Deep Dish Skillet Pizza with Artichokes and Kale

deepdishskilletpizza

 

Deep Dish Skillet Pizza with Artichokes and Kale

1 Tablespoon olive oil

one small bunch kale leaves coarsely chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 c. ricotta

1 1/2 oz. Parmesan, grated (about 1/3 c.)

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 Tablespoon corn meal

1 lb. store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature (I used Artisan pizza dough, from the freezer section at HEB)

6 oz. Mozarella cheese grated (1 1/2 cu1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

14 oz. marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely choppedred

Fresh basil leaves

Heat oven to 450 degrees.Heat oil in a 10″ skillet over medium heat. Add kale and garlic and cook until wilted and liquid has evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a plate and set aside. Cool skillet slightly and wipe clean.

Stir together ricotta, Parmesan, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle skillet with cornmeal. Stretch dough into a 12″ round. Carefully press dough into the bottom and up the sides of the skillet.

Top dough with ricotta mixture, spinach, grated Mozarella, and artichokes. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with basil and cut into wedges.

Wilted Garden Greens

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I remember my mother, Opal Teal, making wilted lettuce with iceberg lettuce cooked long enough to “wilt” in bacon grease and sprinkled with vinegar!  I thought it sounded awful and did not share her love for the dish!  All these years later, I think it might have been tastier than it looked!  We love using a few leaves of different greens to make this dish. Our winter garden contains a few thriving plants of Chard, Mustard, Kale, Bok Choy and Cabbage. A mixture of any of those can be delicious, but I usually limit my choices to include only 2 or 3.  The greens in the photo are Mustard and Bok Choy. Balsamic vinegar splashed on before serving makes this a dish Mother would have loved herself!

Wilted Garden Greens

4-5 large leaves of Mustard Greens

4-5 large leaves of Bok Choy

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Wash and pat the greens dry. Strip the center stem from each leaf. Stack several leaves and roll them up before slicing thinly with a sharp knife.

Heat olive oil in iron skillet.  Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.  Then add shredded greens, tossing with tongs until they begin to wilt.  Season with salt and pepper and add balsamic vinegar before serving.

Kale with Cherries and Apple

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Even though our garden beds are newly planted, we have lovely winter greens that have begun to thrive in recent cooler weather.  Kale is a favorite, so we planted both red and green ruffled kale as well as Cavallo Negra, or Tuscan Kale.  For a side with baked chicken this week, I sauteed kale leaves, chopped apple, and dried tart cherries. Delicious! For this skillet, I only cut 3 large kale leaves!

Kale with Cherries and Apple

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Kale leaves, stems stripped, and chopped

1 Honey Crisp apple, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dried tart cherries

salt and pepper

balsamic vinegar

Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in iron skillet.  Add kale tossed with apples, and cherries, and saute until kale is wilted.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

 

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

20160101_110951This cabbage was one of the few we have growing in our garden this winter.  I also planted some in the community garden where we help some along with others from our church. The ones growing there have been harvested and sent along to the chef at the local women’s shelter, where I am told they were enjoyed.  Cabbage is one of the vegetables I gained a new appreciation for when I began roasting them. I usually save the outermost leaves to add to a hearty vegetable soup later, but I found that vertically slicing the head of cabbage makes several thick slabs which can be laid down flat on a baking sheet and seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roasted. When I tried this the first time, my family asked “When can we have this again?”  Add some crumbled bacon and a splash of balsamic vinegar if you like.\


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Roasted Cabbage Steaks

1 head of cabbage, loose outer leaves removed and saved

olive oil

coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4-5 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp, drained and crumbled  -optional

balsamic vinegar-optional

Preheat oven to 425.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place cabbage on cutting board with stem end down and slice vertically with a sharp knife to make 4 (more if the cabbage is very large) 1 inch slices.  Place each slice down on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, brushing with pastry brush to evenly coat. Sprinkle with   salt and a few grinds of pepper. Turn slices over and repeat. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes or until edges are turning brown and crisp.  Serve while hot sprinkled with crumbled bacon and a splash of balsamic vinegar if desired.

 

Garden Salad

IMG_2461After our weekend family gatherings with meals that inlcuded a Saturday dinner of smoked pork tenderloin, roasted corn, roasted green beans, a lunch of sausage,vegetables, and rice, baking (and eating) breakfast scones, root beer popsicles, ice cream treats, and our Memorial Day feast of grilled hot dogs, Kielbasa, smashed potatoes and all the trimmings – we were more than ready to have salad for a meal.  All the food was pretty healthy, there was just alot of it!  If you begin to feel that way as summer arrives, there is no tastier choice than a fresh vegetable salad.

If you are going to avoid a long session of prepping, remember to save those small amounts of leftovers that sometimes get tossed.  Of course you can always make soup, but think salad and stash those left behind cooked vegetables – green beans, corn, beets, asparagus, Grilling and roasting vegetables is very popular, and nothing tastes better topping your fresh ingredients. Quantities suggested below will vary according to what is in your own frig. I love it when I have a few things from my own garden. The combination of colors, textures, and flavor make this crunchy salad a feast!  Top with make-your-own or bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette, recipe below photograph.

Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 cups mixed leaf and Romaine lettuces

2 carrots, sliced

4 -5 radishes

2 ears roasted sweet corn, cut from cob

1 cup roasted green beans left whole or cut into pieces

1 small yellow squash, sliced

1 small green pepper, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

chopped red onion (optional)

Prepare all vegetables and place on top torn lettuces in large bowl.  Add Balsamic Vinaigrette and toss.  Serve with a crusty baguette.

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

Put all ingredients in a jar, tighten lid, and shake!   Taste and adjust amount of vinegar or seasoning as you wish.

Mary Ann’s Oriental Ambrosia with Celery Seed Dressing

The ingredients for this recipe are too colorful to skip a photo this time. So I borrow this similar photo from Flickr user Ben Brown. Ingredients shown vary slightly from my recipe.

Oriental AmbrosiaToday is the first day of Spring and although I am still pretty much house bound I am watching the greening of our garden from my window, planning seed planting for someone else to do, and thinking of delicious salads we have enjoyed in the past.  This shrimp salad is a wonderful addition to your Easter buffet, and delicious for light meals through Spring and all summer long.  I first made it over 40 years ago when I was introduced to the flavor combination by a friend.

Mary Ann’s Oriental Shrimp Ambrosia

2 cups of peeled, cleaned, and cooked shrimp (fresh is best, but frozen works well)

1/2 cup toasted cashews

1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained

1 cup mandarin oranges, drained

1 small can sliced water chestnuts, drained

4 cup torn romaine or butter lettuce

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped green peopper

1/4 cup coconut flakes

Place torn lettuce in large bowl.  Combine other ingredients and place on top. Serve with following dressing. If you prefer, set each ingredient out in a separate bowl and let those at your table choose and mix their own.  However, tossing everything together results in a beautiful, tasty combination!

Celery Seed Dressing

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated onion

1 cup salad oil

1 teaspoon celery seed

Combine first 4 ingredients in blender and mix. Add 1 cup oil gradually, until mixture thickens.  Add celery seed.

Zuppa Toscano

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September is here, school has started, fall colors are showing up all over, and although our temperatures certainly don’t reflect it yet, I begin to think of Pumpkin Spice coffee, refresh my supply of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and pull out our favorite soup recipes. The first time I had this soup, it was at a local Olive Garden, and in my opinion it remains as one of the best items on their menu.  There are many recipes for it to be found online and in various cookbooks, including one that claims to be the Olive Garden copycat recipe. which uses chicken bullion cubes and water.  I prefer my version, using herb seasoned chicken broth, and Tuscan Kale from our garden.

Zuppa Toscano

1 pound Italian Sausage (we like spicy, but use mild if you prefer)

4-6 Russet Potatoes chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed before mincing

4 cups Chicken Broth

2 cups Tuscan Kale or ruffled kale, leaves stripped from tough center stem, then stacked and rough cut. If you like smaller pieces of the green, stack the leaves, roll them together and shred into thin strips

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Crumble sausage and brown in large soup pot or Dutch oven. Cook and stir until browned. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook until onion softens. Add chopped potatoes and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Pour in chicken broth and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Add kale and cook several minutes. Tuscan Kale has a thicker leaf, but if you use the ruffled kale generally found in supermarkets, cook for only a minute or so. Slowly add cream and cook until heated through. Serve with breadsticks or a loaf of peasant bread such as Ciabatto.

If you would like to make this using your slow cooker, here are the modified directions:

Brown sausage and add chicken broth, garlic, potatoes, red pepper, and onion in slow cooker.

Add chicken broth,covering the vegetables and meat.  Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.

Before serving, add kale to the pot, stir, cover, and cook on high for 30 minutes.  Add cream and continue heating for a few minutes until heated through.  Serve and enjoy!

Sauteed Mixed Greens

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The two kinds of kale, collards, and Swiss chard in this dish all came from our garden! We have a very small vegetable plot, with only 2 or 3 plants of each of the leafy greens, but that provides plenty for us.  Also, greens in this area winter nicely so these were from last fall’s garden.  Greens are cut and come back as long as you leave the roots in the ground, meaning they will happily grow new leaves to be harvested soon.

Mixed Greens

1 large bunch collard greens

1 large bunch kale, Tuscan or curly kale, or mixed

one bunch of Swiss Chard

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 -8 cloves garlic peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 Tablespoons Meyer lemon juice, or to taste* see cook’s note

a few dashes Tabasco sauce

Rinse collard greens and kale well, drain and strip off tough stems, separating collard leaves and kale leaves since you cook collards first. Rolling several leaves together at the same time, cut leaves into 1/4-inch strips. You should have about 8 packed cups.

Heat the olive oil in large skillet or wok, add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add half of the collard greens and cook, tossing and turning, for about 30 seconds, then the remainder of collards.  Add  kale and cook stirring, for about, 1 minute, until it begins to often. Add the Chard and cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes, until all  greens are tender. The point is to begin the cooking with the toughest leaves, adding the more tender leaves last.
Season with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and a few drops of hot pepper sauce.
Serves 4.

*Please note:  I either use fresh Meyer lemons or frozen Meyer lemon juice, which is sweeter than regular lemons since Meyers are a cross between orange and lemon. If you use regular lemons, you will probably want to half the lemon juice.

Calzones with Arugula Pesto and Marinara Dipping Sauce

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For all my almost 50 years of marriage, I have planned meals and menus, usually a week ahead.  That doesn’t mean we don’t change the menus around or decide to do something different, but I like this method because it allows me to consider what I have in the pantry or freezer, what is currently growing in the garden or available from the CSA vegetable shares we have picked up. I can more efficiently budget and shop, so I think it saves time and money as well.  But this delicious meal happened because I realized that I had far more arugula than we were going to use in salads before it went bad. Arugula is one of those greens that have become so popular but it wasn’t even listed in any receipe in cookbooks from the early years of my menu planning.  It is a peppery green and is delicious raw in a variety of salads, cooked as an accompaniment to fish or pasta, and as it is used here, in pesto.  I liked using walnuts rather than pine nuts  This pesto can be used to drizzle over grilled meats or pasta.

Calzones with Arugula Pesto and Marinara Dipping Sauce

16 ounces pizza dough – make your own, or use frozen dough that has been thawed and brought to room temperature

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, heated in small sauce pan – I used a spicy jarred sauce.

Arugula pesto, recipe below

1 heaping cup shredded mozzarella or Italian 4-cheese blend cheese.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pizza dough to about 1/4 inch thickness on floured tea towel.  Separate into 4 parts.  Roll each part into a circle and place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spread a thick layer of pesto on one half of each circle and top with  3 Tablespoons finely grated mozarella or Italian 4-cheese blend.  Fold  each circle over to make calzone.  Pinch edges together, roll and crimp to seal. Bake about 18 minutes, or until crust is done and nicely browned.

Ladle marinara into small sauce bowls and serve alongside calzones for dipping. If you have extra arugula pesto, freeze and use for pasta or your next pizza!

Serves 4

Arugula Pesto

2 cups packed arugula
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shaved parmesan
1/2 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic,peeled and rough chopped
Sear salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
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Process arugula, oil, parmesan, nuts, and
garlic in a food processor until finely chopped; season
with salt and pepper.

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Kale with Raisins and Orange Peel

002I used Ruffled Kale for the dish shown in the above photo, but this recipe works equally well with Swiss Chard or collard greens.  These are all nutrient rich foods which we need to include and adding tang and sweetness with oranges and raisins offers a smorgasbord of rich flavor.  Topping with toasted pine nuts adds texture and more temptation for the taste buds!  Other variations include using dried cranberries (think Christmas!)  instead of raisins, and topping with toasted pecans or walnuts.  This dish goes well with roasted chicken or pork tenderloin.

I adapted this recipe from one of the most beautiful cookbooks in my kitchen:  The Tuscan Sun Cookbook by Frances and Edward Mayes.  It features photographs by Steven Rothfeld that make you want to cook every recipe in the book!

Kale with Raisins and Orange Peel

1/2 cup raisins

2 Tablespoons orange liqueur (may substitute orange juice)

1 large bunch of kale

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon dried orange peel.  I use Penzey’s.  You may use instead the peel of  a fresh orange, cut into small strips.

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts.

Soak raisins for 15 minutes in orange liqueur or orange juice.  Wash kale leaves, then cut or strip the tough stem ends.  Slice leaves coarsely.  Heat olive oil and stir in chopped onions.  Cook until onions begin to turn translucent, then add kale and cook, tossing together until leaves are tender and wilted.  Add orange peel, raisins, including liquid, and cook covered for 2 or 3 minutes.  Top with pine nuts and serve.

Serves 4