Vegan Roasted Fennel & Beets Salad with Arugula, Avocado, Pistachios & Goat Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Fennel is a divisive vegetable.  The sharp licorice flavor is either something you love or hate, it seems.  But, as with garlic, the flavor of fennel mellows into something else entirely – when you roast it.  It becomes soft & sorta sweet & it compliments this salad nicely.

I used arugula but any mixed greens or baby spinach would work, too.  I added pistachios but any nuts would work – especially if you toasted them a bit first.

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I used this lovely blood orange olive oil but regular olive oil would work.  I used the dark balsamic – but white balsamic would be lovely, too.

And for the goat cheese – I used this stuff (below).   It has the texture of a soft goat cheese & was really delicious.  If you eat cheese – real goat cheese or feta would also work.

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Vegan Roasted Fennel & Beets Salad with Arugula, Avocado, Pistachios & Goat Cheese

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

4-6 beets (red or golden – no matter)

1 large fennel bulb

2 fists full of arugula or other greens

1/4 cup pistachios

1 avocado – cubed

Vegan soft cheese (or real goat or feta cheese) – quantity up to you

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wrap the beets in foil.  No need to even wash them – as that will happen later.  If they are large (mine were about the size of ping pong balls) – cut them into smaller chunks.

Cut the fronds off the fennel (saving some of the dilly leaves for garnish) & cut the bulb in half.  Place on a cooking sheet & drizzle with olive oil.

Place the beets in foil on the cooking sheet with the fennel & roast 30-45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.  The beets might take longer than the fennel.

When the beets cool – wash them under running water & rub the skins off.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Slice up the fennel.

Place some greens on each plate.  Top with beets, fennel, avocado, pistachios & crumbled cheese. Drizzle with olive oil & balsamic.  Garnish with fennel leaves and S&P.

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Rustic Pizza with Vegan Sausage, Broccolette (Broccolini), Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, Farmers Cheese, Goat Cheese and Micro Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Pizza.  Everyone loves pizza.   So many ways to top them – and I have posted dozens.  Look HERE & scroll down for a recap.

This one I am posting today was quite a show stopper.  I used broccolette – which Wikipedia describes as “a cruciferous vegetable derived from a cross between broccoli and the Chinese kale called gai lan. Also known by the trade names broccolini and aspiration, broccolette has a milder, sweeter taste than broccoli and features thin, tender stalks that can be cooked whole without peeling.”

It looks like that there – next to my shaved Brussels sprouts.

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You could use regular broccoli – if you prefer.

I used Farmers Cheese because I had never seen it before & I was curious.  Look at it there.  Doesn’t it look delicious?

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Here is what Wikipedia said about this cheese: “In the United States, farmer cheese (also farmer’s cheese or farmers’ cheese) is pressed cottage cheese, an unripened cheese made by adding rennet and bacterial starter to coagulate and acidify milk. Farmer cheese may be made from the milk of cows, sheep or goats, with each giving its own texture and flavor.”

In fact, it is sorta like a denser cottage cheese & very mild in flavor.

I also used herbed goat cheese & one of these vegetarian sausages.

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I also used that micro arugula because I LOVE arugula, that micro shit is pretty & it has a really powerful flavor.  Regular arugula would be fine – just not as pretty to look at.

So – like with most of my pizzas – I only list ingredients here – because topping quantities are up to you.  I like thin crust – you might like thick.  I like light amounts of sauce & cheese – you might prefer to go deep dish.  So – I will just leave it up to you.

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Rustic Pizza with Vegan Sausage, Broccolette (Broccolini), Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, Farmers Cheese, Goat Cheese and Micro Arugula

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I always make THIS)

Vegan sausage

Broccolini – chopped small

Brussels sprouts – shaved

Mushrooms – sliced

Tomato sauce (I used a really chunky homemade one I had left over – but you use your favorite one)

Goat cheese (or vegan alternative)

Farmers cheese (or vegan alternative)

olive oil

garlic – minced

S&P

Semolina flour (for rolling the dough) – VERY optional

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450-500 degrees.

In a large saute pan, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil & saute the sausage, broccolette, Brussels sprouts & mushrooms until soft.  Add the garlic & saute another minute. Add some S&P.

Roll out the dough in some semolina or other flour.  Semolina will give the crust the speckled look you see here & really seems to add some crunch.  Regular flour is fine, though.  Put the dough on a greased cooking sheet or on a cooking sheet topped with parchment paper.  Top with sauce, add the sausage & veggies.  Crumble some of the cheeses on top.

BE SURE YOUR OVEN HAS REACHED FULL TEMPERATURE.  Cook for about 13 minutes – but time depends on your oven & the density of your pizza & your own preferences.  When it looks golden & the cheese are browned & soft – it should be done.

Top with arugula & eat that bad boy.  Alone.  Rejoice!

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Zucchini Squash Blossom White Pizza with Goat Cheese and Ricotta and Mozzarella

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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My favorite place on Earth, Super King, carries unusual & seasonal produce & now is the season for zucchini blossoms.  I LOVE ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS!  Almost irrationally.   They have a flavor so subtle as no almost be indiscernible & easily overwhelmed.  They are most frequently served stuffed, breaded & fried but that is just so unhealthy – I can bring myself to do it anymore.

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So – I made this pizza – because I had leftover, homemade dough & just felt like pizza.  Does anyone ever NOT feel like pizza?  I blended the goat cheese with an equal part ricotta in an effort to add subtle flavor but nothing so strong it overwhelmed the zucchini blossoms.  This is a very delicately flavored & mild pizza.  Pretty to look at & yummy to eat.

I also used the last bit I had of this shitty grated cheese.  A fresh mozzarella is infinitely more desirable.  PLEASE use some of that instead.

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Zucchini Squash Blossom White Pizza with Goat Cheese and Ricotta and Mozzarella

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I make THIS in my bread machine & use it over several days)

Zucchini blossoms

Goat cheese

Ricotta cheese

FRESH mozzarella cheese

Chives and/or micro greens as garnish

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450-475.

The amount of cheese you want it up to you but I mixed equal parts goat & ricotta & then added a bit of S&P to that.

Carefully, snip out the pistol with scissors or by pinching with your fingers.  The pistol is the nubby thing growing out of the center of the flowers.  Pinch off the stems.  Don’t worry if they tear.

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Now – just assemble your pizza.  I have really come to love parchment paper.  Nothing really sticks to it & it is nice to photograph, as well.  Anyway – get your pizza pan out & spray it with cooking spray or line it with parchment.

Roll the dough out & put it on the cooking sheet.  Then – assemble.  I started with my bullshit grated mozzarella.  You should use fresh stuff (the sort sold in water), if you can.  I added some blossoms, randomly, & dolloped the whole thing with the ricotta/goat cheese blend.  I cooked it about 12 minutes but you cook it until it looks done to your liking.

Garnish with snipped chives or micro greens & maybe more S&P.  Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!

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Decadent Goat Cheese & Creamy Burrata Pizza with Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Sometimes I feel guilty when I post a string of similar recipes, like two or three pizzas or a bunch of cauliflower or rice dishes but, the fact is, I am posting my actual meals.  And, when I make pizza dough, I usually make enough for three or four pizzas.   Because I am not a professional blogger, in that, this blog doesn’t generate income, I am not in the position some bloggers are to make things specifically for the blog, whether they intend to eat it or not.  Furthermore though unrelated, all my photos are taken with my i-phone which has developed a penchant for powering off randomly.  Like – at 54% – it thinks it is out of juice & shuts down until I find a charger – at which point – it is instantly back at 54%.  It is infuriating!  Especially when I am trying to photograph a piping hot pizza so that I can eat it while it is still warm.

Anyway – I talk myself out of feeling lazy when I post these similar recipes by telling myself that my readers are likely to have the same leftover ingredients that I do and that they might actually appreciate a new idea about how to reinvent them.  That said, yesterday I found myself with fresh pizza dough, a few leftover caramelized onions, arugula & some leftover spicy red sauce.  From these humble ingredients was born my Decadent Goat Cheese & Creamy Burrata Pizza with Arugula!

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I never really think that pizza is a recipe, per se, in that the amount of toppings is a personal preference.  I do not typically go for a lot of cheese but I was really in the mod for gooey goat cheese & I had the burrata – so – I went for it & I am happy I did.  If you do not have burrata – just use any fresh mozzarella and put it on the pizza with the goat cheese rather than closer to the end as you do with the creamy burrata.

Again – here is the pizza dough recipe I use & I make it in my bread machine.

PIZZA DOUGH

MAKES FOUR 12-OZ. BALLS

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. sugar (⅞ oz.)
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more (½ oz.)
½ tsp. active dry yeast
5½ cups “00″ flour, preferably Caputo Pizzeria Flour (1 lb. 12 oz.) (or just use regular, organic flour – like me.)
2 tbsp. kosher salt (¾ oz.)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine sugar, oil, yeast, and 2 cups cold water in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; let sit until foamy, 8-10 minutes. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. With motor running, slowly add flour mixture; mix until a smooth dough forms, 8-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

2. Divide dough into 4 balls; transfer to a greased 9″ x 13″ dish; brush tops with oil. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 48 hours (or get impatient like me & use it immediately).

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I also used leftover caramelized onions from my Caramelized Red Onion & Gruyere Pizza with Egg & Arugula.

Caramelized Red Onion

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough at room temperature

1/2 large red onion – sliced

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS butter (or vegan alternative)

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Caramelize the onion by heating the olive oil & butter over med-low (NOT HIGH) heat.  Add the onion and salt & sugar and saute – stirring frequently – for about 20-30 minutes or until they are soft & brown & before they burn.  Mine crisped a bit on the edges & I liked that!  Set aside.

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I also used leftover spicy basil marinara.

For the spicy basil marinara

1 6 oz can tomato paste

2 28 oz crushed tomatoes

30 grape or cherry tomatoes – quartered

1 TBS olive oil

6 garlic cloves – chopped

1/2 cup chopped basil

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper – optional

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil over medium heat & saute the garlic for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomato paste & fry another minute or so.  Add the crushed tomatoes, chopped tomatoes & basil & about 1 cup of water.  Add the crushed red pepper – if using.

Simmer covered on low for 30 minutes or more.

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Decadent Goat Cheese & Creamy Burrata Pizza with Arugula

INGREDIENTS

Pizza Dough – recipe above or your favorite dough

Pizza sauce – recipe above or your favorite version

Tomatoes – sliced thin (optional)

Caramelized onions (optional) – recipe above

Goat cheese

Burrata (or fresh mozzarella)

Arugula

S&P to taste

Crushed red pepper (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to a full 450-500 degrees.

Prep the ingredients.

Assemble the pizza!  Roll out the dough & put it on a greased cooking sheet.  Top with sauce, tomato, caramelized onion & goat cheese.  Add fresh mozzarella now – if you aren’t using burrata.  If using burrata – bake about 7-10 minutes & then add the burrata.  Bake another 3-5 minutes or until the crust is done to your liking & the goat cheese is just starting to color.  If you used burrata – you are really just trying to warm it through but do not cook it until it dries out.  The whole point of burrata is its excessive creaminess!

Top with S&P & some fresh arugula & crushed red pepper (if you like extra kick).

Slice this fucker up & eat it alone.  I won’t tell.

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Pan-Seared Beet & Caramelized Onion Pizza with Goat Cheese & Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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I was in the mood for beets & goat cheese & considered making little towers but then pizza flashed in my mind & this pizza was born.  I decided to pan-fry the sliced beets rather than roast them because I thought it would save time but then the caramelizing of the onions took as long as roasting the beets would have – so you might just wanna roast them.  Less calories that way.

If caramelizing the onions seems like a pain in the ass, you can lose them but they really do add a nice layer to the flavors.  I adore arugula & am equally pleased by cold greens on hot pizza but this this is also a very optional choice.

I used a homemade dough but your favorite dough will do.

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Pan-Seared Beet & Caramelized Onion Pizza with Goat Cheese & Arugula

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I used THIS)

1 large beet (peeled & either sliced thin or roasted whole at 400 for about 40 min)

1 large onion – sliced

Olive oil or butter

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Goat Cheese

Grated pizza cheese

Arugula

Parsley (or mint) chopped

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DIRECTIONS

If roasting the beet – basic instructions are HERE.

Heat an oven to 450 degrees.

If pan-searing the beets, heat 2 TBS of butter or olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Cook the raw, sliced beets, flipping frequently, until they are tender & beginning to brown.  Drain on a paper towel.

Add another 2 TBS butter (or olive oil) to the same pan & caramelize the onions by sauteing on med-low heat.  Add the salt & sugar & stir them every 5 minutes or so.  They should brown & caramelize nicely in about 40 minutes.  Be careful not to burn them.  Nice caramelizing instructions are HERE.  Drain them on a paper towel.

Roll the dough out to your pizza size.  I smeared some basil-infused oil on it – but any olive oil will do.

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Layer some grated cheese on the dough then the onions.  I put my onions on the top & they kinda got overcooked.  Protect your hard-earned caramelized onions by covering them with the sliced, pan-seared (or roasted & sliced) beets.  Pinch some dollops of goat cheese on there.  Another little drizzle of olive oil is nice here but optional.

If your oven really is at 450 – and you want it to be – this should cook up nicely in about 8-12 minutes but that depends a lot on the thickness of your dough & density of toppings.

Top with chopped parsley or mint & put a handful of raw & naked arugula on it.  Slice it.  Eat it.  Look forward to red pee tomorrow!

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Lazy Night Creamy Goat Cheese & Tomato Pasta

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is a very easy, cheater’s version of a pasta sauce.  I was feeling very lazy & determined to make a creamy & comforting pasta dish using stuff I had around.  Two things I had around were these guys.

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I also had a hunk of goat cheese.  The result was this dish.  As you can see from the photos, my basil was on its last legs but it was still tasty!  Easy, easy, easy, fast & delicious!  The sauce comes together in less time than it takes to cook the pasta.  Try it!

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Lazy Night Creamy Goat Cheese & Tomato Pasta

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb of your favorite dry pasta

olive oil

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 (10 oz) can Campbell’s sun-ripened yellow tomato soup (or another variety – if you choose)

1 (10 oz) can Rotel (or diced tomatoes)

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese – grated

4 oz goat cheese

1 tsp crushed red pepper

S&P to taste

Garnishes: fresh basil, chopped tomatoes, parsley, grated Parmesan, crumbled goat cheese

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta.

In a stock pot – heat a TBS or two of olive oil.  Add garlic & crushed red pepper.  Cook for one minute then add the Rotel, canned soup, Parmesan & goat cheese.  Stir to blend & season with S&P.  Add a little hot pasta water if it seems too thick.  Toss with cooked & drained pasta, garnish as you will & devour.

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Fig & Gruyere Quesadilla with Balsamic Glaze & Honey or Fig, Spinach & Whipped Goat Cheese Pizza with Honey

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I can’t resist figs now when I see them at the store.  They are beautiful to look at and so delicate & versatile – I love them.  But they tend to go bad fast so, when I buy them, I end up eating fig everything.  To extend their shelf life, I put them in a Ziplock baggy & put them in a single layer on a shelf in the fridge.  That seemed to add a day or two to their lifespan.

These are not really recipes.  These are really just suggested ways to use figs.

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Fig & Gruyere Quesadilla with Balsamic Glaze & Honey

INGREDIENTS

Flour tortilla

Gruyere cheese – sliced

Figs – sliced

Honey

Balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

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Bring some balsamic vinegar to a boil & then reduce to a simmer.  In 20 minutes – my 1/4 cup of balsamic reduced to only one or two teaspoons of glaze – so boil down an appropriate quantity.

Layer the cheese & figs on a tortilla, fold it over & grill it on both sides until the cheese melts & the tortilla browns.

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Slice it up & drizzle with honey & the balsamic glaze.  MMMMM!

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Fig, Spinach & Whipped Goat Cheese Pizza with Honey

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (mine is HERE)

Spinach

Figs – sliced

Mozzarella – grated

Goat Cheese

Cream cheese

Olive oil

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DIRECTIONS

To get whipped goat cheese – simple blend goat cheese with some cream cheese at approximately a 2 to 1 ratio, like – 4 ounces goat cheese to 2 ounces cream cheese.  Go heavier with the goat cheese if you want that flavor to be stronger.

Now just roll out your dough, put it on a greased baking sheet and smear some whipped goat cheese on it.  Layer some spinach & drizzle with olive oil.  Add figs & then some grated mozzarella & bake at about 450-500 (be sure the oven is at full temperature before putting pizza in there) for about 12 minutes or until the cheese melts & the crust browns.  Drizzle with honey!

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