Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

White Pizza with Arugula

White Pizzas with Arugula

It’s so fun to make everything from scratch, and this recipe makes it so easy. This is also from Ina Garten’s Back to Basic cookbook. I’ve clearly been reading this too much and it might borderline on favoritism.


1 1/4 cups warm water

2 packages yeast

1 tblsp honey

Olive oil

4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading


4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, Goodfella’s style

5 sprigs fresh thyme

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


3 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (8 oz)

1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (7 oz)

11 oz creamy goat cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

8 oz baby arugula


Combine water, yeast, honey, and 3 tblsp olive oil in electric mixer. Once yeast dissolves, add 3 cups flour, 2 tsp salt, and mix on low-medium speed. While mixing, add last up of flour. Knead dough for 10 minutes, sprinkling with flour to keep from sticking. Turn dough out on floured board and knead it a dozen more times. Place in well oiled bowl, and turn to cover. Cover bowl with towel and let dough rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Put 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes in small saucepan over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. (Note: be sure oven is clean. I’ve smoked our kitchen out before. Not cool.)

Divide dough into 4-6 pieces. Place on baking sheets covered with parchment paper and cover with damp towel. Al to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to four hours.

Press and stretch each ball of dough into pizza circle and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush pizzas with garlic oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add each of the three cheeses. Drizzle pizzas with 1 tbslp more of garlic oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese begins to turn golden brown.

Whisk 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper together. Add to arugula and mix. Once you take pizzas out, add clumps of arugula to each pizza.

White Pizza with Arugula


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Simple. Rich. Delicious. Addictive.

I found this in Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics cookbook. I really love Ina Garten.

Taglierelle with Truffle Butter and Chives



1/2 cup heavy cream

3 oz white truffle butter (I confess, I’ve used black a few times as well)


1 8 oz package tagliarelle pasta

3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives

3 oz shaved parmesan


Add 1 tblsp salt to pot of water and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat cream over medium heat and bring to simmer. Add truffle butter, t tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Lower heat to very low and keep warm over low heat.

Add pasta to boiling water and cook for three minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta. Add pasta to pan with cream/truffle sauce and toss to coat. Slowly add in some of the cooking water to keep creamy.

Serve in bowls with chives and parmesan on top. Add pepper if you like. Enjoy!

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Kim’s Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Last month’s cooking club was hosted by the lovely Kim, our lone vegetarian. One of my favorite cooking club conversations occurred thanks to her eating habits, (plus a few glasses of wine and some sheer honesty).

Bianca: “Kim. To be honest, I didn’t know if I’d like you after I heard we had a vegetarian in the club. But I really do. You are fantastic.”

Kim: “Thanks, Bianca. I’m happy I changed your mind.”

Appropriately enough, her theme was a vegetarian fall harvest, which was delicious. One of the highlights from the meal was a creamy, slightly spicy pumpkin soup.

This recipe serves eight.


4 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

2 tsp minced garlic

1/8 to ¼ tsp crushed red pepper

2 tsp curry powder

½ tsp ground coriander

Pinch of ground cayenne pepper (optional)

3 (15 oz) cans of 100% pumpkin (or 6 cups chopped roasted pumpkin*)

5 cups vegetable broth

2 cups milk

½ c brown sugar

½ c heavy cream

1 tsp salt


Pumpkin SoupMelt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stir often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for another minute.

Add pumpkin and 5 cups of broth; blend well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Transfer soup, in batches to blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return to saucepan.

With the soup on low heat, add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring. Add cream and salt. Adjust seasonings to taste. (More cream if too spicy). Pumpkin Soup

*To make pumpkin puree, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350 until soft (45-60 min). Cool, scoop out flesh.*

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Another take on Bruschetta

So, I was bored with reading cookbooks and we had an uber-excessive number of tomatoes from our backyard to deal with. I was inspired by this recipe from an issue of Martha Stewart’s Body Soul magazine. A writer had suggested to mix edamame and goat cheese and spread it on toast. Interesting combination, I thought. I like goat cheese. I like edamame. Would I like them together?

In the end I added more to the recipe. Did it work? My husband and father-in-law ate all of them, so that was a positive sign. I enjoyed them. Perhaps you will too.


1 small package goat cheese

2 dollops creme fraiche or sour cream

1/2 cup edamame beans

Handful of fresh chives, lavender, parsley

1 half lemon

Sliced fresh tomatoes

Sliced fresh baguette

Olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush olive oil on baguette slices. Toast in oven for about ten minutes, until edges are golden brown.

Baguette and olive oil
















Mix goat cheese, creme fraiche, and edamame beans in food processor until edamame is thoroughly chopped.

Next, add lemon and herbs and mix more.

While running, add about one tablespoon olive oil. Run until smooth.

Now, spread onto toasted baguette slices. Add sliced tomato, salt and pepper.





Another take on bruschetta

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Chilled Corn Soup

Corn Soup

This recipe comes from the Bon Appetit Cookbook.


6 ears sweet corn

6 cups broth

3 shallots

1 onion

Salt and pepper

Optional Additions:

Creme fraiche


Fresh chives


Remove husk from corn and using a large, sharp knife cut ears in half.

Chop onion and shallots.

Corn SoupCorn Soup

Add corn, broth, onion, and shallots to a large pot.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Corn SoupCorn Soup

Using tongs, transfer corn to a separate bowl. Let cool. Keep broth.

Once cooled, cut kernels off cobs. Add 4 cups kernels to broth.

Working in batches, blend corn and broth together in a blender. Then, press mixture through sieve over a large bowl, Corn Soupusing the back of a spoon to press all the liquid out. You can stir in additional broth if you want to thin out the soup.  I like to add leftover corn kernels into the soup. Adds a sweet crunch. Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate, uncovered, for about four hours. When serving, add creme fraiche, pancetta, and chives, if you like.

Corn Soup


Corn Soup

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Apple, Cheese, and Chive Salad

This is one of the BEST salads I’ve ever tried. It’s a staple on Cafe Lurcat’s menu (http://www.cafelurcat.com/). The last time we were in to eat our waiter shared the recipe with us. I expected a laundry list of ingredients, but there are only four; apple, Manchego cheese, chives, and olive oil.

Manchego is a sheep’s milk cheese from Spain, specifically the Manchega region and from Manchega sheep. (Thus the name). It crumbles in your mouth, but has a rich and creamy taste.

The beauty of this salad is the apple and Manchego are the same color. The green chives add a vibrant touch.

This recipe serves two people. Making it at home doesn’t quite stack up to the real thing, but it’s still delicious. You’ll need a sharp knife and a little bit of patience for the chopping. Apple, Cheese, and Chive SaladI found that I liked a 2:1 ratio of apples to cheese.


Two red apples (I used organic Honeycrisp)

One packaged piece of Manchego cheese

Handful of fresh chives

Two tablespoons olive oil


Peel and slice apples into small slivers. Do the same with the cheese.

Combine and mix together in large bowl. Drizzle olive oil on top and stir to coat. Add chives and mix more.


Apple, Cheese, and Chive Salad

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Roasted Garlic and Chutney

Years ago, my parents used to take me to eat at the California Cafe in the Mall of America. This was around the time that the mall first opened and it was–in my wide 12-year-old eyes–insanely cool.

(Side note. I just checked the MOA media kit to find out the year it opened its doors. 17 years ago. Time flies).

The California Cafe was a relatively nice restaurant for a mall. During that time, an upscale dining atmosphere in the land of the food courts came few and far between. I felt pretty darn special to be seated amongst clean white tablecloths, with a wait staff who wore ties, and who continuously refilled a little plate of olive oil to dip my bread in.

To be honest, since then I’ve grown to dislike eating in malls. Now they make me feel overwhelmed and sneezy, (thanks to the dense hodgepodge of department store perfumes). But I did take away a yummy food memory, and menu item, that I’ve been able to recreate at home.

This recipe is the closest I’ve found to the original. It is adapted from a September 1990 issue of Gourmet magazine.

It makes enough for a great starter to any dinner party. Or perhaps a Sunday brunch plate to nibble off of for a few hours while you read and futz around the house. I’m guilty of serving it both ways.


1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger root

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 pounds chopped tomatoes

1 large white onion, chopped

1 cup raisins


Two heads of garlic

Olive oil



First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Then, mince the ginger. I use a peeler to slice the outside skin off, then madly chop away with my knife.


Now chop onion and tomatoes.

Once oven is preheated, chop off tops of garlic heads with sharp knife.


Drizzle olive oil on garlic head and rub oil into it. Put in oven proof dish, cover tightly, and bake for one hour.


During this time you can also slice the baguette and drizzle it with olive oil, then toast it on a baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile combine sugar, cider vinegar, ginger, coriander, red pepper flakes, and salt into a large pan and set heat between low and medium. Stir to dissolve sugar.


Once sugar is dissolved, add onions, tomatoes, and raisins. Stir to coat, and simmer at low/medium heat for about an hour, until it thickens. Be careful here. The cider vinegar is strong-smelling.



Once time is up, remove garlic from oven and chutney from heat. Let both cool for a few minutes.

Serve with baguette and goat cheese. Spread roasted garlic on toasted baguette, then goat cheese, then chutney. Yum.

Garlic and Chutney

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