Grilled Vegetable Pizza

by Jennifer

This recipe makes 2 12-inch pizzas, which may serve anywhere from 4 – 6 people.  I made a quick cucumber salad on the side:  I sliced some cucumbers lengthwise, scooped out the sides, sliced them into pieces, then tossed them with a little extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and black pepper.

  • about 1 1/2 lbs pizza dough, divided in two, homemade or storebought
  • Garlic Oil (chop a bunch of garlic, cover it generously with olive oil, store in fridge until you need it, keeps well so make a lot!)
  • 1 large red onion, thickly sliced into rounds
  • 2 small zucchini, each sliced lengthwise into thirds
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, divided
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • handful of basil, chopped

Prepare grill;  if you plan to cook the pizzas on a stone in the oven, preheat the baking stone at 450 degrees for a good 30 minutes.

Toss zucchini and peppers with a little Garlic Oil;  brush some on the onion rounds.

Grill until tender, turning once, about 3 – 4 minutes per side, a little longer for the onions.

Transfer vegetables to a cutting board and when cool enough to handle, chop into bite-size pieces.

Making one pizza at a time, roll out pizza dough and place dough on a cornmeal-dusted pizza paddle or the reverse side of a baking sheet.

Slide dough onto the grill and grill, covered if gas, for about 3 minutes, or until the top is puffed and there are grill marks on the bottom.

Slide the crust out back onto the paddle, flip it over and brush it with Garlic Oil.

Scatter half of the vegetables over the crust, followed by half the olives

and half the cheese, then slide it back onto the grill for another 3 – 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and there are grill marks on the bottom.  (Conversely, brush dough with Garlic Oil and put toppings on first before sliding dough onto the baking stone in the oven;  bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the crust is cooked through.)

Sprinkle half the tomatoes and half the basil on top of each pizza before slicing and serving.  You can keep one pizza warm in a 200 degree oven while you bake the second one, or you could start eating the first one while the other is baking!

Green Gazpacho

by Jennifer

This delicious version of gazpacho takes advantage of all the green peppers and cucumber we’ve been getting from our CSA, plus has the added advantage of protein and iron from the walnuts and spinach.  Give it at least 30 – 60 minutes to chill in the fridge before serving, or you can do what Yotam Ottolenghi does, and puree in 9 oz of ice cubes.  Below is my adaptation of his recipe from Plenty, and serves 6.

  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 1/4 lb cucumbers, peeled and seeded
  • 3 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 2 TBS chopped parsley
  • 4 TBS sherry vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 TBS plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chop the celery, peppers, cucumber, bread, jalapeno and garlic.  Working in batches and

transferring to a bowl, puree everything in a blender or food processor.  Chill for at least 30 – 60 minutes, or if serving immediately, puree in 9 oz ice cubes as well.  If the soup seems too thick for your liking, add a little cold water before serving.

 

Orecchiette with Creamy Herb Ricotta Sauce, Grilled Zucchini Pepper Salad

by Jennifer

This dinner was yummy, even though the yellow plate doesn’t do it justice eye appeal-wise.  Get the salad started first as it can sit for a bit (and gets better with the sitting).  For parents of young kids, two of my three (the third is pretty selective, but he did eat some) had huge helpings of the pasta and loved it.  Serves 4 adults.

Orecchiette with Creamy Herb Ricotta Sauce

  • 1 lb orecchiette
  • 3/4 cup fresh whole milk ricotta
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs – I used about half chives, and half a mix of oregano, sage and thyme
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil;  cook pasta until al dente according to package directions.  Before draining the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.

In a large bowl combine ricotta through black pepper.

Stir in pasta and reserved cooking water, mixing well, then serve hot.

Grilled Zucchini Pepper Salad – from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lbs zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4”-thick slices
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into four pieces each
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 TBS chopped basil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare grill for medium to medium-high cooking.  Toss zucchini and peppers with 2 TBS oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Grill vegetables 3 – 4 minutes per side, until just tender and grill marks appear.  Transfer peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes.  Peel peppers and cut into 1” pieces;  slice zucchini into 1” pieces as well.

In a medium bowl whisk together remaining 2 TBS oil, vinegar, brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add vegetables and basil, mixing well to coat, and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Fresh Corn and Pepper Jack Pizza, Cucumber and Melon Salad with Pepper and Lime

by Jennifer

While I’m a huge fan of grilling pizzas, it was raining tonight and I decided to use the pizza stone in the oven.  Preheat the oven and stone to 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes before you bake the pizza;  keep the oven on to make the S’more Pizza for dessert.  FYI, margaritas went well with the spicy pizza!  This makes one 12” pizza (I made another 12” cheese pizza for my kids, though my oldest preferred this one) and with the salad will serve 4.

Fresh Corn and Pepper Jack Pizza

  • corn kernels from 3 – 4 ears corn (hold corn vertically in a bowl, and cut off the kernels from all sides down into the bowl)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic Oil (a bunch of garlic, chopped, covered generously with olive oil, keeps in fridge)
  • 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 11 oz pizza dough
  • Cornmeal for pizza paddle
  • 2 TBS roughly chopped cilantro

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onions in the olive oil for 5 minutes;  add the corn and saute for another 3 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Roll out the pizza dough to a 12” circle, and place on a pizza paddle or inverted baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Brush dough generously with Garlic Oil.

Top dough with corn mixture.

Sprinkle cheese on top, then slide pizza onto hot pizza stone and bake for 10 minutes, or until crust is golden on the bottom and cheese is melted and golden on top.

Before serving sprinkle with cilantro.

Cucumber and Melon Salad with Pepper and Lime – adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

  • 3 large cucumbers, seeded, quartered lengthwise and sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cantaloupe, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
  • juice of 2 limes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip, Better-than-Pita Grill Bread, Crudites

by Jennifer

This dip, adapted from Eating Well, is supposed to be an appetizer, but it made a wonderful summer dinner.  My husband doesn’t even like eggplant and had three helpings!  My youngest son declared the grill bread “better than naan”, and that’s saying something.  Serves 4.

Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip

  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb)
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional….I included this, and it was spicy, but delicious)
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 1 TBS chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of sugar (optional…I included this)

Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches away from heat source.  Prick eggplant multiple times with a fork, then place on a foil-lined pan and broil, turning every 5 minutes or so,

until the eggplant’s skin is charred and a knife inserts easily near the stem, about 20 minutes total.  Set eggplant aside to cool.

Meanwhile, combine vinegar and red onion in a medium-sized bowl and let macerate for 20 minutes.  When eggplant is cool enough to handle,

slice it lengthwise and scoop out the flesh into the bowl with the onion and vinegar, and mash with a fork.

Add the olive oil and continue to mash, leaving some texture to the eggplant.

Stir in the remaining ingredients, and serve with grill bread and crudites.

Better-than-Pita Grill Bread – adapted from Gourmet magazine

Keep the grill bread warm in a kitchen towel as you cook them, or you can make them up to a day ahead, cool them completely, and rewarm them, wrapped loosely in foil, in a 350 degree oven until warm.  This recipe makes 10 pieces of grill bread, but honestly, my family of 5 could have happily eaten another 10!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for kneading and rolling
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 TBS warm water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 TBS beaten egg

Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a medium-sized bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, water and egg.

Add the liquids to the flour mixture and stir until combined.  Knead the dough, using additional flour to keep it from sticking, for 2 minutes (dough will not be smooth);

transfer dough to a clean oiled bowl, turning to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 10 pieces.  Heat a ridged grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

On a lightly floured surface roll out one piece of dough at a time into a very thin, roughly 6” round (mine are pretty rough).  Brush the skillet with a little oil and grill one round at a time, about 1 minute per side,

until there are grill marks on both sides and the bread is cooked through.

Transfer breads to a kitchen towel and wrap loosely as you cook the rest.  Serve warm.

Curried Noodles with Vegetables

By Ira,

This meal comes together very quickly. Once you prepare the vegetables, you can stir-fry them, then add the noodles and the spices, and it’s done.

  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil or grapeseed oil, separated
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 8oz package shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons madras curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock, or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 9-ounce package fresh Chinese noodles or 8-ounces dried linguine
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add the noodles and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until they are al-dente, about 3 minutes if you’re using the fresh noodles. Drain, rinse it with cold water, add the sesame oil, and stir it gently. Set it aside.

In a wok or large skillet over medium heat, add 2 teaspoons oil, followed by the onion and carrot.

Stir-fry for a few minutes, then add the green and red bell pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set it aside.

To the same now empty pan, add 2 teaspoons oil, then the shiitake mushrooms and garlic.

Cook while stirring occasionally for a few minutes.

Add the cooked vegetables to the wok, followed by the noodles, curry powder, turmeric, stock, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce (amount varies according to how spicy you like your noodles), soy sauce. Stir gently to combine. Taste to check the seasonings and add salt accordingly.

Top with the cashews and green onions and serve.

Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, is delicious.  Come to think of it, I haven’t made a dish from his cookbook so far that wasn’t!  Serves 4 – 6.

  • 2/3 cup neutral oil
  • 4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4” slices
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 3 cups basil leaves, divided
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. short pasta
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 TBS capers, rinsed
  • 12 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn by hand into chunks

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat 2/3 cup neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the zucchini in batches, turning once, until lightly golden.

Transfer zucchini, as they’re cooked, to a colander to drain.

When all the zucchini have been fried and drained, toss them with the red wine vinegar in a large serving bowl and set aside.

Cook the edamame in the boiling water for 3 minutes, then use a fine-mesh sieve or slotted spoon to scoop them out.

Rinse them in cold water (rinse the capers at the same time), drain well, then add them to the zucchini in the bowl.

Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions;  drain, rinse with cool water, then add to the bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, combine half of the basil, the parsley and the olive oil in a food processor or blender and puree;  add puree to the bowl, along with the lemon zest, remaining basil (roughly chopped) and fresh mozzarella.

Toss everything together, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy.

Pasta, Crispy Tofu and Green Bean Salad

by Jennifer

This pasta salad, from either Cooking Light or Eating Well (can’t remember!), is better at room temperature but can be eaten cold as well.  I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe;  it serves 4 – 6.

  • 14 oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed using either paper towels, plates and something heavy, or the EZ-Tofu Press;  slice pressed tofu into cubes
  • 1 TBS neutral oil
  • 1 lb short whole wheat pasta, such as farfalle or penne
  • about 3 1/2 cups cut green beans, in about 2” pieces (roughly 13 – 14 oz)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into four pieces, each piece halved crosswise and sliced into thin pieces
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions.

Five minutes before the pasta is ready to drain, add the green beans.  Drain when time is up and rinse pasta and green beans with cold water.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 TBS neutral oil in a nonstick (this is key) skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Cook tofu until crispy and golden on all sides.  Transfer tofu to paper towels to drain and cool.

In a small bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar through salt and pepper.

In a large bowl combine pasta, green beans, tomatoes, yellow pepper, basil and dressing.  Serve at room temperature or cold.

Zucchini and Fresh Herb Fritters, Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad

by Jennifer

These fritters were outstanding, especially with a dollop of Trader Joe’s Cilantro and Chive Yogurt Dip.  Fantastic way to use up the bounty of summer zucchini!  Serves 4.

Zucchini and Fresh Herb Fritters – adapted minimally from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

  • 2 lbs zucchini, coarsely grated
  • kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 bunch scallions, whites and an inch of greens, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • freshly ground black pepper, salt
  • neutral oil for frying

Combine zucchini and about a tsp or so of kosher salt in a colander set in the sink;  let sit for 30 minutes.  Rinse with water and squeeze as dry as you can.

Combine eggs through pepper and salt to taste,

then stir in the zucchini.  Lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and heat over medium heat.

Using a 1/4 cup measure to scoop up the mixture, fry the fritters until they are golden brown on the bottom (a few minutes),

then flip them over to fry the other side.  You can keep them warm on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven until they are all cooked.

Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad

  • 6 ears of corn, shucked
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing corn
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • freshly ground black pepper

Prepare grill.

Brush corn with olive oil and grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels are bright yellow with some charred marks and they start to smell like popcorn.  Remove corn from grill and when cool enough to handle, cut kernels off the ears into a bowl. (Hold ear vertically, standing in a bowl, and cut downwards into the bowl.)

Add remaining ingredients to corn and stir to coat.

Pizza Rustica

by Jennifer

This recipe comes from Cooking Light, and I changed very little, but next time I will increase the crust by half;  I did substitute whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose flour, which may have made the dough slightly harder to roll thin enough, but I rolled it pretty thin and it barely covered the pie plate or the top.  Still quite good, though!  Serves 6 – 8.

Crust:

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.  Pour in the olive oil and water and stir to combine.  Knead in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface for just a couple minutes, then divide the dough in two and wrap each in a piece of plastic wrap.  Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling out on a lightly floured surface.

Filling:

  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb Swiss chard, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 16 oz cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced
  • 8 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz shredded fontina cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray

Place red peppers on a tray a few inches from the broiler and broil, turning occasionally, until all sides are blackened and blistered.

Transfer peppers to a ziplock bag and seal the bag, letting the steam loosen the skins.  When they’re cool enough to handle, peel off and discard skin (and stem and seeds), then chop peppers.  (You can do this step up to one day ahead and refrigerate.)

Heat 1 TBS oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook chard, tossing occasionally,

until it wilts.  Transfer chard to a colander in the sink.  Wipe pan clean with a paper towel, then heat the remaining TBS oil in the skillet.

Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally,

for 5 minutes.  Transfer mushroom mixture to a fine-mesh sieve to drain.

Press on chard, and the mushroom mixture, to drain off as much liquid as possible, and drain off any liquid from the roasted red peppers.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl mix together ricotta cheese through egg white.

Add vegetables and stir well to combine.

Coat a 9” pie plate with cooking spray;  roll out half of the dough and transfer to pie plate.  Pour vegetable mixture into the bottom crust, then roll out and top with the remaining dough.  Crimp crust edges.  Cut slits in the top crust for the steam to vent.

Bake for 45 minutes, then let cool for 30 minutes before serving.