Growing up there was a ‘fancy’ Chinese restaurant in town that we would frequent on special occasions. They had big lazy-susans in the center of the table for easy family-style dining, which were very exciting for children. It was there that I fell in love […]
Month: August 2017
Will was out of town much of last week so I was back to cooking for one. When I am cooking for just myself I gravitate towards simple and easy dishes, leading to today’s post!
Week 2’s CSA box included a large container of beautiful mixed tomatoes. The small cherry tomatoes and mix of colors called out for a raw preparation. I immediately thought of this raw tomato sauce my Mom has been making for years. I think she first heard about it listening to Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s radio show, The Splendid Table.
This recipe really allows the sweet, tender tomatoes to shine. Lynne’s technique of rubbing the serving dish with garlic allows the tomatoes to take on a slight garlic taste without an intense raw garlic flavor.
Being the garlic lover that I am, I wanted a little more garlic than the rubbing of the dish imparted though so I added a small amount of crushed garlic. I also seem to put red pepper flakes on everything these days so added a sprinkling here for a touch of spice. The dish is rounded out by a big handful of fresh herbs and olive oil to bring it all together.
First, we start out with luscious tomatoes. Lynne suggests using a mix of varieties and I have to agree! Each variety tastes a little different and will add oomph to this simple dish. I cut the tomatoes into halves and quarters, depending on how big they were. It is okay if they aren’t all the same size!
Next, we rub the inside of the serving dish with garlic. Rubbing the dish with garlic will impart a very subtle garlic flavor without overpowering the tomatoes. Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped parsley or basil, olive oil, a big sprinkle of salt and pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes to the bowl. I wanted a little more garlic so added half a clove of garlic, pressed, as well. Stir everything up and let it sit for at least 10 minutes while you cook the spaghetti.
Cook the spaghetti according to the package, drain, and add to the serving bowl. Mix it all together and serve with sprinkled cheese!
Raw Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti
- 1 clove of garlic end cut off
- 1 lbs ripe tomatoes cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 tbls packed basil or parsley leaves chopped
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 tbls good quality olive oil
- fresh ground pepper
- ½ lbs spaghetti I used whole wheat
- grated parmesan cheese optional
Start boiling a large pot of water for the pasta.
While water is coming to a boil, prepare the sauce. Cut a small piece off the end of the garlic. Rub the exposed end of the garlic on the inside of the serving dish. Save the leftover garlic clove.
Add the tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper to the bowl. Press half of the garlic clove (or finely mince) and add it to the bowl. Mix it all together and let sit while you cook the pasta, at least 10 minutes.
Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and add to the serving dish. Mix well to evenly distribute the sauce.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese.
I love a good vegetable pizza. However, the veggie combinations at pizza shops are often lacking and I am always surprised when it costs $2 per veggie to make my own. So making my own pizza is a cheaper way to make the veggie pizzas I want.
Growing up, we attempted to make various recipes for homemade pizza dough, often in the bread maker. It often came out soggy. I think the oven wasn’t hot enough and the dough recipe wasn’t quite right.
One of the biggest differences between then and now is the rise of Jim Lahey no-kneed pizza dough. I had never heard of Jim Lahey until his pizza recipe started being used by every food blogger a few years ago- and for good reason! It is easy and comes out great every time! The recipe is everywhere but I usually use this post by Tracy Shutterbean for reference.
This week, I made a white pizza topped with CSA vegetables: zucchini, corn, and white onion. Plus some jalapeño and cilantro for a kick.
We mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a bowl, then add the water.
Stir until a dough forms. At this point if you are using a spoon you should switch to your hands. Work the dough in an almost kneading motion in the bowl until it is fairly smooth. It will smooth out more when it rises.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for two hours. It should almost double in size.
Dump dough onto a floured surface and shape to fit your pan. I’m old school used a cookie sheet. Grease the pan liberally with olive oil and transfer dough to pan. The greasing of the pan is key to it not sticking and getting a crispy bottom. Now you can top with whatever you want!
I topped with (in this order) grated parmesan cheese, torn fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced zucchini, corn, slices of jalapeño, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Pizza goes into the oven at 500 degrees for about 18 minutes until edges and cheese are browned. Top with cilantro and serve!
Zucchini, Corn, and Jalapeño Pizza
I cut Tracy Shutterbean’s recipe for two pizza doughs in half to make one dough, which is why the measurements are a little weird. I did the math for you and have written them for standard measuring cup sets. It looks weird but I promise they work! I am not good at using frozen dough so always just make what I need. The pizza wasn’t as spicy as I expected. Depending on your head tolerance, consider using more than ½ jalapeño.
- 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 cup all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ tsp instant or active dry yeast
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp table salt
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp sugar
- 1/2 + 1/6 cups water
- olive oil for the pan
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 12 oz ball fresh mozzarella
- 1 medium zucchini thinly sliced
- 2 ears of corn removed from cob. About ½ cup when removed from cob
- ½ white onion thinly sliced
- ½ jalapeño thinly sliced
- cilantro leaves for garnish
- olive oil for drizzling
Add the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
Add the water and mix until a dough starts to form. Mix with hands until the dough is fairly smooth. I usually mix by making some kneading motions in the bowl. It took me 3-5 minutes to mix.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Dough should about double in size.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Pour dough onto floured surface. Stretch with your hands to form a dough the shape of your pan.
Grease the pan liberally with olive oil, I used a 13x18 inch rimmed cookie sheet. Transfer dough to pan and stretch to the edges. I always end up with at least one tear from moving to the pan so just smoosh the dough back together once on the cookie sheet to mend the tear.
Top the Pizza
Sprinkle dough with the Parmesan cheese. Tear pieces of the mozzarella cheese and lay evenly on pizza. It’s okay if there are bald spots; the cheese will spread when it cooks.
Top with thinly sliced zucchini, white onion slices, corn kernels, and jalapeño. Drizzle with a few glugs of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and fresh ground pepper.
Bake in 500 degree oven for about 18 minutes until edges are crispy, cheese is melted, and zucchini looks cooked.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve!
We are jumping straight into the CSA box with eggplant! As I said before, neither Will nor I really like eggplant. In hindsight, I think this is because most eggplant I have had was undercooked and thus a weird chalky texture. Because of my eggplant […]