Showing posts with label pesto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pesto. Show all posts

Friday, September 2, 2016

Green Tomato Pizza with Pesto and Feta

This vegetarian pizza showcases green tomatoes at their finest--topped with feta and mozzarella cheese on a garlic scape pesto-spread crust.

a slice of green tomato pizza topped with pesto and feta cheese

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Friday nights are pizza nights around here, and I'm always looking to what vegetables are in season to add to our pizzas. After trying a fried green tomato sandwich with goat cheese at a local restaurant, I decided to throw some different cheeses on top of sliced green tomatoes and see if I could make a tasty vegetarian pizza. This one turned out well--the pesto complements the cheeses nicely and perks up the green tomatoes in a pleasing way.

September may make some folks think of All the Pumpkin Spice All the Time, but for me September means Green Tomato Season. While I've had a terrible year tomato-wise in my garden (more than made up for with terrific pickling cucumber and tomatillo harvests) I do have plenty of green tomatoes still on the vine.

a close up image of green tomato pizza with pesto and feta cheese

Cooler nights mean that those tomatoes will ripen much slower than in the heat of summer . . . so why not make good use of green tomatoes?  No matter if you grow them yourself, find them in your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box, pick them up at the farmer's market or come home to a basket on your doorstep from an overwhelmed neighbor--get your mittens on some green tomatoes this month.

The main thing I make with green tomatoes is my Green Tomato Bacon Jam. It's a freezer jam, sweet and savory, and I think it is amazing mixed with ground meat for burgers. I put up several jars in the Fall and try and use the last one up mid-summer. I also like to make chili with green tomatoes, and have shared 2 recipes so far--one with beef and one with pork. Pork pairs pretty nicely with green tomatoes  in my Cabin Casserole, too.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Heirloom Tomato and Garlic Scape Pesto Tart {Get to Know a Farmer}

Heirloom tomatoes and marinated mozzarella balls snuggled under a blanket of garlic scape pesto and more mozzarella make a rich savory tart--or delightful breakfast.

Heirloom Tomato and Garlic Scape Pesto Tart {Get to Know a Farmer} | Farm Fresh Feasts

If you read one of those 13 Farmers Market Secrets Savvy Shoppers Share type articles, one of the tips is invariably "get to know a farmer".  Joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share is a terrific way to get to know a farmer.  For the duration of the growing season you'll have the opportunity to visit with the folks who grow your food.  This "get to know a farmer" stuff can pay off deliciously [and for me the payoff is usually locally grown tomatoes].

There is nothing better than a locally grown tomato.

Tomatoes have seasons.  Some get off to a quick start like cherry tomatoes and early varieties. Some take their sweet time growing and setting out fruit, to the point that you think they'll never amount to anything, but once they get going they're unstoppable 'til frost.* Some suffer setbacks early on--like nibbling from varmints--yet recover to become a big bushy productive plant.  They are a lot like kids, now that I think on it.
I'm talking about tomatoes, and getting to know your farmers, today for the simple reason that this recipe happened, last November, because I got to know our farmers. See, my spouse spent last tomato season in Afghanistan. He missed out on eating fresh tomatoes and our daily lives [not in that order]. Sure, they fed him from May to November. But he always returns from deployments super skinny so I'm always frantically cleaning planning menus with all his favorite foods when I know he's heading home.

It was with this mindset that I asked our farmers in early November if they had a spare tomato. I'd canned all the ones from my garden, and we'd had oh, easily 12+ weeks of various ripe tomato varieties in the farm share. I'm sure most folks were more enthused about the prospect of a sweet potato. But I wanted to make my spouse a tomato sandwich, so I emailed our farmers with the request.  You may, if you love local tomatoes, understand the sheer delight when my newly-returned spouse and I went to pick up our farm share and Farmer Josh disappeared for a moment then returned with not one but 4 gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.  Swoon! In addition to that sandwich I had enough for this tart--double points for a rich tart that's one of my spouse's favorite tomato dishes.

Get to know a farmer.  It's so worth it.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Roasted Garlic & Pesto Buttermilk Pizza Dough--on Fathers and Gardening

A tender wheaty buttermilk pizza dough flavored with homegrown roasted garlic and prepared pesto

a slice of cheese pizza made with roasted garlic and pesto pizza dough

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Part 1:  An Old Farmer's Advice on Gardening

My dad was a guerrilla gardener before it was hip. [Is it uncool to say hip? Is it uncool to say uncool?] If Johnny Appleseed was known for planting apple trees, then Freddy Daffodilbulb would be my dad's nickname.  It's kind of unwieldy, though, so I'll stick with Dad.  My dad has stealthily--or blatantly--planted daffodil bulbs from Delaware to Ohio.  That's a pretty cool legacy.

When I was a little kid, my parents worked to turn our suburban backyard into an edible landscape.  [Homesteaders before that was cool, too.] The old small inground pool was filled in and turned into a bed for rhubarb, herbs, and bulbs.  I remember being pretty little and getting to use a hammer (!) to break up the concrete patio which became a strawberry patch.  It seemed like every year the amount of grass got smaller and the land in food production enlarged. We had cherry and apple trees in addition to that strawberry patch, and 2 areas of vegetables. **

Friday, May 23, 2014

Greek Olive Salad Pizza

A recipe for vegetarian pizza topped with olives, sautéed mushrooms, feta and fontina cheese. Sounds gourmet but you'll make it at home!

A recipe for vegetarian pizza topped with olives, sautéed mushrooms, feta and fontina cheese. Sounds gourmet but you'll make it at home!

It's pretty slick when you can take a couple of containers out of the refrigerator and produce dinner, especially a dinner that would be found on the menu of some fancy pants pizza joints. [Can you be both fancy pants and a pizza joint? I think so.] Continuing my message of how to have varied and interesting pizzas at home, let's talk about long-storing preserved veggies aka Veggies in Jars.

A recipe for vegetarian pizza topped with olives, sautéed mushrooms, feta and fontina cheese. Sounds gourmet but you'll make it at home!

I started this . . . lesson? discussion? rant? soliloquy? all terms would work . . . the other week with Cheesy Garlic Scape Pesto Flatbread, suggesting you make and freeze garlic scape pesto, fresh tomato pesto, roasted garlic and even plain old ordinary pesto while these items are seasonally abundant and inexpensive.  Meghan reminded me to add caramelized onions to that list--how did I forget those?--and Angie suggested onion marmalade.  Great additions for my list!  Let's move the storage device from freezer to fridge and continue the discussion.

A recipe for vegetarian pizza topped with olives, sautéed mushrooms, feta and fontina cheese. Sounds gourmet but you'll make it at home!

My love affair with olives continues [hey, if my then-deployed spouse can go to a website and fall in love with . . . well, wiener dogs . . . why can't I carry on a love affair with olives?].  I've been buying olives by the Costco vat, and that means that I've got plenty for this pizza.  Since I'm also buying feta cheese by the Costco vat--well,  "put 'em together, it just makes sense" *.  Just like my Very Veggie Puff Pastry Pizza Bites, fresh spinach from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share would go nicely on this pizza.

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A recipe for vegetarian pizza topped with olives, sautéed mushrooms, feta and fontina cheese. Sounds gourmet but you'll make it at home!

For more pizza recipes, broken into category because I like to organize things a heck of a lot more than I like to dust, please see my Visual Pizza Recipe Index. For more recipes using mushrooms, please see my Mushroom Recipes Collection. For more recipes using vegetables in jars (or buckets, as the case may be), please see my Veggies In Jars Recipe Collection. They are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Creamy Tomato Soup with Home-Canned Tomatoes

A creamy tomato soup made with home-canned tomatoes, pesto, and roasted garlic.

A creamy tomato soup made with home-canned tomatoes, pesto, and roasted garlic.

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich month (season? day? week?) is coming, and before I share my fig-filled, or my tomato jam-spread, or my guacamole & corn grilled cheese creations I'd like to share the perfect accessory for all good grilled cheese sandwich meals--tomato soup.

A creamy tomato soup made with home-canned tomatoes, pesto, and roasted garlic.

Truth be told, I was a huge fan of the red & white can as recently as last year.  Heck, some of my favorite winter school day breakfasts as a kid were cups of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. What changed for me was the realization that I had the key ingredient to make a deliciously flavorful tomato soup right at my fingertips--a pantry with jars of home-canned tomatoes.  I'm going to tell you about canning tomatoes when it's NOT canning season for one reason:  to lay the groundwork/plant the seed in your brain, so that when summer comes you've had time to mull over the concept. [I'm honest and upfront with my brainwashing techniques.]

A creamy tomato soup made with home-canned tomatoes, pesto, and roasted garlic.
Canning need not be 3 generations slaving away in the kitchen. But it's fun if it turns out that way :)

Putting up tomatoes is a terrific way to step into the Big Scary World of Canning.  With a tall pot, a bunch of quart-sized canning jars--I would borrow from a friend a funnel and a pair of tongs jar lifter your first time--you can have the building blocks for a variety of meals.  If you don't grow your own tomatoes you've got plenty of options for amassing a canning quantity.

A creamy tomato soup made with home-canned tomatoes, pesto, and roasted garlic.
You do NOT need all of these supplies to can a few quarts of crushed tomatoes!
  • If you've got neighbors who are overrun with ripe tomatoes, especially neighbors who are older than you, offer to put up the whole mess and share the preserved bounty with the gardener. 
  • Ask your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmer to sell you extras.  Your farmers will be delighted to have ripe tomatoes go quickly and easily to a good home.
  • If you don't participate in a CSA but do frequent the farmer's market, tell a farmer that you're interested in "seconds" or "canning tomatoes", and when tomatoes are abundant you'll be doing each other a favor buying ripe and ready, perhaps slightly cosmetically damaged, tomatoes for a good price.
When I put up crushed tomatoes I follow the basic method--shared on the Pick Your Own website, on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website, on the Food In Jars blog, and in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (Amazon affiliate link) that I checked out of my local library a bunch of times before buying my own copy.

A creamy tomato soup made with home-canned tomatoes, pesto, and roasted garlic.
Gratuitiously long caption as I don't know how to make words appear when you hover over the photo (though I do know how to link parts of a collage to other posts):  All you need to can is a tall pot with some sort of shelf to keep the jars off the bottom; and jars, and water--lots of water; and a heat source to heat that water (and heat the tomatoes, too); tomatoes, lemon juice and salt and a sharp knife to cut the tomatoes plus a bucket to store the peels before they go to the compost, and a flat surface for them to cool, and a pantry to store your bounty. And the floating tomatoes?  I screwed up and let them get cool in between packing and processing. No problem, still good eating.

Canning crushed tomatoes is safe and easy if you follow the directions.  Just peel the tomatoes, squish the tomatoes, pack the squished tomatoes into clean jars with salt and lemon juice, and stick 'em under boiling water according to the methods I've linked to above.
Honestly, it's trickier to bake a cake--and not from scratch, I'm talking from a mix.  Did you measure the oil and water correctly? Are there shells in the batter? How do you know you've beaten it long enough?  How do you know if the pan is properly prepared?  How do you know if the top springs back enough? Sheesh! Tomatoes are acidic enough to start off, and you further make the environment hostile to undesirable stuff by adding lemon juice to each jar.  Follow the method from the sites above and you'll be successful. [/brainwashing]

A creamy tomato soup made with home-canned tomatoes, pesto, and roasted garlic.

Once you've got a quart of crushed tomatoes, soup is a short simmer away.  [Or a long simmer, if your spouse is unexpectedly delayed and dinner is late.]

For other recipes using tomatoes, canned or otherwise, please see my Red & Yellow Tomato Recipes Collection or my Green Tomato Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Turkey Pesto Olive Feta FFF-a-boli, Thanksgiving Leftover Remake Pizza Night!

Turkey, green olives and feta cheese combined with pesto in a rolled pizza

I knew when I made these pizzas that I wanted to do a Leftover Remake using turkey.  I just didn't have any turkey to try it with!  Then we celebrated Thanksgiving, I got some turkey leftovers to work with, and I could make this vision a reality.  Turkey, pesto from the freezer stash, green olives, feta cheese . . . sounds like a winning combination.

Turkey Pesto Olive Feta FFF-a-boli | Farm Fresh Feasts

Then my spouse asked for a Nic-o-boli for his birthday, and I veered off into a different direction.  What if I took that topping combination I'd envisioned, and stuffed it into a rolled pizza?

Turkey Pesto Olive Feta FFF-a-boli | Farm Fresh Feasts

We all agreed it worked great.  If you have leftover turkey meat, and you've put up your pesto (or have a jar in the fridge) try this FFF-a-boli.  It's delicious (and what I'd be making for Friday Night Pizza Night the day after Thanksgiving if I wasn't a food blogger who has been inspired by this)!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Vegetarian Antipasti FFF-a-boli Rolled Pizza on Sweet Potato Dough

A cheesy mix of mushrooms, artichokes, pickled peppers, pesto and olives rolled in a sweet potato crust

Vegetarian Antipasti FFF-a-boli Rolled Pizza on Sweet Potato Dough | Farm Fresh Feasts

It's been a while since I've shared a rolled pizza.  I started with a Basic FarmFreshFeasts-a-boli, then later a Beef and Mushroom FFF-a-boli.  Coming next Friday I'll have a tasty turkey 'boli using Thanksgiving leftovers.  But today, I am all about the vegetables.

The base of this rolled pizza is a Roasted Sweet Potato crust I shared here. [Can you tell that I make multiple batches of dough in one go, so I can play around with the toppings?]  Since I usually have an antipasti bar going on in my refrigerator door I grabbed a bunch of jars for pizza topping ideas.  I put back the grape jelly, peach jam, sriracha and lemongrass but kept the stuff you see below.  Starting with a base of sautéed mushrooms, I added some pickled peppers, then olives and artichoke hearts, with pesto to tie the whole thing together.  Three cheeses make this extra gooey and yummy.

If you eat turkey for Thanksgiving, but will be serving vegetarians in your post-Thanksgiving Eat All The Leftovers period, keep this pizza in mind.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Shaved Kohlrabi Meat/No Meat Pizza

Shaved Kohlrabi Meat/No Meat Pizza | Farm Fresh Feasts

I'm still working on the 'elevator speech' about what I do here on this blog.  At work the other day I was trying to describe this to Sharon (I'm paraphrasing here).
Me:  I blog about feeding my family from the CSA farm share.  Have you heard of a Community Supported Agriculture farm share?
Sharon:  No.  What is it?
Me:  It's where you pay the farmer a chunk of money in late winter/early spring when they are gearing up for the season, and in return you get a box of vegetables each week during the growing season.
Sharon:  My friend did that . . . she got kohlrabi.  What do you even do with kohlrabi?
Me:  Sushi!  Pizza!  See, that's why I started the blog!  I've been figuring out how to use the fresh veggies from the farm share for so many seasons that I've got several ideas for kohlrabi!  I hate to waste food.
Sharon:  Me, too.
My elevator speech may not be slick or smooth--yet--but the conversation reminded me that I made a couple of kohlrabi pizzas that I'd like to share with you.  I'd already made pizza using the greens from kohlrabi (of course they're edible--not just for composting pigs or worms, just like chard stems) but I was intrigued at the thought of shaving wafer-thin slices of kohlrabi onto a pizza pie.

As usual, dithering ensued, so I'm sharing a pair of pizzas--with or without meat.  I was a mite ambitious this particular Friday Night Pizza Night, and to keep track of what all went on each one I ended up scribbling the toppings on the parchment paper.  Who knew parchment paper was good for more than preventing my children from hearing unsavory language when I attempt to transfer the dough into the oven keeping the dough from sticking to the peel?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Baked Eggplant Chip Pesto Pizza

Cheesy, crunchy, breaded eggplant slices on a pesto pizza crust spread with extra pesto and topped with shredded Italian and crumbled feta cheeses.
If you've been or known a picky eater, could you ever imagine that picky eater to say "this spaghetti sauce needs more cowbell some eggplant"?  
My kids were picky, or at least not game for any vegetable, when we first started getting a CSA farm share.  Ever since I figured out that I could take the farm share eggplant and puree it with other vegetables to make spaghetti sauce (my first ever posted-on-the-internet recipe, at Tasty Kitchen, is here) I haven't had eggplant the way I love to eat it--breaded and covered with cheese.  Since the kids will eat eggplant in spaghetti sauce, that's what we do with our farm share eggplant.  Period.

Until this blog happened along, which probably coincided with me thinking that, just this once, I'd like to eat eggplant as the star of its own show, not as a bit player in an ensemble.  I've been all about treating myself this summer, making foods that I want to eat, and this is another one of those.  It's my hope that you'll also benefit from my self-pampering.

This is the third time recently that I've posted a recipe-within-a-recipe, and I hope I'm not violating some sort of blogger laws or setting up some unrealistic expectations.  Just like you don't need to make pizza with your Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, nor do you need to use Kale Hummus in your Fattoush Dip, you don't need to make Baked Eggplant Chips the way I describe below in order to make Baked Eggplant Chip Pizza.  You can make them another way.  The first eggplant chip recipe I ever had was from my CSA in Virginia, Blenheim Organic Gardens, and you can find Becky's tasty eggplant chip recipe here at the Washington Post.

I wanted a breaded cheesy crunchy sort of eggplant chip, and I had a hunch, when I got a great coupon for Kraft Fresh Takes (not sponsored, I bought this because it was a good deal and I wanted to play), that instead of coating chicken or fish I could coat slices of summer vegetables.  I tried it with zucchini,  patty pan squash, and eggplant.

I got a little carried away.

With the leftover eggplant (because it's frequently about the leftovers around here) I decided to toss it onto a pizza.  This was a good call--the breaded eggplant slices retained their crunchy cheesy eggplant goodness.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sun Gold Tomato Pesto Pizza

A vegan, nut-, and gluten free Sun Gold cherry tomato pesto sauce that is great as an appetizer or dip, a pizza sauce, or pasta sauce.  It freezes well, too.

One of the near-guarantees, if you're in a summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or farm share subscription, is a lot of tomatoes.  Quite possibly more than you can cope with in a week.  This week, for example, I got four quarts of tomatoes.  Four!  I had a quart of cherry tomatoes, 2 quarts of slicing tomatoes, and a quart of heirloom tomatoes.  (And I'm the only human around who likes to eat raw tomatoes.)
However, I'm not the only household member who's thrilled that Sun Gold season is upon us.
Some people like to gobble up cherry tomatoes like candy.  Others like their tomatoes cooked, never raw.  Still others grow into almost liking tomatoes.  I recall I first tried a summer tomato sandwich, as a non-raw-tomato-eating adult, thanks to a food writer at The Washington Post--her description of the flavors sounded so good that, even though I wasn't a fan of raw tomatoes, I toasted some bread, grabbed the mayo, salt and pepper, sliced a tomato from the garden and discovered a wonderful taste sensation.  That still remains my favorite way to enjoy tomatoes in the summertime.

What choice do I have other than to Deal With All these quarts of tomatoes?  Next week will bring a new box, and sooner or later my own tomatoes will ripen.  I've got to get these tomatoes put up.  
If you're curious, I slow-roasted most of the slicing tomatoes overnight, following Alanna's excellent tutorial, and I put up 4 half pints of heirloom tomato & cashew pesto in the freezer, then I gave a couple of slicers to my neighbor, and the pigs and I snacked on the rest of the cherry tomatoes.  I'm all set.  This week.  I'm lucky they'll just keep coming until frost.
Since I used primarily slicing tomatoes when I made and put up Heather's Fresh Tomato Pesto, I decided to use the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes and my kitchen scale to provide a metric weight-based recipe for this delicious sauce.  I noticed that I needed less oil for these juicy summer tomatoes than I needed for the late season tomatoes.  I threw the sauce on a pizza, so I could get this ever-so-seasonal post up for Friday Night Pizza Night. For real--the dishes are still in the sink, this recipe is that fresh!  You'll be reading it while I'm still cleaning up the mess and the kids are fighting over the leftovers.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Baked Swai with Pesto and Ricotta

A simple sauce of prepared pesto and ricotta cheese makes a moist and  flavorful coating for fish, pasta, or roasted vegetables

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen the photos of my first cheese-making efforts.  I got a gallon of milk marked down and made 2 balls of mozzarella with a cheese making kit I bought from Standing Stone Farms.  With the leftover whey (boy howdy there's a lot of whey) I made a bonus batch of ricotta cheese.
There was still a lot of whey leftover after making the ricotta and mozzarella, and I've been experimenting with it.  So far whey-soaked oven oatcake is a hit, and pizza crust using whey instead of water is also a winner.  Details to come.
Here's the thing, though--normally I'll use ricotta in something hearty, like my Quadruple Roasted Mock Lasagna.  This summer has been gloriously--and unusually--cool, but not cool enough for that.  I decided to use up the very last cubes of last fall's pestopalooza with the ricotta cheese, and play around.

All of the recipes I'm sharing today involve the oven or stovetop, but when it's really hot I think it'd be great to toss freshly grilled items (chicken thighs, fish fillets, eggplant or zucchini) with this ricotta-pesto mixture and keep your kitchen cool.  It would be delicious as the dressing in a pasta salad, with cherry tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and squash.  It's probably good on a cracker.  Since I thawed my put-up pesto to make these dishes, I'm positive this idea will work with winter fare (peeled, sliced, roasted sweet potatoes or delicata squash?).

Friday, July 19, 2013

Buffalo Chicken on Buttermilk Pesto Pizza

Ever want to let someone else make the pizza for a change?  Yeah, me too.  Sure, there are times when I lay awake plotting what to put on a pizza.  But there are also times that I just don't feel like making the effort.  I happened upon a Buffalo Chicken Pizza at the grocery store (marked down!) during one of those times, and the flavor was a big hit with the males of the family.  Well, the intact males--Simon the pup and Quartz the composting guinea pig did not sample the pizza.  TMI?

One of the reasons I'm delighted that my son enjoys Buffalo Chicken is that he consumes celery when he eats it.  Since I'm like the simple dog about my regrown celery ("Look!  I made FOOD!") I planned to scatter freshly chopped celery leaves over top of any Buffalo chicken pizza I'd ever make.  I knew the leaves would a) look pretty and b) use some of the celery taking over the garden make the taste more authentic.

When I decided to make Wheatier Buttermilk Pesto Pizza dough after my success with plain buttermilk dough I was thinking that it would be a good base for Buffalo chicken topping--after all, buttermilk + herbs is close to ranch dressing, amIright?  I got a little frou frou with the post production of this pizza (that would be after I pulled it out of the oven, not in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Nothing).  My dribbling skills have improved ever so slightly, and I was please not only with the taste but also with the look of this pizza.

Even if you're not The Little Red Hen who grows her own celery and can pop out to harvest the leaves, try this one at home.  When you feel up to it, that is.  It's delicious.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fast Fresh Tomato Sauce
Served over polenta.  Crazy tasty.

When you've got farm fresh tomatoes and are looking for a quick easy no-cook tomato sauce, look here.  A jar of capers lives in my fridge, and if I put up enough, I have a cube or two of pesto left in the freezer until my basil gets going in the summer.  So when I get ripe tomatoes, I'm good to go.
This was fast, easy, and tasty.  Try it!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Zucchini, Corn, and Leek Pizza with Pesto and Feta (Pizza Night!)

The flavors of a summer vegetarian pizza: shredded zucchini sautéed with leeks and corn then topped with feta cheese on a roasted garlic oil-brushed pizza crust. 

Pizza in the summer should be easy.  Not that pizza in the winter should be complicated or anything, but there's something about the bounty of ripe produce coupled with spending more time outdoors doing yard work that lends itself to easy meals.  With such delicious stuff coming in the the farm share box the pizzas practically make themselves (let's be honest, I'm doing the work here) the idea of what veggies to combine in a pizza practically falls into your lap.  At least that's what happened with this pizza.  Sometimes, the ingredients choose you (Meghan is so wise).
Note:  I made this pizza in January.  It's true!  I'd love to show you a photo with the pizza and the 3 inches of snow that fell in the morning, but in fact it was wicked cold and dark so I have no 'outdoor' natural light photos.

Over the winter, while rooting around in the freezer for something else, a bag of shredded zucchini, a bag of corn kernels, and a bag of chopped leeks fell into my lap.  How did I make a pizza using zucchini and corn in the midst of winter?  Easy!  When I am overwhelmed with my crazy garden volunteers, or we get more than my family can eat in the week's CSA farm share box, I put it up.  The zucchini was shredded (love the fine shred disc on my food processor, the smaller and cheaper version of this one) then bagged, and frozen.  The corn was cooked in a cooler, cut off the cobs, frozen on a tray, and bagged.  The leeks were sliced, washed a lot, spun dry, and frozen loose on a tray before bagging.  That way, we can enjoy summer flavors all year long.  And this taste of summer was delicious after shoveling snow!

When I made this pizza, I knew that I eventually wanted to try leeks with corn on a pizza as well.  When I got leeks in my farm share I even did a little happy dance.  Tonight's pizza is very summery in nearly all respects--it's loaded with ripe-in-summer produce, tossed with pesto, flavored with a hint of garlic . . . but I think I may have used an eggnogandbutternutsquash crust.  So here's today's lesson, folks!  Always Label Random Bags of Pizza Crust In Your Freezer.  The crust tasted just fine with the toppings.  In fact, it may have been just a plain butternut squash pizza crust (is that an oxymoron?).  I'll never know, because I didn't label the bag!

If this pizza looks delicious enough for you to want to make it now, not wait until January, just make sure to squeeze the shredded zucchini until it's as dry as you can get it.  If you don't have leeks, substitute onions, shallots, or even green onions--but add them to the skillet at the very end because they burn easily.  At least in my skillets.  Now that my garden is growing some of these ingredients, I'm already planning my next "summer pizza" though this time I will know what dough to use.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Smoked Mozzarella, Feta, Mushroom and Pickled Pepper Pesto Pizza
Pickled pepper pesto pizza. I was giggling while writing this post (writing the old fashioned way, like the oats in my soaked oat muffins) in my breakfast nook. I thought I'd have a whole weekend to write at the sled hockey tournament, but instead I was yelling encouraging the team or watching some show about moonshine preppers panning for gold in deep-earth bunkers.  It was on TV, I couldn't look away.  My daughter will be home soon to claim her breakfast nook study space, so I must download this recipe before it flies out of my brain.
And you thought I took a photo of the ingredients to show you what's in this pizza. Ha!  I mean, it's great if you find the photos useful as well.  Really.
<days later>I'm still giggling to myself typing this post up in the lobby of the rec center where my son is at wheelchair basketball practice.  People are starting to stare.  Back to the point of this post.

I was cruising past the fancy cheese counter on another milk run (who is feeding these kids?) when I saw a magical markdown sticker in the vicinity of the mozzarella balls.  This time it was smoked mozzarella, so of course I snagged it to give it a try.

Heather (of garlic oil fame, though there's so. much. more. to her) eats marvelous pizza from some place called the Magic Mushroom.  Never been there.  But when Heather described her favorite pizza pie, it sounded like I could adapt it, play with my pickled peppers and pesto, and use this smoked mozzarella.

Smoked mozzarella is different than fresh mozzarella on a pizza in one dramatic way--it doesn't color outside the lines.  When topping a pizza with fresh mozzarella, you need to be careful not to put your slices too close to the edge for fear that they will run off all over your pizza stone.
Crispy mozzarella discs pried off a hot pizza stone are totally worth the burned fingertips.
Smoked mozzarella imparts a deeper, smoky (I know, surprise, I'll never be a food writer) taste, something which pairs well with the pesto and mushrooms.  The peppers and feta really make this pizza pop.

Normally, I don't feel like I make gourmet pizzas.  I'm just cobbling together the ingredients I've got on hand, from my farm share or good deals from the grocery store.  But describing this pizza . . . well, it sounds pretty fancy and high falutin' to me.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Green and Gold Basil Tomato Tart

A late summer tart of ripe yellow tomatoes on top of a bed of rich basil and cheese, baked in a tart shell. A decadent vegetarian dish.

Updated in 2015 with new photos!

This dish, more than any other one I make, screams SUMMER! to me.  I first tried it at a party in Hawaii, asked for the recipe on the spot, and have carried that stained sheet of paper around with me for many moves.  I've shared this dish with so many folks but I'm putting it up here too.

More photos, because I make this every year when I get yellow tomatoes!

Even though this is a summer dish to me, I also love it in the early fall, when we still have ripe tomatoes and I'm happy to turn on the oven.  If your family's favorite football team happens to wear green and gold, then making this tart for game night, using yellow tomatoes, would be extra festive.

For more recipes using ripe yellow and or red tomatoes, please see my Red & Yellow Tomato Recipes Collection (not to be confused with the Green Tomato Recipes Collection). For more recipes using up basil or other herbs, please see my Recipes Using Herbs Collection. These recipes are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, and seasonal garden abundance. Want even more tomato ideas? I've got a board devoted to tomato recipes from around the web on Pinterest. Curious how to use this blog? Click here.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fresh Tomato Pesto: How to Make, Put Up, and Use It

I hate to waste food, and I'm pretty sure that you hate to waste food, too.

As I get to know the people who grow my food, I also hate to waste their time and the literal fruits of their labors.  When I decided to start a blog, I did so because I'd had success figuring out ways to take the farm share produce (that came into my house between May and November) and feed it to my family during the off season as well.

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Tomatoes processed with nuts, herbs, garlic & oil. This recipe can be frozen, and is great with a wide variety of tomatoes.

I know you like to eat tasty food (you're reading a food blog, so this is a guess, I'm not stalking you or anything) but it's just common sense not to enjoy composting or throwing away something you paid for that could have benefited you, your family, or hungry folks in your community had it been consumed in time.

So I need to share today a lesson in putting up a food which you may think couldn't ever be wasted:  a garden fresh tomato.

yellow tomatoes used to make fresh tomato pesto
As soon as you have fresh (yours or someone's garden, CSA farm share, or farmer's market--not grocery store) tomatoes, please make this.  You'll thank me!  I've been thanking Heather! Not Simon, who photobombed the shot.

I know you're thinking "What, is she crazy?  I look forward to tomatoes from my garden all winter long!  I start them too early in the Spring because I can. not. wait. to eat fresh tomatoes!"

Sure, sure. You're saying this in May.  In June.  But what are you saying in September? October?

The fresh picked tomato has less of an appeal then.  That's the time I am canning tomatoes, slow roasting tomatoes, doing anything but simply enjoying the fresh flavor of a tomato allowed to ripen naturally and picked at its peak of flavor.

Why am I nattering on about this?  To put you in my mindset last fall when Heather posted her Cherry Tomato Pesto recipe. I had all the ingredients so I thought I'd give it a whirl (pun totally intended), but I was not expecting my reaction to my first taste of it.

It's broke da mouth good.

I was licking the bowl of the food processor when my spouse walked into the kitchen.  I sheepishly gave him a taste, and then he understood why.  Not content to make the recipe once (and in the interests of science and/or this blog), I made it multiple times, shown here.  I've used your basic red tomato, yellow taxi tomatoes, indigo rose tomatoes.  I've used cashews and almonds, and Leanne suggests it's great with macadamia nuts for a more dairy feel--without dairy.  I've used fresh basil, fresh parsley, and, when the fresh stuff ran out, I've made it with put up Arugula Pesto and Basil pesto right from the freezer.  I froze a bunch of tomato pesto in November, and thawed the final bag in April (shown above, after I learned to take a slightly better photo of it, even though the dog photobombed me).  I'll go so far as to say that you could make this pesto with any kind of tomato, nearly any kind of nut you have available, and nearly any kind of flavorful leafy green or herb you have available and it will taste great.

For other recipes using yellow or red (or orange, or purple--the variety of tomatoes in the farm share continues to astound me), please see my Tomato Recipes Collection. [I have a separate one for recipes made with Green Tomatoes]. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

a collage of the different combinations of tomatoes and nuts used to make fresh tomato pesto

a collage of the steps involved making fresh tomato pesto

Fresh Tomato Pesto Sauce 

(very slightly adapted from Heather's Cherry Tomato Pesto)


  • 4 medium or 2 large tomatoes (tops to the composting pigs!)
  • 1/2 cup packed basil, parsley, or arugula leaves
  • 1/3 cup salted cashews, almonds, or macadamia nuts
  • 1 clove garlic (or use some roasted garlic, if you like)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Throw everything in the food processor.  Pulse a few times to chunk it up, then puree on high several seconds until smooth.  
  2. Scrape down sides and puree a couple moments more to get that last pesky piece of cashew incorporated.  
  3. Store in the fridge a few days, or in the freezer at least up to 6 months.
  4. This makes enough for 2 pizzas plus an appetizer for a hungry spouse who walks into the kitchen while you're licking the bowl because it tastes so amazing. We enjoyed this on pita chips, tortilla chips, carrot slices, baguettes, and pasta.

I've used it on a few pizzas, too:
Not-So-Simple Cheese Pizza
Five Cheese Pizza with Indigo Rose Tomato and Almond Pesto on a Butternut Squash Crust
Broccoli Rabe, Mushroom, and Roasted Garlic with Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Tomato Pesto
Beef, Mushroom, and Fresh Tomato Pesto FFF-boli
Buttermilk Crust Pizza with Pepperoni and Fresh Tomato Sauce

This post is bopping around to What's Cookin' Wednesday, waving "hi!" to Heather, who first shared this recipe, at What's In The Box,  the From The Farm Blog Hop the Clever Chicks Blog Hop , Tasty Tuesdays, and the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, Real Food Fridays.

an assortment of freezer bags filled with fresh tomato pesto

Friday, April 19, 2013

Jill's Very Veggie Pizza
I don't have a 'finished' photo of this pizza, and there's a very good reason for it.

I worked at a restaurant during college, but I never created dishes from scratch.  I just followed recipes, opened cans and cartons, and spent a lot of time cleaning up with my buddy Hobart.  When I bring foods to other people, it's usually a recipe I'm comfortable with--though not always.  Never before had I made a unique dish and just hoped it would turn out OK as I delivered it to someone else.  I didn't eat this pizza:  Jill did. [And I didn't snap a quick photo of the finished pizza because I was racing to get it to her while still hot.  I like to think I've got the 'make a pizza at home' thing down, but I'm hopeless with the pizza delivery part.]

When I offered to bring supper to her family one Friday Night Pizza Night, I asked Jill to tell me exactly what kind of pizza she liked.  I know exactly what I like on a pizza and I wanted to give Jill what she wanted.  She said "oh, I love veggies."  With no "I hate mushrooms and onions" or "I'm sensitive to gluten" guidelines, I was pretty much free to do whatever I wanted.  I figured I'd play a little bit by starting with a spinach crust, but keep it not too crazy extreme.  Spinach, feta, pesto, mushroom and artichoke all play well together, so that's what I did.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Turkey Pesto Spinach Pizza (Pizza Night!)

Cubed turkey tossed with pesto then used to top pizza with spinach and cheese.

For more recipes using spinach, please see my Spinach Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Speaking of Visual Recipe Indices, there's also the Visual Pizza Recipe Index. I've got a Greens board on Pinterest where I share likely recipes, follow me there, some behind the scenes stuff on my Instagram feed, and even more recipes and articles on my FB page. Want to know How to Use this Blog

Cubed turkey tossed with pesto then used to top pizza with spinach and Manchego cheese. A tasty way to enjoy Thanksgiving leftover turkey!
new photo from 2015!

This was my second attempt at the 'make a pizza using leftover turkey' concept.  I'm posting it before the first one (which was also quite delicious) primarily because I'm just in a spinach mood.  I'd gotten bunches of spinach from the farm share and it was finding its way into everything.

Cubed turkey tossed with pesto then used to top pizza with spinach and Manchego cheese. A tasty way to enjoy Thanksgiving leftover turkey!

Since I keep a stash of pesto in the freezer, it's easy to grab a couple of cubes when I want to add a hit of basil flavor to a meal.  This was no exception.  I set the pesto cubes in a bowl to thaw and tossed the cubed turkey on top, so it became marinated in the pesto by the time I was ready to top the pizza.

Cubed turkey tossed with pesto then used to top pizza with spinach and Manchego cheese. A tasty way to enjoy Thanksgiving leftover turkey!

Spinach (and other greens such as Swiss chard, kohlrabi greens, broccoli rabe, and kale) give up water as they wilt.  (This makes perfect sense since the cell structure of the plant is destroyed with heating, releasing this water.)  Because of this, I usually precook greens before topping my pizzas.  [Good grief, I put a lot of greens on a pizza.]  I was feeling wild 'n crazy, though, and just tore the spinach into small pieces this time.  Worked great.  I had frost-kissed spinach, as the farmers put it.  This spinach is thicker/tougher than a tender Spring spinach.  Even the tiny leaves are tough.  If you've got a bag of baby spinach, skip the 'tear out the rib' step--unless your composting pigs would appreciate it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Pesto Pasta (Quick Take)

A simple & fast skillet supper with sautéed chicken breast, fresh spinach, prepared pesto and marinated artichoke hearts. Six ingredients, about 20 minutes, and you've got a tasty meal.

A simple & fast skillet supper with sautéed chicken breast, fresh spinach, prepared pesto and marinated artichoke hearts. Six ingredients, about 20 minutes, and you've got a tasty meal.
Updated in 2015 with new photos!

If you want to prepare a special meal that appears as if you've given a lot of thought to it but in fact you just realized that tonight was The Night and need to pull something out of your ear, read on.

A simple & fast skillet supper with sautéed chicken breast, fresh spinach, prepared pesto and marinated artichoke hearts. Six ingredients, about 20 minutes, and you've got a tasty meal.

I had a chicken breast, a bunch of spinach from the farm share, and a lot of cans of cream of chicken soup because they were a good price so I stocked up.  Yes, I use canned soup.  I tried making my own but it didn't come out as well as this stuff.  Everything in moderation.  While looking for inspiration for dinner, I decided to read the recipe on the can. In the surprise of the century, the recipe called for mixing the can of soup with pesto to make a sauce.  Hey, you know I've got pesto in the freezer!  I could make that recipe!

A simple & fast skillet supper with sautéed chicken breast, fresh spinach, prepared pesto and marinated artichoke hearts. Six ingredients, about 20 minutes, and you've got a tasty meal.

Not content to merely follow the recipe, I decided to boost the veggie content with my farm share spinach and some marinated artichokes.  I think I was in a race to see how fast I could empty a giant Costco-sized jar.  I did it in about a week, between pizzas, dips, and this.  New record.

This was fast and very delicious, if you are older than 14 and love the taste of artichokes.  The kids ate everything but the artichokes.  If you were going meatless I'd sub mushrooms for the chicken and use the soup of your choice.