It’s official. I caught the Summer bug. Hard.
Alright, that is a major exaggeration. The temps only reached the low 60’s, but for around here that is extremely warm! Granted if the sun is shinning it can definitely feel like the 70’s at times, but summer in the mountains is nothing likes summers in Ohio. Where it is hot, humid and the lake is your best friend! I know the humidity stinks, but I really miss warm summer nights. Summer nights here, or in Mt. Hood where I will likely be, are COLD. I am talking 30, maybe even 20, degrees. Yeah, cold.
Anyway, all I think about is sweet strawberries, watermelon, peaches and sweet, sweet summertime corn.
Oh and obviously ice cream. I have gone on an ice cream making binge. You guys just wait, it’s gonna be good.
So I know that corn it not quite yet in season, but when I ran to the grocery store on Friday (because I forgot yet another thing that I had written on my grocery list, my list that I somehow lost inside the grocery store) there it was! Seriously, I walked in the two sliding doors and there it was, just staring me down.
And it was on sale. It should of just said “buy me” all over it.
Oh wait. It did. No, really it did. There were little orange stickers on the husk that said “buy me I’m a product of the USA”.
I know, that is weird. Honestly, I have never seen a sticker like that on produce. I guess it works on suckers like me though, cause I bought it! I hade no choice.
To be honest I have never been that huge of a corn fan. It is definitely one of my least favorite vegetables, but it’s not because I don’t like the taste. Nope, it is because I hate eating messy food. I may like the taste of messy foods, but I actually avoid eating them.
I am a total clean freak and prefer to have my hands nice and tidy while I eat, and I HATE getting corn kernels stuck in my teeth. Seriously, I really hate that. I mean popcorn is a nightmare for me. Every time I eat it I spend ten minutes trying to pic the kernels out of my teeth.
I even like my fruit super hard so the juice does not run down my face when I bite into it.
I know, that is just plain crazy. I hear most people like super ripe, super soft fruit. Like I have said before I am totally insane.
I have had this pizza in my head for weeks now. For some reason grilled corn and chipotles sounded like they would go really well together and basically I just built the pizza from there.
Ahh, definitely not a pizza I would eat. Unless maybe it was a dessert pizza. I don’t typically like cheese in my dessert.
While the veggies grill you can make the chipotle pesto which consists of chipotle peppers (which you can de-seed for less heat), cilantro, basil, pine nuts (you can sub walnuts), garlic, lime juice and queso fresco. Yeah, the queso fresco is pretty much just awesome! Way better than parmesan and then you put it together with the chipotle peppers. So freaking good!
The smell of this pizza is out of this world. Really it is. I can’t even describe how good this one is. I think it’s definitely one of my favorite pizzas. Like I am putting it up there with the beloved buffalo chicken pizza.
That means it’s really good people.
Grilled Corn and Chipotle Pesto Pizza with Queso Fresco
Yields: 2 medium size pizzas or one extra large
- Chipotle Pesto
- 4 chipotle peppers in adobo, remove seeds for less heat if desired
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 3 tablespoon pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Pizza + Toppings
- 1 batch of [your favorite pizza dough |http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/whipped-feta-and-roasted-jalapeno-greek-pizza/]
- 3 ears of corn, husked
- 1 red pepper
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 glove garlic, minced or grated
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups cheery tomatoes, quartered
- 1 avocado, diced
- fresh cilantro, for garnish
Prepare dough 1-2 hours ahead of time. Preheat grill to the highest setting. Shuck corn ears and brush each with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Wrap each in a square of aluminum foil, just so there is one layer covering the corn. Brush the red pepper, onion and jalopeno peppers with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Wrap the onion in a sheet of foil just like you did for the corn. Grill for about 5 minutes each “side”. Rotating the corn 4-5 times, the onion 3 times and pepper 2 times during grilling. I grilled the corn and onion for a total of 30 minutes and I took the peppers off the grill after the first 15 minutes.
While the corn onions and peppers are grilling make the pesto. In the bowl of a food processor combine the chipotle peppers, cilantro, basil, pine nuts and garlic. Pulse until combined and add the crumbled queso fresco. With the machine running stream in the olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.
Remove the peppers from the grill, when the corn and onions are ready remove those. Allow the vegetables to cool 5 minutes. Combine the butter, garlic, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in a medium size bowl. Peel the skin away from the peppers and de-seed the red pepper and the jalopeno pepper - if desired. Slice the peppers and onion into thin strips. Using a knife cute the corn away from the husk and toss in the bowl with the paprika butter.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Divide the dough in half and place each portion of dough on baking sheets (or pizza peel or pizza stone) and form into the shape you desire. Or you can also make one large pizza. Evenly spread the pesto over top of both pizzas and then place the red pepper and onion over top both pizzas. Evenly distribute the cheddar cheese between both pizzas and then add the corn to both. Top each pizza with 1 jalapeno pepper and and an even amount of queso fresco.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove and cover each pizza with the chopped cherry tomatoes, diced avocado and frech cilantro.
You can also make this pizza using the [cast iron skillet method |http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/green-olive-pesto-pizza-with-roasted-red-peppers-and-feta-stuffed-crust/].
Sweet, sweet pizza time!