Showing posts with label red onion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label red onion. Show all posts

Friday, July 31, 2020

Instant Pot Fruited Wild Rice Salad with Sweet Potato

This vegan and grain free Instant Pot salad combines chewy wild rice and tender sweet potato with grapes and clementines in a lemony herb dressing. Perfect for summer alongside grilled meats or for fall alongside baked meatloaf.  

image of a plate of fruited wild rice salad with sweet potato

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I have meaningful work and it's an amazing thing to be able to write that statement.
What does this have to do with the Instant Pot Fruited Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Salad recipe I'm sharing today? 
The short version is that I discovered the dressing I'm using in this salad (I've got a DIY version, too, see the Note below) via my work with Minnesota Central Kitchen turning rescued/donated ingredients into meals for hungry people in the Twin Cities area.
If that's enough for you please feel free to scroll on down to the recipe.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sausage Pasty Meat Pie

A savory meat pie stuffed with seasoned pork sausage and vegetables.

photo of a sausage and vegetable-stuffed meat pie

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With Pi day (March 14, or 3.14) coming up, how about a meat pie? Meat pies make a wonderful dinner and a great leftover lunch. You can combine Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share vegetables with meat into a simple and satisfying vehicle for nourishment.

cooking the sausage and finely chopped vegetables for the sausage pasty filling

I did not grow up eating meat pies. My spouse did--in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where the pasty reigns supreme. Last summer we took the kids on a Lake Michigan Loop (up one side and down the other). We ate pasties in multiple places. Each was different (pasty sliders?!) and nearly all were amazing. [At one tourist place I had a merely 'good' pasty, but the brown gravy served alongside it was a new twist for me, so I considered that visit not a total loss.

a serving of sausage pasty meat pie

This pasty uses pork sausage. It was inspired by my visit to the Runyan family of Oak View Farm Meats where I received a basket of pork products to play with at home, including the pound of pork sage sausage I used in this recipe, and loads of ideas on how to use them. You can take a virtual tour of Oak View Farm Meats with me here. I wanted to make a colorful filling to stand out from the paleness of the sausage, so I grabbed what I had handy--some potatoes from the basement Strategic Winter Squash Reserve--and a package of marked down chopped vegetables from the store. The key is to use finely chopped vegetables so that you have a cohesive filling.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Roasted Beet Appetizer with Gorgonzola and Pickled Red Onions

A vibrant vegetarian way to start a meal, this recipe combines tender roasted beet cubes with tangy pickled onions and gorgonzola cheese. Add a bit of pistachio for crunch and your meal is off to a memorable start!

Easy to assemble from previously prepared ingredients, this vegetarian starter is cool and colorful.

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I'm trying a new tactic to encourage my family to eat the beets from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share--small plates. I'm sure it's old hat to many folks, but it's a new idea for me. I mixed up a batch of this roasted beet appetizer and, instead of having folks help themselves like I usually do, I put a couple of tablespoons each into a few of my Polish pottery ramekins. These are the perfect size for a snack of trail mix of cheez its [though if you're having the Extra Toasty kind those things are like CRACK and you'll actually burn some calories jumping up off the couch to refill your little dish every few minutes].  If you've got little dishes that hold about 4 ounces (half a cup), and less adventurous eaters--give this method a try.

A close up image of roasted beets with pickled red onions and gorgonzola cheese.

When I get beets in the farm share, I quickly perform Vegetable Triage on them. I cut off the greens first, if they are present. I constantly crave Sautéed Beet Greens and make that for breakfast/brunch whenever I have access to beet greens. Once the greens are removed, the beets can hang out in the crisper drawer for at least a week. This is a Good Thing when you're overwhelmed with life and aren't really prioritizing using up the fresh produce. If you've got space, you can even freeze roasted beets for several months. They come out very soft, so freeze them whole and handle gently if you'd like them to retain a cube shape. If you do plan to mash them, say, to make Cocoa Beet Chocolate Chip Muffins, then you'll be just fine with freezing/thawing roasted beets.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Onion Mascarpone Grilled Naan Pizza

This easy yet elegant vegetarian pizza combines cream-tossed onions, feta and mascarpone cheese on a simple naan bread crust. Cooked quickly on the grill, you've got fancy flavors in a flash.

For other recipes using onions, please see my Onion Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other vegetarian pizzas, please see my Visual Pizza Recipe Index or my Friday Night Pizza Night Pinterest board.

While I am always inspired by the contents of my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box, the freezer, the fridge, and the pantry--sometimes I get additional inspiration for a recipe while I am in the shower. Sometimes I am inspired by my email inbox. Other times it is social media. When the Pizza Cipolla from Karen's Kitchen Stories came through my Facebook feed I was intrigued, and inspired.

First, it caught my eye because it is a pizza, and I make pizza nearly every Friday night. [With a son in the high school marching band the 10-12 weeks of football season are a slight aberration.] Second, I happened to have 2 bags of onions lying around. It's August, I'm canning, and in a fit of 'what if I run out?' I sent said son to the grocery store for 'better make that 2 bags!' of red onions to supplement the pint in the farm share box. [Said son did not mind--he know he can buy a coffee with the change, and he's got plenty of room on his wheelchair for packages.] Third, I'd bought a bunch of heavy cream and mascarpone cheese to make this delightful Low Carb Mascarpone Mousse by Carolyn of All Day I Dream About Food. [It is delicious, even if you're NOT looking for a diabetic-friendly dessert for a luncheon honoring someone living with diabetes.] Since I had the right stuff for a good topping, I was all set.

Except, as I mentioned, it's August. I'm canning tomatoes. [So far I've made crushed tomatoes, salsa, and pizza sauce. My plants are nearly dead--some weird brown leaf fungus this year--so I will end up bringing in the rest to ripen in the house and can later.] I had no desire to a) fuss with pizza dough or b) turn on the oven. Instead, I opened the freezer and fired up the grill. [Did you notice all the packages of naan in this photo of my freezer?] With an easy crust, I used Karen's pizza topping and added a bit more white stuff--mascarpone, feta, and shredded Italian blend cheese--to make a very easy, elegant, vegetarian pizza.

One thing I probably should have done--grabbed some fresh thyme. I've got plenty in the garden but walking into my backyard these days is kind of a minefield. [Not the 'you've got 3 dogs minefield' or the 'we've marked the cleared path and don't recommend you step off the marked area, Lt' minefields, either.] It's more like the If You Give A Mouse A Cookie minefield. If I walk into the garden to get fresh thyme, I'm going to stop to check the progress of the volunteer squash vines taking over the patio. I'll notice a few baby zucchini and make a mental note to pick them later in the week. Then I'll see a bunch of peppers ready to be pickled and scoop up a handful. Even though my daughter harvested tomatoes the day before, there will be more to add to my arms. Walking back into the house to get a basket I'd trip over the now baseball bat-sized zucchini and smash my face into an impromptu salsa. I chose to use dried thyme to avoid that fate.

Friday, June 5, 2015

CSA Recipe Index Revamped, and Garlic Scape Pesto Pizza with Mushroom, Artichoke, Pepper and Red Onion

A loaded vegetarian pizza with mushrooms, artichokes, yellow peppers and red onions on a garlic scape pesto-slathered crust. Plus--an expanded Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, now with recipes from all sorts of bloggers!

I had a "duh" moment the other day. My goal of making my blog a resource for people like me looking for recipe ideas for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, farmer's market, or garden abundance would be closer if I included recipes from other bloggers in my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.

I sure don't have the lock on the best recipes using farm share ingredients, with the possible exception of my Sautéed Beet Greens and Spring Onions with Egg breakfast/brunch, which I happen to think is the world's best way to enjoy beet greens.

Everyone's tastes are different, so having a central location to see a wide variety of recipe ideas for whatever ingredient you're dealing with can only help. I hope the bigger and better Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient will enable more people to have a successful farm share season and keep coming back to their chosen farmers for more. Why is my family embarking on our 10th CSA season? Fresh food tastes good!

Now, I am one person with kids at home for the summer and dogs who require a lot of attention. I'd share a video of Robert Barker and I trying to teach Simon and Vincent how to howl, with mixed success, but I can't figure out how to get it off my son's iPad and onto my laptop. Scroll down for a .gif instead.

I won't have a whizbang revamped recipe index overnight. I've paid a chunk of money [gasp, go buy something on Amazon using my link please] to the good folks at Inlinkz and I'll slowly add to it in a seasonal manner, focusing on produce that is more unique to the farm share/farmer's market. That means garlic scapes right now.

If you check out my Garlic, Garlic Scapes and Green Garlic Recipes Collection you'll find a wide variety of omnivore, gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes contributed by many bloggers. [Every link has been obtained by permission of the blogger.] I've pinned all the links to my Garlic Scapes Pinterest Board, if you like to organize recipe ideas that way. There are many recipes for Garlic Scape Pesto, sure, because that is an excellent way to put up a garlic scape crop for the year--but I've included everyone who contributed because I'm not going to be the one to test and pronounce which is The Best Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe Ever. Taste is subjective.

I have two requests:

  1. If you have, or know of, additional recipes I can add to the index, please shoot me an email and tell me about them. My info is on my About page.
  2. I'd like to know how the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient works for you on your device. We are a Mac family, and Luddites to boot, so I have no idea how this looks on an Android product or on Chrome or stuff like that. I can't make it better if I don't know what's not working.

I have been sharing pizza recipes, and it's a Friday--the day I traditionally fix pizzas for my family--so since I have a food blog [I almost typed I am a food blog] I will uphold tradition and stop babbling about the new direction for the recipe index and instead share a pizza. 
Keeping it short and sweet, because I've written enough already.

Garlic Scape Pesto Pizza with Mushrooms, Artichokes, Peppers and Red Onion

1 pound pizza dough of your choice
2 to 3 Tablespoons of Garlic Scape Pesto (here's my recipe)
¾ cup chopped fresh mushrooms
½ cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
½ cup chopped bell peppers
¼ cup diced red onion
1½ cups shredded cheese (I used a blend of fontina, mozzarella, and asiago)

For baking directions, please refer to my Pizza Primer, or my 7 Tips for Making Pizza at Home posts. I'd rather show you dogs running past garlic scapes. I'm sorry I didn't get a shot of Vincent. He's too fast.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fresh Corn & Hatch Chile Sauté

Fresh sweet corn cut right off the cob, sautéed with roasted Hatch chiles, tomatoes, and onion for a simple, fast and flavorful vegetarian or vegan side dish

Fresh Corn & Hatch Chile Sauté | Farm Fresh Feasts

I'm really not sure why this dish exceeded my expectations. If you start with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients you invariably come up with delicious foods with little effort. One example is this colorful side of freshly sautéed corn kernels spiced up with roasted Hatch chiles.

I was so busy with the social media sharing aspect of #IceCreamWeek [have you entered? the giveaway ends 31 August. One winner takes ALL. Enter here!] that I had very little mental energy for thinking up new and interesting ways to cook the veggies in our farm share.

Fresh Corn & Hatch Chile Sauté | Farm Fresh Feasts

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sweet & Spicy Peach, Chicken, Hatch Chile and Spinach Pizza

Fresh peaches and freshly roasted Hatch chile peppers paired with spinach, mozzarella, and chicken on a BBQ-sauced buttermilk pizza crust.

Sweet & Spicy Peach, Chicken, Hatch Chile and Spinach Pizza | Farm Fresh Feasts

There are no guarantees in life, and that's OK.

We have two peach trees in our backyard (they belong to my daughter) but that's not a guarantee we'll be eating homegrown peaches this summer.  Just like official orchards here in southwestern Ohio, the extreme cold temperatures of late winter were too much for the delicate buds. No flower buds means no flowers, and no flowers means no local peaches.  That's just how it is sometimes.

Sweet & Spicy Peach, Chicken, Hatch Chile and Spinach Pizza | Farm Fresh Feasts
I'm sorry to be down. As I'm writing this, it is Wee Oliver Picklepants' Last Day. A year ago when I made this pizza I didn't even know he existed. Then my deployed spouse went on the internet and found Oliver and his Traveling Companion, Vincent. My spouse asked me to adopt the dogs and I did, falling in love with those nice middle aged gentlemen long before he returned and met them. I was particularly smitten with Oliver, a runty 10 lb one eyed wiener dog mix.  An avid outdoorsman, Oliver holds the title of being the only dog in the house to successfully catch a squirrel [technically, most of the squirrel got away, but Oliver was darn proud of the tufted tail tip that was left behind]. Such an active lifestyle was too much for Oliver's back, though, and his pain got to be unmanageable. We will miss him--his sweet disposition and outsized personality changed our minds about little dogs.
Sweet & Spicy Peach, Chicken, Hatch Chile and Spinach Pizza | Farm Fresh Feasts

Despite my sadness about peaches and pups, I am glad we have options when it comes to buying fruit. The fruit farmer at the farmer's market down the road is bringing in peaches from South Carolina to sell alongside their summer berries. While it isn't as good for their bottom line, it does keep their customers happy and I'd rather buy my out-of-state peaches at the farmer's market than the grocery store, you know? For my 3rd peach pizza recipe (following Peach, Basil and Brie pizza and Peach and Pepperoni Pizza) I decided to get gourmet and throw a bunch of stuff together.

Sweet & Spicy Peach, Chicken, Hatch Chile and Spinach Pizza | Farm Fresh Feasts

Biting into this pizza was amazing. Even before that point, though, just seeing the colors made me happy. The warm colors of the peaches were set off by the greens of the spinach from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share and accented by fresh mozzarella and red onion. I know that you eat with your eyes first, but the flavor has to back it up and this pizza delivers. The sweetness of the fresh peach chunks paired with spicy roasted Hatch chiles and creamy mozzarella is complemented by the BBQ sauce base. Give it a try--it's really good.

Sweet & Spicy Peach, Chicken, Hatch Chile and Spinach Pizza | Farm Fresh Feasts

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fast Creamy Honey Wheat Pizza Dough

Use prepackaged 'pizza yeast' with your own additions of honey & cream cheese to make a quick and flavorful whole wheat pizza dough.

Fast Creamy Honey Wheat Pizza Dough | Farm Fresh Feasts

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This is a teaser post, and I utterly own up to teasing you with a delicious-yet-unattainable-today pizza.  See, the sauce is made of garlic scape pesto, and you can't find fresh garlic scapes right now.  Not in the grocery store, not in the farmer's market, not off the internet.

Fast Creamy Honey Wheat Pizza Dough | Farm Fresh Feasts

Garlic scapes are one of those items that are only available for a brief time, and after that:  poof.  Unlike asparagus (another actually seasonal item that's nowadays available in the grocery store year-round because it's shipped from other countries during the off-season) garlic scapes are a get-them-before-they-are-gone item, else you're out of luck.  One of the reasons I enjoy eating seasonally is because I get to look forward to different foods throughout the year.

Fast Creamy Honey Wheat Pizza Dough | Farm Fresh Feasts

So why am I sharing this pizza while my garlic bed out in the garden looks like this?
Simply because, again unlike asparagus, you can put up garlic scapes when they are plentiful and enjoy them later.  Garlic scape pesto freezes well, and provides a lovely mild garlic flavor and gorgeous color any time you use it in a dish.  I'm partial to pizza.  

Now, I've already written (and scheduled for Spring, in anticipation of garlic scapes in our Community Supported Agriculture [CSA] farm share) a post about how to make the pesto I used in today's pizza.  Instead I'll share the recipe for dough.

Yes, yes, I know I said in my Pizza Primer that I make my dough days ahead.  I usually do.  But not always--sometimes it's Friday afternoon and I've got nothing prepared.  That's when I grab a packet of pizza crust yeast [This is not a sponsored post, I buy my own packets--with coupons, always--and Fleischmann's doesn't know I exist. I'm just sharing the name of a product that I buy, use, and love--and if it inspires you to be successful in making pizza at home I'd love to hear it in the comments below.]

Fast Creamy Honey Wheat Pizza Dough | Farm Fresh Feasts

The inspiration for this pizza crust came from my friend Kim, who said she often makes a honey wheat pizza on her family pizza nights.  Never having tried honey wheat dough, I decided to adjust the recipe on the pizza crust yeast packet to make my own fast honey wheat dough.  I also threw in some cream cheese in lieu of oil just because I had some sitting on the counter from my son's post-braces removal Everything Bagel after school snack.  I can't call this a fat-free dough because I used regular cream cheese, and I can't call it oil-free dough because I did put it in an oiled bowl and used oil on the parchment paper.  So Fast Creamy Honey Wheat Pizza Dough it is.

Fast Creamy Honey Wheat Pizza Dough | Farm Fresh Feasts

Monday, January 6, 2014

Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups

Corn, black beans, and pepper in a lime vinaigrette served in avocado cups.  Vegetable appetizers for game day snacking that's good for you

Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts

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For my family, the Superbowl is usually an excuse to sit in front of the TV and eat crap snack foods.  Our list of snacks changes slightly year to year, but, like Thanksgiving, there are some standbys.  In addition to the recipes shown below, I've added a Game Day Snacks to my tags (right side bar) since we like to eat appetizers as well as sandwiches and quick snacks.  Check it out!
Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts

My son loves Buffalo Chicken dip.  Even though I wasn't planning to make it, he cobbled some together using thin sliced chicken lunchmeat, bits and pieces of cheeses, and salad dressings.  And Frank's Red Hot® sauce, of course. (There's no relationship to disclose--I buy it because I like it.)

Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts

My daughter--well, I can't say she loves guacamole, though she certainly likes it.  Making the guacamole became her job after she needed to give a speech in Spanish class and decided to demo how to make guacamole.  Yes, the apples do not fall far from the tree. :)

Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts

My spouse will eat anything, but he loves Slow Cooker Salmon Artichoke Dip and I love him, so I whipped him up a batch.  I had an ulterior motive, however--a big slab of salmon and a desire to have leftovers for this.

Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts
One problem with putting up your own corn? De-silking.  Must do better next season!

My new item was this Corn and Black Bean Salsa from Kate at Diethood.  I didn't have everything her recipe called for, but it was super easy to chop all the jalapeño, red onions, and cilantro for my daughter's guacamole and Kate's corn salsa at one time.  Since my New Year's Resolutions involve adding more avocado to my life, I served it in avocado halves and it was delicious.

Grab the following ingredients, head over to Diethood, and make yourself another Awesome Veggie Appetizer (link to my Pinterest board).  Then enjoy the game--or the commercials, or both--with something delicious to munch on.
For other recipes using Avocados, please see my Avocado Recipes Collection. For other recipes using Beans, please see my Beans (Legumes) Recipes Collection. For other recipes using Corn, please see my Corn Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For ways to Use This Blog, please click here.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Everything Bagel Focaccia Bar (Pizza Night!)

Chewy focaccia seasoned like an everything bagel, topped with your favorite bagel toppings

Everything Bagel Focaccia Bar | Farm Fresh Feasts

There are foods that I like to splurge and treat myself to now and again.  One of them is a good everything bagel, toasted under the broiler then spread with cream cheese, topped with lox, red onion, capers, and--if they are in season in my garden/the farm share--a slice of tomato.  Like Albert in the book Bread and Jam for Frances (Amazon affiliate link) I set my meal up just so, and it makes me happy.

The first time I tried to recreate my treat on a pizza, one year ago's Potato Smoked Salmon Red Onion and Caper Pizza, the pizza, while tasty, missed the mark of what I wanted to capture.  When I first made a focaccia I realized what I'd wanted was the chewiness of the crust, and made a mental note to find Everything Bagel seasoning and try it out.

Fast forward to summer.  While at the beach at a spice store steps away from the boardwalk (I'd think that wasn't a great location, but they got my business) I found it.  As I drove back to Ohio I had my daughter take notes of all the recipe ideas in my head.  The first one I tried was Everything Bagel Focaccia.  It was good--but still needed some tweaking.

Everything Bagel Focaccia Bar | Farm Fresh Feasts
First try--too thick, and not "everything" enough.
Third time was the charm for me (and for you!), and I present you with a focaccia flavored like an everything bagel yet not so messy (I hate all the crunchy bits that fall off, though they are tasty scooped up and secured with cream cheese), safe to eat if your parents have invested much money in your mouth and don't want you to screw up your braces, and the perfect set up for a late brunch bar with assorted toppings.

For my birthday I'd like to share a Friday Night Pizza Night version of one of my favorite foods. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cranberry Chicken Meatballs with Cranberry Gravy

Cranberries, sage, and red onion flavor ground chicken in meatballs served with cranberry gravy

Cranberry Chicken Meatballs with Cranberry Gravy | Farm Fresh Feasts

My spouse used to buy CDs and books based on the covers (you know, in the days pre-online shopping, when you'd physically scan the shelves and pick up what caught your eye).  He discovered Willy Porter's Dog Eared Dream (Amazon affiliate link) that way (cute dog on the cover).  He also found a cooking with fruit cookbook (which, sadly, has been lost in the many moves).  I always intended to use that book to add more fruit to savory dishes, but it never really caught on with me.

I have a taste memory of a wonderful chicken schnitzel melba (chicken, peaches, brown gravy) from Restaurant Paltzer in Spangdahlem, Germany that is my Gold Standard for a savory, fruit-and-meat entree.  I'm still working on the recipe for that (though my German coworker is helping!), but since it's getting on to cranberry season and I'm all about eating with the seasons (or putting up produce while it is in season to eat later) I'll share these cranberry chicken meatballs.

Even though I tend to stock a lot of local ground beef in my freezer, I am not immune to a good deal on ground chicken at the grocery store.  I had chopped cranberries (from these muffins) and some red onions and sage from the farm share.  The family was pretty pleased at the thought of chicken and noodles for dinner.  Perhaps they were happy about a pink meal that didn't contain beets. Even though I had 2 burners and the oven going, this meal wasn't that much plate-spinning effort.  I threw the meatballs together and chucked them into the oven, freeing up my hands to make the gravy while the noodles and meatballs were doing their own thing.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Chopped Vegetable Pizza

BLUF*:  Chop a bunch of stuff together and put it on a pizza.  Bake it.  Enjoy.

Chopped Vegetable Pizza

This pizza starts with chopped late summer vegetables, fresh mozzarella, optional meat, and a quirky sauce.  Sounds fairly traditional, yes?  I guess maybe the corn might be unusual unless you're outside of the US.  I ate corn on pizza in Germany, but this particular combination was inspired by my fellow Learn Food Photography classmate, Gaurav Prabhu, during our 30 Days to Better Food Photography challenge.  He shared this photo about making pizza it caught my attention not only because he did a great job of capturing the elements that went into his pizza, but also because of those elements.

Chopped onion, chopped tomato, chopped pepper, and corn?  Sounds like a good combo.  A sauce of Szechuan chutney and mayonnaise? Interesting.  Mild cheese to tie the whole thing together?  Good plan.  I decided to make a pizza using ingredients that I had on hand (corn I'd put up in the summer, red pepper, red onion, leftover Italian sausage and pepperoni).  Instead of a chutney/mayo sauce I scanned the refrigerator door and picked up the bottle of Raspberry Enlightenment.  It's suggested in both sweet and savory recipes, so I used it as a sauce.  It was quirky--pretty good, yet not incredible like garlic scape pesto. I think this pizza would also be delicious with Gaurav's chutney/mayo or even a plain tomato sauce.

I've been putting off this post, in part because I had more seasonal pizzas to share and in part because I really don't care for the photos of this pizza.  The more I figure out how to produce semi-decent photos, or at least not blurry ones, it makes it really cringe-inducingly frustrating to see an older pre-rudimentary skills photo.  Yet the other day I got the most delicious corn in the farm share, and beautiful peppers, and I've still got red storage onions, so it's a good time to suggest this combination.

I just hope yours looks prettier than mine.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Grapes, Goat cheese and Red Onion with Fennel Focaccia

Sweet purple grapes, fresh red onion, and tangy goat cheese on a chewy light fennel focaccia.

Grapes, Goat cheese and Red Onion with Fennel Focaccia

After sharing a pair of peach pizzas last Friday, and a raspberry pizza the Friday before, I thought I should move back to vegetable pizzas for my Friday Night Pizza Night posts.  After all, I've got a sweet potato dough and a roasted pumpkin dough that I want to share with you.

However, I don't want this focaccia to drop off my radar.

I had a very productive period making and poorly photographing--but not writing up headnotes for--a pile of tasty recipes, and I thought I'd get them all written up over the summer.

Didn't happen.

I don't want everything to slip through the cracks, or rather fall off the stacks of recipe notes on my work table or dissolve into rows of scrolled-past photos in my ever-expanding photo library.  I don't want to start posting every day, either.  Three days a week is working for me (is it working for you?  too much? I should do a survey sometime.  After I've gotten all those blogs written up I'll ponder it).

I'm going to share a third fruity Friday Night Pizza Night (that's a link to my board of the same name on Pinterest) and then switch over to vegetables next week.  The chicken, peach, Hatch chile, spinach, red onion BBQ pizza will have to wait until next summer, as will the cantaloupe and prosciutto.  Something to look forward to, my spouse always says.

This focaccia uses fennel seeds in the dough.  I bought a bag of them because Alyssa's Skinny Italian Wedding Soup With Kale recipe over at Everyday Maven sounded good, and I figured the seeds could be useful to have on hand.  I'm glad I did--I now use fennel seeds in sourdough bread, Italian sausage, and spaghetti sauce.  Fennel seeds (for me at least) are versatile and not a seldom-used spice around here (I'm talking about you, sumac-for-fattoush and dill-seed-for-pickles).

Grapes, Goat cheese and Red Onion with Fennel Focaccia

This is not my first focaccia rodeo, though apparently all of the focaccias I've been making, photographing (and not writing up blog posts about) have yet to grace the screen.  So I'm going to refer you to my Arugula Pesto Focaccia with Artichokes, Feta, Goat Cheese and Green Olives if you want a thorough write up about what to do with your focaccia dough to turn it into focaccia, or why you should listen to my spouse and try focaccia.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Grilled Veggie Ciabatta Pizza

This was a fun, fast, and easy pizza to make--and to eat.  I'm sharing this today in part because while I find it pretty easy to throw together pizza dough most weeks due to near-constant practice, I know that making your own dough can seem very intimidating (pie crust intimidates me).
That's a big reason why I brain-dumped my Pizza Primer blog post, to demystify the whole thing.  But I don't always make my own dough--or buy a ball of pre-made dough from the store.  Some times I get pre-baked pizza crusts, like here or here.
And sometimes, I'm in the mood for pizza without all the pizza crust foolishness.  Plenty of folks rave about naan or pita pizzas--they sound great to me, if only my kids would save me some naan.  Milk and naan--they don't stick around in our house waiting to be consumed.  Reminds me--I'm thinking the Indian-spiced slow cooker patty pan and beef dish to appear on Monday? Yes? No?  Back to pizza . . . I like to experiment with different breads for our pizzas.

You know French bread pizzas?  When I make them, from a loaf of day old French or Italian bread (I still call them all French bread pizzas after Stouffer's started the trend for me) they are usually too thick and too hard to bite after baking.  I do love how easy it is to make them, though--no dough skills or extra time necessary--so I keep on trying.  When I saw take & bake ciabatta bread marked down, I initially wasn't thinking pizza, but when a recent Friday afternoon loomed and I didn't have dough made, inspiration struck.

Using the par-baked bread means that the crust is just crisp enough when the toppings are warmed and the cheese is melted.  This crust is an excellent vehicle for a wide range of toppings--but to keep it on the easy side, check your refrigerator.  You've grilled veggies this summer, right?  Got any leftovers?

I tossed my leftover veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, radish and red onion) with goat cheese, fresh parsley and a bit of cooked sausage and used that as one of my toppings.  Just plain cheese on the other half for those in the household who aren't embracing the grilled veggie concept.  Yet.  I'm working on them her.

I think this would make an excellent appetizer, or an excellent pizza for a party--you throw it together in minutes, shoot, it takes longer to preheat the oven--and each half can be its own blank canvas to decorate as you desire.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Five Layer Mediterranean Chicken Dip

Would it be awful to suggest you make Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Tacos just to have the leftover meat to make this appetizer?  Oh, and make Avocado Feta Dip (my variations are below) too, because that's what provides the foundation for this delicious appetizer.  If you don't eat chicken, scroll down and see the photo I took yesterday of something I think would go great instead, marinated chick peas, or skip it and just use the rest--still utterly delicious, but you'll have to call it a Four Layer Dip.

When I think of appetizers, I tend to return to my favorites time and again.  After all, they are favorites for a reason!  You can find them over there -----> in my Recipe Index By Category.  In the Appetizer category.  That was probably redundant.

I always like to try new things, however, so this recipe came about as a combination of wanting to try something new, wanting a familiar appetizer, and the desire to use what I've already got in my fridge.  Voila!  Taking a page from the many Mexican layer dips I've enjoyed over the years, I present to you Five Layer Mediterranean Chicken Dip.  Thank you to Linda for help with the name.  I can develop the recipes, grow the celery, prepare the food, take a few photos, write the post . . . but dreaming up recipe names is HARD! (Yes, I'll take some feta with that whine.)

About five minutes after I took the first photo, this was all that was left.  I know we were hungry, but holy cow!  This appetizer is delicious.  We ate it with pita chips and carrots, but home re-grown celery, snow peas, zucchini or yellow squash slices would all be great delivery vehicles for this stuff.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Tacos

If you've been enjoying some early summer salads and are looking for a change of pace, try this dish.  It's a great as salad, and as an appetizer, and works year round as an easy supper.  Since this is a year round dish, it's been in the queue for a while waiting to be published.
Last week I was participating in a G+ Food Bloggers Community Education event with +Chef Dennis Littley  and +Larry Deane, and Larry said "give your readers what they want".  That struck home with me, so since I've gotten requests for this recipe, it's bumped some fresh-from-the-CSA recipes to come out today.  How did folks know to request this?  They saw the photo on my FB page, that's how.

I intended to title this post Greek Artichoke Lemon Olive Chicken in a Slow Cooker, in the interests of being as descriptive as possible.  Then I thought about how we actually ate the resulting chicken, asked folks on FB for suggestions, and decided that Slow Cooker Greek Chicken "Taco" Meat is really a more apt title.  This dish is cooked in my crock pot, and does contain the artichoke, lemon, and olives I originally mentioned, but we use it like we use taco meat:  stretched on tortillasover grains, or in a salad.  And the leftovers?  They make the best Greek Five Layer Dip I've ever had.  Possibly the only Greek Five Layer Dip I've ever had, too.  Try this in the summer when it's too hot to cook, or during football season for a delicious dinner/appetizer that's just familiar enough not to be weird and a delicious twist on a classic.

I may have alluded to my cold kitchen over the winter months.  Either the reference to the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in the cold (down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit!) corner of my breakfast nook, or the photos of the frost on the inside of my kitchen window, seen in my Gardening Photos album on my FB page, would get the point across.
As cold as my kitchen is in the winter, it is correspondingly hot in the summer.  I do what I can, covering the East-facing windows with heat-blocking drapes in the morning and using the oven less.  I intend to get my grill on this summer, but there is another way to cook your food without heating the kitchen--a slow cooker.
This dish started with my desire to use my slow cooker to do the cooking while I was at work, and turned into a game to see how many complimentary layers of flavor I could add to the dish.  I was inspired by these other Greek Chicken Slow Cooker dishes, seen here and here, but since I had tortillas but no pitas, I went in a taco direction.  Then I read about Avocado Feta dip, and it was a great accompaniment to the chicken.