegetarian BBQ 2: His and Hers Homemade Pizza on the Grill!

I hate having the oven on in the summer.

Our condo is west-facing, so we get all the afternoon sun and heat. I avoid using the oven in the summer at all costs. The tools that help me do this are my Cuisinart bread machine, our toaster oven and our BBQ!

I have never tried making pizza on the BBQ. No pizza on the BBQ, means no homemade pizza at our house all summer long. Not an enticing prospect, since pizza is one of my husband’s favourite foods.

I decided that Sunday would be the day I would try making pizza on the BBQ.

Up until now, I had been using my bread maker to make the dough for my pizza – with varying levels of unsuccess. The crust was edible, but not something I could brag about, or, as I am sure you have noticed, blog about. I decided to follow a recipe for whole wheat pizza crust from Jack Bishop’s Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook and make it by hand.

It turned out fantastic.

I even used 100% whole wheat flour – instead of using part white flour as he suggested (labeling something as whole wheat and then finding out that the recipe still has white flour is one of my pet peeves!). The crust had the full flavour that you would expect from a whole wheat crust, but was tender, chewy, and easy to work with – something that evaded me when I made whole wheat crust in the bread maker.

I have seen recipes for making pizza right on the grill, but I erred on the side of caution and used my special BBQ pizza pan. I formed the uncooked dough on the pan, added my sauce (canned diced tomatoes with basil and oregano), sautéed onions, garlic and bell peppers, veggie pepperoni on EPC’s (photo above) and then a dusting of cheese (mine had fresh arugula sprinkled on after grilling – photo below).

I threw the pizza on the grill at about 500°C and let the heat come down to between 400°C and 450°C. I cooked the pizza for about 10 minutes until the cheese was bubbling and the crust was brown. It was so easy and so delicious and best of all our place stayed cool.

I have posted the recipe for the crust.  The toppings are up to you!

100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (enough for 2 12-inch pizzas)

1 1/3 cups of warm water
2 teaspoons of dry yeast (I used Bread machine yeast and it worked fine)
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin live oil (don’t scrimp on the oil – it helps keeps the crust supple)
3 cups of all-purpose whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups of salt

  • Using a wooden spoon, combine the water, yeast and oil in a large bowl.
  • Add the whole wheat flour, and salt and continue to stir until the dough comes together.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Put the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with a clean damp cloth.  Let rise until the dough has increased in size about 1 1/2 times.  This takes about 1 hour.
  • Divide the dough in half and place each half in a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 20 minutes.
  • Flatten each ball of dough and then shape into a circle the size of your pan.
  • Cover lightly with toppings (I pre-cooked my onions and pepper before grilling to ensure that the onions were fully cooked) and grill until cheese is bubbling and crust is brown about 10-12 minutes.
  • I had my BBQ at 500°C and lowered the heat while cooking to between 400 and 450°C.

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Crochet-topped kitchen towels and Jack Bishop’s Polenta with Lentils in Tomato Sauce

I am back.

EPC and I were away on holidays and then we both caught a cold.  Not by choice, of course, so perhaps it is more accurate to say the cold caught up with us!  Anyway, there is nothing worse than a summer cold.  So,  although we returned home last week, I didn’t get around to cooking anything blog-worthy until this past weekend.

We had a good time on our holiday. We went to Saskatoon, the “Paris of the Prairies”, and spent our time hanging out with friends and relaxing. I went to the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market where I was able to pick up some handmade crochet-topped kitchen towels and a couple of beautiful aprons. We also cooked up some fresh asparagus that evening on the BBQ – delicious!

If any of you plan on heading to Saskatoon this summer, aside from visiting the farmer’s market, I suggest stopping in at Museo – the coffee shop adjacent to the Medel Art Gallery and Conservatory.  They have wonderful lattes and serve almond butter with their toasted bagels!  The gallery is located along the South Saskatchewan River and is adjacent to the wonderful Meewasin Trail system.   It you keep walking along the trail towards downtown you will come to the Victoria Street Bridge.  Just across this bridge from downtown is Las Palapas restaurant.  Here I had some wonderful pozole soup. The great thing about Las Palapas, other than the food, is that it is located right next to Homestead Ice Cream. They have traditional flavours and some unique ones like Avocado, Roses and Honey, and Dill Pickle (can you believe it?). I stuck with the slightly more traditional Butter Brickle and Dad’s Oatmeal Cookie on top of my cone.

Of course I can’t forget Christie’s Bakery on Saskatoon’s west side (they are opening a second location on Broadway this summer). We picked up a delicious Saskatoon berry pie, some wonderful lemon tarts, and a monstrous loaf of potato bread.

Yes, I certainly ate a lot on our trip! Which in why we stuck to simple hearty meals when we returned.

Now that I got our trip to Saskatoon out my system, onto the Jack Bishop part of the post.

I found out about Jack Bishop from a blog that I love to read: Cook and the Books. In one of her posts she recommended that readers check out his Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen cookbook, which I did, and then I promptly checked out his Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook from the library as well. It was hard to pick a recipe, but I settled on Polenta with Lentils and Tomato Sauce.  It was fantastic, simple to make and very flavourful. As I am sure you can tell by the photo, it is also an impressive meal to serve guests.

Because it was so warm out this past weekend, I broiled the polenta in our toaster oven, which took a little longer than it would have in the oven, but delicious all the same. I think if you were in a rush you could get away with canned lentils and store-bought polenta, but make the recipe as is if you can.

Polenta with Lentils and Tomato Sauce

1 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
4 medium garlic cloves,  (2 whole and 2 minced)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stalk, peeled and finely diced
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons of parsley, minced
Freshly grated Parmesan for garnish

  • Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan and add the lentils, bay leaf and 2 whole cloves of garlic.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender – about 25 minutes
  • While the lentils are simmering you can prepare the polenta – see below
  • When the lentils are tender drain and discard the bay leaf and garlic cloves.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion, carrot and celery until tender – about 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the lentils and cook for 2 minutes until the sauce is heated and the flavours have mingled.
  • Stir in the parsley and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Spoon the lentils over 3 polenta triangles, garnish with cheese and serve.

    Polenta:

    • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan.
    • When the water comes to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and  lower the heat to medium
    • Slowly whisk the cornmeal into the pot in a steady stream.  This should take about 1 minute.  If you add the cornmeal to quickly it will form lumps.
    • Whisk the cornmeal continuously to prevents lumps and simmer until the polenta starts to thicken – about 1 to 2 minutes.
    • Reduce the heat to low and cook very slowly, stirring frequently for 15 minutes.
    • Pour into a lightly oiled 8 x 12 pan, smooth the top and let cool.
    • You can make this the day before and keep in the fridge covered in plastic wrap.
    • When the polenta has cooled and is firm (about 30 minutes), turn the polenta onto a cutting board and cut into 8 squares.  Cut each square in half to form a triangle.
    • Place on a baking sheet and spray each triangle lightly with oil and broil until lightly browned.  Turn and broil the second side.

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