Monday, February 28, 2011

Ricotta, Spinach, and Arugula Gnocchi

Originally from GoodFood, I got this by way of Fresh 365 Online. Luv them.

Serves 4


1 c packed fresh spinach
1 c packed arugula, chopped, plus additional to serve
small handful basil leaves, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 c ricotta
1 c flour, plus additional for rolling
2 eggs, beaten
1 c grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional to serve
1 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t pepper
olive oil, to serve


Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add spinach, and turn off heat. Remove spinach after 2 minutes and transfer to colander, to drain, pressing out as much water as possible. Transfer to a cutting board and chop.

In a large bowl, combine spinach, arugula, basil, garlic, ricotta, flour, eggs, cheese, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Mix well, adding an additional 2-3 T flour, if needed. Mixture will be wet, but should be able to form into 1” balls, with floured hands. Roll each ball in a bit of flour, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet (or cutting board). Transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop 1/4 of the gnocchi in the water, and let them sink to the bottom. When they rise to the top (about 2-3 minutes), allow them to cook for 1 minutes more. Remove with a slotted spoon, transferring to a plate. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi, in batches. Place arugula on large plate, and drizzle with fresh lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve the gnocchi on top of arugula. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, to taste.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pita Bread

Martha Stewart has a great and simple recipe for homemade pita. In doing a bit of research, it seems that almost everyone has nearly the exact same recipe and technique: bake these puppies in the oven, or in a cast iron skillet, a spritz of water, and you're golden.

Makes 8 pitas


1 1/4 cups warm water (approximately 100 to 110 degrees)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour (or a mix of whole wheat and regular), plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for bowl


Pour water into the bowl of an electric mixer, and add a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle yeast over water, and stir to dissolve. Mix in 1 1/2 cups flour until well incorporated. Cover bowl; let sit in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, until dough has doubled in bulk.

Sprinkle salt over flour and yeast mixture, and add olive oil and remaining 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Transfer dough to a floured work surface, and knead about 10 turns, forming a ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Turn dough out onto a board, and cut in half. Cut each half into four pieces, and form each piece into a ball. Cover them loosely with a piece of plastic wrap to keep the dough from drying out. On a floured work surface, roll two balls into circles 7 inches in diameter and slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. Place pita on an ungreased baking sheet (or cast iron skillet), sprinkle a few drops of water (or spritz with a spray bottle), and bake until puffed and light brown, about 5-8 minutes (keep an eye on the pita!) . Repeat, baking two pita breads at a time.

Best if served warm, but you can let them cool and wrap them up and keep them for a few days for any meals you want some pita lovin' on.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mushroom and Lentil Shepherd's Pie

I am a true believer in putting whatever the heck you want to in the veggie portion of this. Raid the freezer! Raid your veggie drawer! Don't like mushrooms? Cut them out. Alternatively, if you're a lentil hater, don't put them in and just do fresh veg. This is an experimenting-is-fun kind of dish.


3 medium Russet potatoes
1/2 cup whole milk
5 tblsp. butter, divided
1 cup red or green lentils
1 large shallot
3 celery stalks
3 carrots
1 cup peas
1 carton baby bella mushrooms (or whichever kind you prefer)
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock (optional...just makes the veggies juicier)
1 5 oz. package of goat cheese
Thyme and Rosemary, as desired
salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Chop up the potatoes into very large makes it easier to boil and then mash them up this way. Bring to a boil a large pot of salted water, then add in the potatoes and boil, about 10-15 minutes. Check tenderness with a fork to see when done (should be very soft.) Meanwhile, bring the lentils to a boil in salted water, and add a sprig or two of rosemary into the pot. Boil for about 10 minutes, until soft. When cooked, drain lentils and set aside.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain, then return to the empty hot pot. They should be steaming (which means the extra water is evaporating and you won't have soggy taters.) Add in a couple tablespoons of butter, the milk, salt and pepper, and mash. (Note: I like leaving the skins on the potatoes, makes it tastier, but if you're seriously anti-potato-skin, you can peel them in the beginning before chopping and adding to water.) Mash to a smooth consistency, and add as much butter/milk/salt/pepper as suits your taste preferences. When smooth, scoop out hunks of the goat cheese and stir in (but you want to keep pockets of the goat cheese to get melty in the oven later.) Set aside.

Chop the carrots, celery, shallot, mushrooms (I like a combo of sliced and chopped mushrooms, makes for a good consistency). Saute in the remaining butter in a pan, add salt and pepper and thyme and continue to cook over medium heat until softened. Add in the lentils, wine (a bit at a time), and chicken stock if you wish, and taste for flavor. Add in the peas. Once everything tastes to your liking in terms of salt, pepper, etc, remove from pan. (Make sure the veg don't get too dried out!)

In a medium-sized ovenproof dish, scoop in the lentil-mushroom mixture and spread out evenly. Next layer on top the mashed potato mixture, and even out over the lentils. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes start to brown on top and everything smells heavenly.

Remove from the oven, and let settle for about ten minutes. Serve hot.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Leek and Cauliflower Risotto

Fresh 365 Online posted this, from Gourmet (sniff. I still miss you.)

This is the (almost) original recipe...the original called for a blanching and sauteeing of the cauliflower. I, instead, chose to roast it. I also replaced 1/2 cup of white wine in the stock liquid as it just tastes better that way. I think this would be even more divine with some roasted asparagus on top or sauteed mushrooms for good measure.

2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped
1 medium head cauliflower (2 lbs), rinsed and cut into 1” wide florets or sliced into 1" pieces length-wise to roast.
3 c vegetable broth or chicken stock
1/2 c white wine
1 1/2 c water
3 T butter
1 c Arborio rice
3/4 c finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 oz)
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
2 T fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, tossing to coat evenly. When the oven is ready, roast the cauliflower for about 25-30 minutes, (or until it starts to caramelize on the bottom.) Meanwhile, wash chopped leeks in a colander to remove dirt. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch leeks for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Remove the cauliflower when done, and let cool until you can tear apart into little flourets to mix into the risotto.

Bring stock and water to a boil in a small saucepan and keep stock at a simmer. Heat 2 T butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until foam subsides. Sauté leek and shallots, stirring, 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add in the cauliflower and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and add 1 c simmering stock. Cook at a strong simmer, stirring, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue adding stock, 1/2 c at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next. Finally add the 1/2 cup of wine and stir until rice is tender and creamy, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 T butter, cheese and roasted red pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with cilantro or parsley.

Serve warm.