This week I have tried a couple of new recipes out on friends that I have found on different blogs. I wanted something that was pretty and colorful and looked like Spring time to serve at a couple of upcoming dinner parties.
I have to say that the Blackberry Fennel and Goat Cheese pizza was the hit of the week! You can read more about this great appetizer at
I was lazy and purchased ready made pizza dough from DiGiorno and it was so easy to handle and roll out. I sliced the fennel extremely thin on the mandolin and chopped the hazelnuts before my guests arrived. They helped to assemble the pizzas by rolling out the dough and layering on the ingredients- sliced fennel, fresh blackberries, chopped hazelnuts, fresh minced thyme leaves, and finally goat, brie or Gorgonzola cheese. Bake the pizzas, then drizzle with honey when they come out of the oven. My personal favorite was the one with the creamy Gorgonzola cheese, but the vote was split between my friends.
picture from looksolovely.blogspot
Store bought pizza dough! ( for the original version, go to the web address above)
For the topping:
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1 small bulb fennel thinly sliced (reserve the fronds for garnish)
8 ounces fresh goat cheese, brie or Gorgonzola
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1 -2 tablespoons honey
Bake at temperature suggested on the dough package. When crust is crispy and hot, drizzle honey lightly all over the pizza.
Another recipe that I made for a dinner party on Friday night was a version of Prosciutto and Melon- and was very easy to eat -versus picking up melon and prosciutto slices with fingers . http://food52.com/recipes/258-chilled-cantaloupe-soup
A very ripe cantaloupe is pureed into a soup consistency in a food processor and sweetened with honey, orange juice and brightened with fresh lime and lemon juice. Add a little cinnamon . I sprinkled sea salt lightly on top before I served it in a martini glass with a prosciutto "flower" skewer garnish.
Note: I used a prosciutto garnish instead of the mint in the recipe below- but the soup is the same.
Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
6cups chopped cantaloupe, about 1 (4 pound) melon
1 1/2cup orange juice
1/4cup fresh lemon juice
1/4cup fresh lime juice
1/4teaspoon ground cinnamon
1sprig fresh mint
1. Place all ingredients, except for the mint, in a large bowl and stir.
2. Place half the mixture in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour soup into a pitcher, and repeat with remaining mixture.
3. Taste and whisk in more cinnamon, honey or even lemon juice if desired. It should taste sweet and tart, with only a hint of cinnamon. Chill the soup until ready to serve.
4. Remove the mint leaves from the stem (discard) and stack the leaves on top of each other. Roll lengthwise into a tight "cigar." Slice crosswise into thin strips.
5. Pour the chilled soup into six soup bowls. Garnish each with a sprinkle of shredded mint and serve.