roasted sweet pepper + summer squash pizza

Oh how I wish I had taken more pictures of this pizza!  Dinner was actually ready before the sun went down, before our toddler went to bed so we got to eat together.  During the daylight.  Win for us!

So we’ll keep this short and sweet.  If you have the time, roast your own peppers until they’re blistered and quickly marinate them in a bit of olive oil and chopped basil.  It makes all the difference in the world. Promise!

Since we add some lemon zest to the sauce, this pizza with all its veggies feels summery and bright.  You might eat 3, 4, 6 slices and not even notice!


roasted sweet pepper + summer squash pizza

  • 1 store-bought pizza crust
  • ½ cup tomato sauce*
  • 6-8 baby sweet peppers
  • 3-4 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls of whatever greens you have on hand (baby spinach, baby kale, arugula)
  • 1c shredded mozzarella
  • pepperoni, optional (the hubby wanted some so I put it on half and it was pretty good!)
  • freshly grated Parmesan, for topping

Sauce

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tsp crushed red pepper, optional
  • ½ tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (I love the Muir Glen brand)
  • pinch of sugar
  • zest of one lemon

for the pizza:

Preheat oven to 450º.  Shape dough in a circular pizza pan to the edges and set aside.  Heat a dry sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the sweet peppers and roast on each side until partially blistered.  It’s ok if there are a few black spots.  Remove from heat and slice into rounds.  In a small bowl, toss roasted sweet peppers with the olive oil and chopped basil.  Set aside.

Spoon sauce evenly over pizza dough.  If using pepperoni, add it to pizza first.  Then top with sliced summer squash (though you may not want to use all of it) and the sweet peppers with basil.  Then add your greens and sprinkle the mozzarella over the top of everything.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Once pizza is out of the oven, sprinkle some freshly shredded Parmesan over the top, slice and devour!

to make sauce:

Combine olive oil, red pepper flakes (if using), sea salt and garlic into a cold sauce pan.  Stir while you heat the sauce pan over medium-high heat, about 45 seconds or so, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.  Add in the tomatoes and just a pinch of sugar; let simmer for a few minutes.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Stir in lemon zest.

(adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

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tomato & cucumber salad {with lemon-caper dressing}

This salad screams summertime!  Though it’s only April, we’re getting summertime vibes over here and I am (somewhat) ready.  I’m ready to walk away from the stove and fire up the grill.  I’m ready to simply toss some veggies together to accompany our meal and call it day.  I’m envisioning sitting with my husband on our back patio at dusk under the twinkling pergola lights, listening to our wind chime dance in the breeze.  While sipping on an ice-cold, crisp glass of Pinot Grigio, I am wholeheartedly enjoying this salad on a perfect summer evening.

Continue reading “tomato & cucumber salad {with lemon-caper dressing}”

Barley Risotto with Marinated Feta

Let’s just start by saying I absolutely adored this dish.  It’s hearty and filling and feels like a warm hug for your stomach.  Is that weird?  Didn’t think so.


Arborio rice is found in traditional risottos, but this isn’t your traditional risotto.  There’s no need to warm vegetable broth in a separate pot, ladle broth into the rice, stir and repeat.  Instead, pearled barley is used and this dish doesn’t require the the meticulous preparation and exact measurements as its Italian counterpart.  We just sauté the aromatics, add all the broth at once, toss in the barley, kale, tomatoes and seasonings and let the heat do it’s thing. Just a few stirs here and there. Done.  Easy peasy one pot dinner.

But! We can’t forget about the marinated feta.  Caraway seeds may not be something you have readily available in your pantry but I love them in here, so use them if you can!

I adapted this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem using what ingredients I had on hand.  The flavor profile remains in tact, though I added some kale for a pop of green, used leeks instead of celery and probably more tomatoes than originally called for.  Still tastes delicious.

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barley risotto with marinated feta

RECIPE

(serves 4-6)

  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tbs ghee/unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ¾ cup diced leeks
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 strips lemon peel
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • ½-1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • scant 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used Miur Glen’s fire roasted tomatoes- as always)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 oz crumbly feta cheese

Rinse the pearl barley well under cold water and leave to drain.

Melt the butter and tablespoon on olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the leeks, shallot and garlic over gentle heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the barley, kale, thyme, paprika, bay leaf, lemon peel, chili flakes, salt, vegetable broth and tomatoes.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the risotto doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  It is ready when the barley is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, toast the caraway seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes.  Lightly crush them so that some whole seeds remain.  In a small bowl, combine the feta, crushed caraway seeds and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and gently mix to combine.

Once the risotto is ready, check the seasoning and add more salt if needed.  Divide into bowls and top each with the marinated feta, olive oil included.  To bulk up the protein, add some sliced chicken on top!  It’s delicious either way.

(adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem)

 

 

 

 

 

Soba Noodle Salad {with Kale, Brussels Sprouts & Tofu}

 

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These days, as most days since Noah arrived, getting things done takes much longer than usual.  Whether it be cleaning the kitchen (which is a NEVER-ending task), getting all the “fun” tasks around the house done or making dinner.  Or lunch.  And quite honestly I’ve just about given up on breakfast.  I thought the daily routine might get get a little easier as he got older, however a crawling, almost-walking, insanely curious toddler is a force to be reckoned with.  Yes, the day-to-day has gotten easier but simultaneously more difficult at the same time, if that even makes sense.

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Baked Tilapia with Green Beans and Broccolini

So, I have been having a love affair with Tara O’Brady’s cookbook, Seven Spoons.  I’ve been endlessly perusing her book, marking recipes that I’m dying to try and have actually made about three or four of them in the past two weeks.  In my world, that’s a lot.  With a farmers’ market bounty from this weekend that actually included green beans and broccolini, I put this recipe on my list to make this week.

While the tilapia is baking, you’re able to whip this up as a side and within 30 minutes, you have a healthy and completely yummy meal!

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