Sunday, July 8, 2007

It's A Hot One!

Wow, the weather is sure heating up and we were lucky enough to enjoy 2 lovely days soaking up the sun at the beach. Tonight however, I had some time to make a great pasta dish and an even better loaf of bread.

The pasta comes from Cooking Light summer grilling magazine and was made of grilled vegetables and goat's cheese. I utilized a bunch of veggies from the farmer's market, making this a lovely, fresh dish perfect for summer. Grilling them on the BBQ brought out the sweetness, which was perfect with some goat's cheese. Perfect!

The bread I served with it was a garlic, herb and feta pull-apart that came from the taste website. So yummy, with the bread being lovely and soft and fluffy, with some extra flavor from the herbs, which I am proud to say were grown in my own garden.

This was such a great summer meal and the pasta was very healthy with all of those veggies. Definitely 2 thumbs up from myself and hubby.

Pasta with Grilled Vegetables and Goat's Cheese
(Serves 4-6)

1 large zucchini, quartered lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, cut into 4 wedges
1 leek, trimmed and halved
1 14oz can of artichoke hearts, drained
1 head of radicchio
1/2 tsp salt divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
cooking spray
4 cups hot cooked rotini (I used tri-coloured)
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup goat's cheese, crumbled
2 tbs fresh chopped basil

1. Prepare grill. Arrange zucchini, bell pepper, leek, artichokes and radicchio in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 tsp of salt, pepper and garlic. Lightly coat vegetables with cooking spray and then place on the grill rack. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until browned and tender. remove vegetables to the cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces.

2. Place pasta in a large bowl and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp of salt, tossing well. Stir in grilled vegetables and tomatoes. Sprinkle each serving with goat cheese and basil.

Garlic, Herb and Feta Pull-Apart
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet of yeast
2 tsp castor sugar
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp sea salt flakes
olive oil to grease
2 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbs finely chopped fresh thyme (I used a combination of regular and lemon thyme)
1 tbs chopped fresh basil
80g feta, crumbled
1 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbs milk

1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a bowl and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until frothy.

2. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add in the yeast mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir until combined, then use hands to bring the dough together.

3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Brush a bowl with oil to grease. Place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until double in size.

4. Heat oven to 410F. Brush a loaf pan with oil to grease. Combine the parsley, thyme, basil and feta in a small bowl. Punch down the dough with your fist and knead for 2 minutes, or until dough has returned to original size.

5. Divide into 18 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 6cm disc. Combine oil and garlic in a bowl. Place 6 discs in the pan. Brush with oil mixture and spoon over 1/3 of the feta mixture. Continue layering with remaining dough, oil mixture and feta mixture. Cover with a damp towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place to proof for 30 minutes or until almost double in size.

6. Brush pull-apart with milk. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Johanna said...

looks delicious - I love the look of your bread - good bread makes anything into a great meal - but I am impressed at you making it in the heat - I usually feel a lot more inclined to bake bread in winter!

Janet said...

That bread looks fabulous! Did you serve the pasta warm or cold? I had penne with grilled eggplant and goat cheese for dinner last night, but my goat cheese all melted. Turned out OK, it almost made a creamy sauce for the pasta, but I notice from the pic that yours didn't melt...

Brooke said...

johanna - thanKs, the bread was really good :) For some reason I don't mind baking in the heat even though I kow most other people hate it. I live for the smell of fresh baked bread! Even in summer.

Janet - I served the pasta warm, but the photo was taken right after I dished it out. The cheese did eventually melt through and become creamy, but I but that didn't bother me. Looks like we made very similar meals last night!! :)

jennbecluv said...

I'm with the others... the bread looks so good! Will make it this week and let you know if I get it to look as good as you did. I can practically smell it wafting through the kitchen already...

Anonymous said...

wow... bread looks fantastic...great blog...thanks for sharing