Tag Archives: goat cheese

Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad

Today I have a quick and easy side dish for you. While other recipes are still waiting in line to get on the blog, this one I made just last week. I wanted to share it with all of you before fresh corn becomes too out of season. The good part about now is that fresh heirloom tomatoes are cropping up in supermarkets.

I’m sure you could use thawed frozen sweet corn in this recipe, but using fresh corn off the cob gives this salad a little something special.

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Sorry the picture isn’t fantastic, I was hungry! But I promise that it is delicious! You can even eat it as a light lunch. Add some of your favorite beans for a little protein kick.

If you don’t like goat cheese (which I know a lot of people don’t), feel free to add in fresh mozzarella pieces or leave out the cheese all together.

Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad
(Serves 4-6)

4 ears of sweet corn cut off the cob or thawed frozen sweet corn (about 2 cups)
1 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
5 basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

In a large bowl combine corn, tomatoes, onion, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sit for an hour in the fridge before serving.

Just before serving, add fresh basil. Mix well. Top with goat cheese and serve cold or at room temperature.

Easy enough, right?

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Asparagus & Goat Cheese Pizza

YUM!

Seriously, this pizza is amazing. I found the recipe in my Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh and Fast cookbook. It’s absolutely delicious and super easy to make. I added some mushrooms to it because 1) I love them and 2) I had some sitting in my fridge!

It’s perfect for lunch, dinner or slice it into smaller pieces for a great appetizer.

For the pizza dough, feel free to use either store bought whole wheat or regular pizza dough, or make your own batch and freeze for when you need it. And to make the clean up easier, I’ve started by putting my dough on the parchment paper that I’ve cut to put on my baking sheet and laying a sheet of plastic wrap on top. Then, roll away! That way, I don’t have to get the kitchen covered in flour. Then, I just transfer the parchment paper with the rolled out dough onto the baking sheet. If you prefer the flouring method, by all means go for it!

I took some help from the store by buying pre-chopped pancetta from Trader Joe’s – if you can’t find pancetta, bacon would work well here too. I also bought sliced portobello mushrooms to save on time.

When picking out asparagus spears, the thinner the better (they’re more tender). You want them to be nice and bright, stay away from brown, wet-looking spears!

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Asparagus & Goat Cheese Pizza
(Serves 2-4)

1 ball of whole wheat or regular pizza dough
10 spears of asparagus, 1″ of the end trimmed off
1/2 c. diced pancetta or bacon
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced (greens & whites!)
8 oz. creminis, sliced
1/2 c. shredded Italian cheeses (a blend or use mozzarella)
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to shape your baking sheet. Place your room temperature dough on the parchment sheet.

In a small frying pan, cook the bacon or pancetta until brown over medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, slice your scallions and asparagus. Cut the scallions to about 1/4″ thick. Cut the asparagus into 2″ pieces, cutting on the bias (diagonal).

To roll out the dough, place a piece of plastic wrap similar in size to the parchment paper on top of the dough. Roll out to about 1/4″ thick. Changing directions as you roll each time to really spread it out! Once you’re done, place your dough with the parchment paper onto your baking sheet (the parchment paper keeps it from sticking).

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of pancetta grease onto your pizza dough, discard the rest, and sprinkle the pancetta or bacon pieces on top. Leave a one inch border. Then, sprinkle the scallions evenly. Next, the mozzarella cheese and goat cheese, then the asparagus and mushrooms.

Pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned to your liking. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Slice into desired servings and enjoy!

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Delicious Spring Salad

First off, I apologize for the lack of posts over the last week. Working 6/7 days is not conducive to blogging. Apparently it’s not conducive to my immune system either! So while I’m curled up in a blanket on the couch, I wanted to share a great recipe with you to kick off the start of spring.

It’s my barley salad with roasted beets and vegetables.

This salad is delicious hot or cold. I had it warm when it was finished because I couldn’t wait for it to cool off. Then I had it cold out of the fridge when it was leftovers!

The color of the finished product is fantastic. The beets turn the barley a deep pink – beautiful!

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I topped this salad with a bit of goat cheese, because I absolutely love the stuff. You can omit it, or maybe use gorgonzola if you prefer.

Always remember to get some help from the grocery store when you can. In this recipe, I used the prewashed, pretrimmed green beans in the produce section.

Barley Salad with Roasted Vegetables
(Serves 6-10 … depending if it’s a side or not)

1 c. barley, cooked according to package directions
1/2 bunch asparagus, about 8 stalks, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/2″-1″ chucks
1 c. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1/2-1″ chunks
3 medium-sized beets
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
4 oz. goat cheese (or the cheese of your choice), optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

First, cook your barley according to package directions. It takes awhile to cook!

Meanwhile, roast the beets – I have instructions from this post. I also have instructions how to peel there as well. Cut into 1/2-1″ chunks.

While the beets are roasting and the barley is cooking, chop up your veggies. Line a baking sheet with foil. Put your veggies on the sheet, overlapping as little as possible. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with S&P. Bake until the veggies become tender and start to brown. About 25-30 minutes.

In a large bowl, put your cooked barley, beet chunks, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. The beets turn the barley a pretty pink! See?

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Add the rest of your vegetables Stir to combine. Top with goat cheese before serving.

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The Best Pizza. Ever.

Bold statement? Yes. But if you’re a fan of great ingredients, including goat cheese, prosciutto, arugula, figs and more, you’ll fall head over heels for this pizza!

I’m also taking my first stab at writing this blog post using the app on my iPhone for WordPress. Hopefully it turns out well!

Anyways, I have quite a few friends that love to cook as much as I do. And I love it. Besides the girl friends I get together with about once a month, my neighbor downstairs cooks as well. We decided to make a delicious pizza combining all the elements of a dinner at Tria we had a few weeks before.

The result? Excellence.

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We used store bought crust from Whole Foods and their freshest produce. I don’t shop there often, but for something like this, no skimping!

If you have a pizza stone, use it. If not, whatever baking sheet you have lurking in your cabinets will do the trick. We use a square cookie sheet.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did 🙂

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Pizza with Figs, Proscuitto and Goat Cheese

1 ball of pizza dough, room temperature
6 slices of proscuitto, shredded
5-6 cremini mushroom caps, very thinly sliced
1/2 of a sweet onion, thinly sliced into half moons
3-4 oz. goat cheese
4-5 black mission figs, sliced 1/4″ thick
2 handfuls of baby arugula
Olive oil for drizzling
Some flour and cornmeal for dusting and rolling out dough

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Place your pan of choice in so it heats up.

While the oven is getting hot, prepare your ingredients and your dough. On a clean work surface, sprinkle a small handful of flour. Place your dough down on top and sprinkle with more flour. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll the dough out into the approximate shape of your pan, until it is about 1/2″ thick.

When the oven is preheated, take out your pan and sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal. Carefully place the dough on top.

Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil until the dough is moist but not wet. Place mushrooms, onions, goat cheese and figs around the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust sides and bottom and a nice golden brown (or until your desired doneness).

Take out of the oven and sprinkle on baby arugula and proscuitto. Slice into pieces and serve!

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Dinner With Friends

Tuesday evening a few of my friends and I got together to cook at Kaytie’s apartment. Everyone brought or made onsite some sort of side dish, main dish, or dessert. A couple of people provided the wine and the feast was complete.

All of these girls are excellent cooks. Although I think the dessert by my friend Casi was the favorite of the evening. Casi is going to write up a little something about the dessert and I’ll post it this weekend!

Seriously though, the dessert was HEAVENLY. Fresh strawberries with a rhubarb liquor spiked whipping cream with lemon juice and zest. Topped with adorable sugar sprinkled ladyfingers. Every bite was better than the last. It was a perfect balance between acidity, sour, sweet and everything amazing.

Explosion in your mouth.... mind out of the gutter, people.

On the menu was slow cooker chicken thighs with lemon, orange, rosemary, thyme, onions and garlic (fell RIGHT off the bone – amazingly juicy and delicious). Orzo with a vinegarette and chunks of red and green pepper, tomato and feta cheese. Rosemary bread with olive oil for dipping. And a beet salad with goat cheese and pistachios dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

The latter was my contribution. Check back this weekend for Casi’s post about the dessert!

The spread! Check out the awesome china that Kaytie got for her engagement!

So beets. I’ve been craving them ever since there’s been a hint of fall in the air. I love their smooth texture and slighty grassy and earthy flavor. If you’ve never had them, this is a great first recipe to try!

Kaytie and Casi joined me with purple fingers to help peel. With their help, the dish turned out great!

Roasted Beets with Pistachios & Goat Cheese
(Serves 6-8)

9 medium beets
1 4.5 oz. log of your favorite soft goat cheese
1/3 c. chopped pistachios
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Wrap up your beets in a packet of aluminum foil. Just pull out a strip, lay the beets on, pull out some more enough to fold over, and seal.Place on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for about an hour.

  • After an hour, pull your beets out and CAREFULLY pull open the packet. Watch out for the steam! Use a towel or potholder and don’t put your face near them!
  • Stick a paring knife into one of the beets. If the knife slides in with little to no resistance (think the doneness of potatoes when you make mashed potatoes), open the foil packet and let the beets cool for about 10 minutes. If there’s still resistance, put in for about another 10 minutes. Repeat.

Looks like a murder scene in there...the skin should just push right off

  • To peel, you can cut off the ends to get it going, then get your hands dirty! The skin comes right off if you push on the skin and slide it up with your thumb. For the areas that stick on more, I just used my nail (yes, I washed my hands). It was great to have help with this step!
  • When the beets are all peeled, wash your hands with warm soap and water. If you scrub your fingers you shouldn’t have too much residual purple dye on your hands.
  • Slice the beets into wedges or chunks and throw into a big bowl for serving. Wash your hands again.
  • Give a nice glug of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. If I had to guesstimate, I’d say 3 tbsp. vinegar and maybe a little more than ¼ cup olive oil. This is when you use your palate! Too vinegary? More oil! Not enough flavor? More vinegar! Also, throw in some salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Right before serving, mix the beets again. Top with crumbled goat cheese and chopped pistachios. Serve and enjoy!

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