Roasted Red Pepper and Onion Pesto Pizzettes/Tin Man Rivet/Hermano “Dare I Say”
Born out of necessity (cleaning the fridge and counter of perishables before vacation), these little pizzas totally hit the spot for a quick, summery weeknight meal. Utilizing store bought mini naan breads for the crust makes them even easier to make as we spread fresh pesto and garlic down as the base then top with sautéed onions and red peppers, pesto mozzarella and Romano. Flash grilled over high heat gives just the right amount of char to the crust. For the beer, Evansville’s Tin Man Brewing’s Rivet got the nod, specifically tall boys of their red ale. As for the tunes, we wanted a John Garcia-fronted band to jam and went with the incredible Hermano, cranking up their sophomore album, 2005’s “Dare I Say”.
Roasted Red Pepper and Onion Pesto Pizzettes – The only item in this dish that will take any kind of time at all are the onions, we want to cook them down until they’re a deep brown. In a medium skillet add 1 tablespoon of the oil from a bottle of hot giardiniera, once heated add 1 thinly sliced yellow onion.
Cook down on medium heat for 25 minutes until brown then add 1 small roasted red pepper cut into strips. Stir to combine and keep warm.
Grab a few mini naan breads and spread a tablespoon each of fresh pesto and fresh crushed garlic on top.
Top each pizzette with a little of the red pepper and onion mixture.
For the cheese we’re using this cool little log of pesto mozzarella. Cut into medium thick slices and top the pizzas with them, finish each pizza with a dusting of Romano.
In the grill, bank all of the coals from a full chimney of lump charcoal to one side. When the grill is at its hottest, place the pizzas on the cool side and cover. After 4-5 minutes you’ll have perfectly cooked pizzas with melted cheese and a little char to the crust.
Remove these little ones from the grill, slice and serve with cold beer.
Tin Man Rivet – We don’t do red beers very often around here, chalk it up to a few too many Killians when splurging for “the good beer” a long time ago. We picked up this 4 pack by default at the store recently when it was the only beer in their selection we hadn’t yet featured. Enter Evansville’s Tin Man Brewing Rivet. The beer pours red and cloudy with a slight head that dissipates almost immediately. The aroma is mostly of roasted malt and honey. The flavor is sweet like molasses with a mouthfeel that’s almost chewy. This ale follows suit of the typical ubiquitous red ale, sweet and malt heavy. It was in fact a little heavy for the light pizzettes, something a little more summery would have matched up better, but it was still a solid beer.
Hermano “Dare I Say” – We have to admit if Kyuss is our favorite of the John Garcia bands, Hermano is 1b. Put together without any of the big names in the scene, Garcia and his band barely miss a beat on any of Hermano’s three albums. “Dare I Say” rips open with “Cowboys Suck” and it’s a full throttle, highway burning, wheels churning balls out number that Garcia excels at. “Life” features the fuzzy guitar noodling that Josh Homme navigated so well in Kyuss, so much so that the song could fit right in on any of the Kyuss albums. Harmonies, groove and swagger are the names of the game on “Roll Over”, laying a groundwork for what would become STP’s bread and butter later on. “Brother Bjork” gets a little more experimental mixing spoken word with soaring vocals throughout. The fuzzed out desert stoner rock sound is alive and well on “Is This OK” sharing similarities with QOTSA’s earlier stuff. Garcia’s work, although steeped in the good time sound of the desert rock scene has always had moments of sheer aggression littered throughout his discography, as one might guess by the title, “Quite Fucked” is one of those moments. The twangy “Murder One” is a sing-songy boot stomper that jams along with a killer acoustic riff. Ratcheting up the tempo and intensity is “Let’s Get It On”, planting their mighty foot purely in angst-ridden punk territory. Paying homage to their birth place that spawned the entire genre of music that our website is named after, “On the Desert” is a crackly, acoustic, trippy, psychedelic tune that is ultra chill but leads right into the super heavy closer, “Angry American” that’s one of the best songs on this incredible album.