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!

Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Cooking Light, serves 4 generously, or with some leftover for lunch the next day.

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh mint
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radicchio
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, chopped
  • 3.5 oz crumbled fat-free feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 TBS minced shallots (1 medium shallot)

Bring broth to a boil in a medium-sized pot;  add quinoa, stir, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes

or until liquid is absorbed.  Fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, whisk together olive oil through salt in a large bowl.

Add cooled quinoa and remaining ingredients, tossing well to combine.

Leek and Lemon Linguine, Provencal Bok Choy

by Jennifer

The linguine recipe has been adapted from Eating Well magazine;  the bok choy from Gourmet magazine.  This dinner, once everything was chopped and prepped, came together quickly, and was fantastic (if you like lemon, that is).  Serves 4.

Leek and Lemon Linguine

  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 1/2 lemons)
  • 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced and well-rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • heaping 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan, divided
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • freshly grated zest of two lemons
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives, plus extra for sprinkling

In a large skillet or pot combine linguine, water, wine, lemon juice, leeks, garlic, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently,

until the linguine is almost al dente and the liquid is almost absorbed, about 10 – 15 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, lemon zest, and 1/4 cup chives, and continue cooking for another 1 – 2 minutes.  Serve sprinkled with remaining cheese and chives.

Provencal Bok Choy

  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf (or 1/2 California bay leaf)
  • 2 (3 x 1”) strips orange zest, slivered
  • 2 – 2 1/2 lbs bok choy, cut crosswise into 1 – 2” pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add garlic through orange zest and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add bok choy, tomatoes, olives, salt and pepper, lower heat to medium, and cook,

stirring occasionally, until the bok choy is crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in parsley and discard bay leaf.

Wild Salmon with Pearl Couscous, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Lemon Oregano Oil; Dandelion Salad

by Jennifer

You can make the tomatoes and oil earlier in the day;  bring to room temperature before serving.  The salad greens, too, can be washed and spun dry ahead of time, and left in the refrigerator.  The salmon recipe is an adaptation from Gourmet, and serves 6, as does the salad.

Wild Salmon with Pearl Couscous, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Lemon Oregano Oil

For tomatoes and lemon-oregano oil:

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 1 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 24 fresh oregano leaves, plus 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lemon

For couscous:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 1/4 cups pearl (also called Israeli) couscous – I used whole wheat
  • 1 3/4 cups no-chicken broth
  • 1 cup water

For salmon:

  • 6 6-oz. pieces salmon fillet with skin, preferably wild and sustainably caught
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise

For tomatoes and oil:  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Combine tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper in a small shallow dish.

Heat olive oil in a 10” skillet over medium heat until shimmering, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Remove pan from heat and add the basil and oregano leaves.

Pour oil over the tomatoes.

Roast tomatoes in the oven for about 2 hours, until very soft but not falling apart.

When cool, use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes to a bowl, then pour the oil mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a separate container, discarding solids.  Stir lemon zest, juice, and chopped oregano into the oil.

For the couscous:

Heat olive oil in a 3-quart pot over medium heat.  Add the couscous and toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 3 – 4 minutes.

Add broth and water, bring to a simmer, then cook, covered, for 12 minutes

or until the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let sit, covered, another 10 minutes,

then stir in 3 TBS of the lemon oregano oil.

While the couscous is cooking, make the salmon.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and preheat the oven to 500 degrees, with the rack in the upper third of the oven.

Arrange salmon skin-side down, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, then roast for 12 minutes or until just cooked through.

To serve, divide couscous on plates, top with a piece of salmon, then tomatoes, olives, and a generous drizzle of lemon-oregano oil.

Dandelion Salad 

  • 4 oz. dandelion greens, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz. escarole, inner leaves preferred, chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Toss together dandelion greens, escarole and parsley.

Whisk together lemon juice through pepper.

Pour dressing over greens and toss well to combine.

Tuna and Artichoke Salad Sandwiches; Radicchio, Lettuce, and Orange Salad

by Jennifer

The chaos in my life quadrupled recently, as we added a new puppy to a house already full with 2 adults, 3 kids and a rabbit.  Fast, easy dinners, especially on weekdays, are turning out to be extremely key.  This tuna salad recipe is from Eating Well magazine, cut out ages ago, and it’s delicious as a sandwich, with crackers, or on its own.  Saves well as a good lunch, too (which I can eat quickly, watching our puppy like a hawk….).  Serves 4.

Tuna & Artichoke Salad Sandwiches

  • 2 5-oz. cans solid white tuna packed in water, preferably wild and sustainably caught (Wild Planet from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s is a great brand), drained and flaked
  • 1 14-oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and gently squeezed of liquid
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 8 slices crusty bread, toasted if preferred (I preferred)

Combine all ingredients except bread in a bowl, then make into sandwiches.  That easy!

Radicchio, Lettuce, and Orange Salad

  • 1 grapefruit-size head radicchio, cored, quartered, and sliced
  • 1 small head Boston/butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bunch watercress, stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 oranges, peels/pith cut off, cut into bite-size pieces (peels reserved)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wash and spin-dry the radicchio, lettuce and watercress, and toss in a serving bowl.

Squeeze orange juice from the orange peels into a small bowl;

whisk in the olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper.

Add orange sections and dressing to radicchio mixture and toss well to combine.

Tofu Steaks with Tomato-Olive Sauce over Whole Wheat Penne, Cauliflower with Capers

by Jennifer

Tofu is not just for Asian cooking!  The sauce can be made up to a day ahead.  After cooking the cauliflower in the skillet, wipe it clean and use it to pan-fry the tofu.  This dinner serves 4.

Tofu Steaks with Tomato-Olive Sauce over Whole Wheat Penne – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 13.25 oz. package whole wheat penne
  • 3 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, pressed if you like, sliced into 4 equal portions and patted very dry

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

In a large skillet, heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and let sauce simmer for 10 minutes.

Add olives and let cook for another minute or two.

Remove from heat and add parsley and black pepper.  If you’re not making the sauce ahead and would like to only use one skillet, transfer sauce to a smaller pot to keep warm and rinse out pan to use for the cauliflower and then the tofu.

Cook penne according to package directions until al dente;  drain.  Meanwhile, heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat in the skillet until it shimmers.

Add tofu and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes or so per side.  Divide penne among 4 plates, top with a slice of tofu, and top that with sauce.

Cauliflower with Capers – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 lemon, sliced in half cross-wise
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBS chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp capers, drained
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Fill a large pot about half-way full of water, add 1/2 lemon, and bring to a boil.

Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and discard lemon half.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then cook the cauliflower for 6 minutes, until crisp-tender and slightly charred in places.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Transfer cauliflower and garlic to a bowl and add the juice of the remaining lemon half, parsley, capers and salt, tossing well.

Fennel, Onion and Olive Pizza; Asparagus with Orange Dressing and Toasted Hazelnuts

by Jennifer

Saute the fennel and onion first, then set aside, wash out the pan, and use it to cook the asparagus.  While the fennel and onion are cooking, roll out the dough, chop the olives and hazelnuts, and whisk the dressing.  The asparagus can be served warm or at room temperature.  Serves 4.

Fennel, Onion and Olive Pizza – adapted from Cooking Light

  • about 1 lb. pizza dough (I used the grilled pizza dough recipe;  remember you can make it up to 2 days in advance)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 medium bulbs fennel, cores removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup bottled pizza sauce or marinara sauce
  • generous 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • cornmeal for pizza paddle

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil, then add the fennel through pepper and cook, stirring frequently,

until browned and tender, about 15 minutes.  Prepare grill.

Roll out dough to a (roughly) 14” circle;  transfer it to a cornmeal-dusted pizza paddle (or rimless baking sheet).

Slide dough onto grill and grill for about 3 minutes, or

until distinct grill marks appear on the bottom and the top is all puffed.  Slide the crust back onto the paddle and turn it over so the grilled side is up.

Spread the sauce over the crust, leaving about an inch border all around.

Spread the fennel-onion mixture over the sauce.

Sprinkle the cheese over the mixture,

then scatter the olives.

Return to the grill for another 3 – 4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and there are grill marks on the bottom.

Asparagus with Orange Dressing and Toasted Hazelnuts – adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
  • juice from 1/2 orange
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the asparagus in a wide saucepan of boiling, salted water for 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Drain asparagus and arrange on a platter.

While the asparagus is cooking, whisk together the zest through pepper.  Drizzle dressing over asparagus, then sprinkle with the hazelnuts.