Tag Archives: spinach

Spinach and Artichoke Pizza

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This pizza was so good…

What’s that?  How good was it?

It was so good that I made it twice in two days.  I first made it on a  Friday night for a girl’s night in (side note:  it goes well with red wine).  I liked it so much that I made it again the next day so Brian could try it.

It was so tasty that I actually made it again a couple of weeks later so Mom could try it.  Yep – I’ve made this three times now!

I will admit that more than one person who ate this pizza said it was, and I quote, “The best pizza they had ever eaten.”  Now, I know that whatever you’re currently eating is always the best, so I take this with a  grain of salt.  That being said, I love compliments, so thank you!

My favorite part about making a mess of homemade pizza dough is that for a few days, I have quick easy meals that only take a few minutes and almost no effort to throw together.  Take this pizza, for example.  The only prep work I did for this pizza was to rough chop artichoke hearts and spinach, then pop the spinach in the microwave for a minute.  That’s it! Oh, I guess I grated the fontina cheese, too.  Still super easy!

Pizza toppings!  Roasted garlic sauce, artichoke hearts, spinach, three cheeses (fontina, asiago and mozz) and prosciutto.

Pizza toppings! Roasted garlic sauce, artichoke hearts, spinach, three cheeses (fontina, asiago and mozz) and prosciutto.

This stuff is awesome.  Really.

This stuff is awesome. Really.

Here’s the funny part – I’m calling it a Spinach and Artichoke Pizza, but this recipe started with the prosciutto.  I knew that my sister and my best friend were coming over, and they had been talking about prosciutto on pizza (Laura had tried my Butternut Squash and Prosciutto Pizza and was still talking about it).  So I started thinking about what I hadn’t put on a pizza yet that would go with prosciutto.

Of course!  Spinach and artichoke!  It makes a good dip, it goes well with cheese – done!

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I started with the garlic sauce, then the chopped marinated artichokes.  I added the slightly cooked spinach (I microwaved it for a minute – just enough to wilt it so it wasn’t raw tasting) and topped that with fontina, asiago and mozzarella cheese.  Fontina is one of Laura’s favorite cheeses, and it works well in a blend like this.  I added the prosciutto last, but you could totally leave that off and have a kick @ss veggie pizza.

As it cooked, it totally smelled just like good spinach and artichoke dip.  Yum!  The third time I made this pizza, I used baby spinach from the farmer’s market – super yum!  I’ll have to remember this when I get greens in my CSA share.  Maybe I’ll even try making my own roasted garlic spread – especially if the garlic I planted last fall does well!

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Spinach and Caramelized Onion Quiche

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A couple of weeks ago, I made Meghan’s Broccoli Cheddar Quiche for a Sunday brunch.  It was amazing!!

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche with strawberries, bacon and mixed greens.  I love brunch!

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche with strawberries, bacon and mixed greens. I love brunch!

When I woke up this Saturday, I thought about this amazing quiche and looked over my fridge inventory.  (Alright, alright…make that when I got out of bed this Saturday,  I woke up around 8 – late for me! – because the cats wanted breakfast, but after they got fed I spent a good two hours in bed watching Food Network.  Don’t judge me.)

So, back to the fridge!  Eggs fresh from Brunty Farms?  Check.  Milk?  Yep.  No broccoli, but spinach from the farmer’s market?  Check.  Onions?  Always.  Cheese?  Ooo…Asiago!  Nice.

Nothin' beats a farm fresh egg.

Nothin’ beats a farm fresh egg.

Caramelized onions, spinach, cheese and eggs.  How can that be bad?  Answer:  It can’t.  It was awesome.

By the time it was done, I was too hungry to make the plate pretty.  I'm lucky I remembered to take the picture!

By the time it was done, I was too hungry to make the plate pretty. I’m lucky I remembered to take the picture!

Spinach and Caramelized Onion Quiche

  • 1 Quiche crust (Meghan from Clean Eats, Fast Feets recommended this recipe – it’s fantastic and so easy!)
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced thin
  • A big handful (probably about 2 cups) baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 t fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t ground mustard
  • 1/2 t garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the quiche crust (or use premade).  I made the quiche crust linked above, but I did prebake it for about 5 minutes before filling the crust.  (Thanks for the tip, Meghan!)  Put the crust aside while you work on the filling.

In a medium sauté pan over low heat, add the butter and sliced onion.  I added a pinch of salt and let the onions cook over low/medium low heat for about 30 minutes until they were nicely caramelized.

Onions pre-caramelization.

Onions pre-caramelization.

Caramelized onions - yum!

Caramelized onions – yum!

While the onions were cooking, I used a fork to whisk together the milk, eggs and spices (pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, ground mustard, garlic powder).

I mixed the milk and eggs together in the measuring cup - anything I can do to dirty less dishes is a win.

I mixed the milk and eggs together in the measuring cup – anything I can do to dirty less dishes is a win.

Once the onions were nicely caramelized, I added the spinach to the pan with the onions and covered it for about a minute – just long enough to wilt the spinach.  The spinach leaves were small and tender, so I didn’t even bother chopping them up.

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Once the spinach was wilted but still bright green, I mixed the spinach and onions together and transferred them into the quiche crust.  I topped that with the asiago cheese and poured in the egg mixture.

I baked the quiche for about 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven, until the top was a beautiful golden brown and the eggs were cooked all through.

When it was done, it took all my willpower to let it cool – I was hungry and it smelled really good!  As soon as possible, I cut a big piece and dug in.  So yummy!  The crust was perfect, the onions were soft and sweet, the asiago cheese gave it just a little bite, and the eggs held everything together.

I can still call it breakfast if I ate it at noon, right?

This post is linked to What’s in the Box?  at InHerChucks.

Pasta with Spinach and Butternut Squash

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I’m having a bit of a seasonal identity crisis right now.  The calendar says that it’s the first day of Spring, but there have been snow flurries blowing all day today, and I’m still cooking wintery dishes!  We’ve had a couple of random warm, sunny days this month, but it just feels like Mother Nature is having a laugh at our expense.  So is it Winter?  Or Spring?  Do we go by the official calendar designation, or the weather?

I’m hopeful that soon Ohio will settle on a season – as much as it ever does, that is! But until the weather outside starts to feel like spring, I decided to go for a new, bright background.  I thought the green lettuce was pretty, and with the name of the blog, it made sense.  Let me know what you think of the new look!

Early March in Ohio - garlic shoots poking up through the snow!

Early March in Ohio – garlic shoots poking up through the snow!

So since the weather still doesn’t feel very Springy, I’m in the mood for comfort food.  And after my Fall CSA, one of my go-to comfort foods is squash.  Who knew?  Before I started my CSA, I would never have guessed how much I loved squash.  Now it’s a bit of an obsession.  Bear with me, folks – I know that I’ve posted a lot of butternut squash recipes on this blog in the past year, but of all of them, this may just be my favorite.

Or it’s possible that my favorite recipe is always the one I just made (or just ate).

Crispy prosciutto - so pretty!

Crispy prosciutto – so pretty!

The addition of the spinach and salty prosciutto (leftover from pizza making) to this pasta dish really brightened the flavor of the butternut squash.  After I ate this, I was warm and happy, but not weighed down like pasta can do sometimes.  It was a light butternut squash pasta, which was a really nice surprise!

As I was writing this out, I realized that it looks like a complicated recipe.  I promise you that it isn’t!  It did take some time to cook the squash, but if you had frozen cooked squash from earlier in the year, you could easily use that and make this much faster.  It took me about 1 hour, 15 minutes from start to eat.

Pasta with Spinach and Butternut Squash

  • 2 lbs butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups chicken stock, plus a splash for the spinach
  • about 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional – I had it on hand, so I added a splash or two.)
  • 2 double handfuls of baby spinach (Sorry I don’t have a more precise measurement!  Use as much or as little as you want.)
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dried Sage (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 lb Penne pasta (or whatever shape you have on hand)
  • 2-3 slices prosciutto (optional – for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cube the butternut squash and toss with a splash of olive oil, salt, pepper and sage.  Transfer the coated cubes to a baking sheet and bake until caramelized and soft, about 45 minutes.  Toss the squash several times while it’s cooking.

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If you’re using the prosciutto, lay the slices out on a Silpat on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, until crispy.  Remove from oven, crumble or rough chop and set aside for a garnish.

While the squash cooks, start the water for the pasta.  Next, heat a flat sided sauté pan (I think that’s what it’s called) over medium heat.  Add a teaspoon or two of olive oil, the garlic and onion and cook until the onion is slightly translucent.  Add a splash of chicken stock and the spinach, and cover until the spinach wilts.

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By now, the squash should be done.  Reserve about a cup of roasted squash pieces to add to the sauce at the end (for texture, and because they’re pretty).  Put the rest of the squash cubes in a blender with 2 cups of chicken stock and the heavy cream, if you’re using it.  (If you like a thicker sauce, start with less stock and do what feels right.) Blend the squash until smooth.

I wanted to roast the squash to get that rich taste - so yummy!

I wanted to roast the squash to get that rich taste – so yummy!

Add the blended squash to the pan of cooked spinach and stir together.  Admire the swirls of green throughout the bright orange squash sauce.  Take a picture, if you like.

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At this point, your water should be boiling.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  While the pasta cooks, add the Parmesan cheese to the spinach and squash sauce.  Stir.  Keep the sauce warm over low heat until the pasta is done.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.  Stir.  Remove from heat.

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Top the pasta with crumbled prosciutto and a little bit of cheese, if desired.  This made easily six servings, but it works great for leftovers (I made this last night, and ate it for lunch again today).  As you know, anything that I will willingly eat leftovers from is a good dish!

Yum!

Yum!

This post is linked to What’s in the Box? at In Her Chucks. 

What do you think of the new look?  What’s your go-to comfort food for cold weather? 

Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

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Tonight I had a hankering for sausage and greens. It just sounded warm and comforting and yummy, you know?

So I stopped at one of my favorite stores after work – Kreigers.  I picked up some ground pork, baby spinach and a new spice blend and threw together this pasta dish.

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I admit it – I really bought it because of the label.

I’m always happy when a no-recipe dish turns out well, and this was quite tasty. Pasta and The West Wing on DVD…nothin’ better on a Wednesday night!

I started by browning a pound of ground pork in a large skillet (at the same time, I started the water for the pasta). I added a few tablespoons of flour and some of the Rowdy Kitty Rub to the pork.

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Once the pork started to brown, I added a sliced red onion and three big cloves of garlic, sliced.  I added some salt, and keep on cooking.

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I thought this was a pretty picture.

After the onions and garlic started to get soft, I added about a cup of chicken broth and turned the heat up to high to reduce it.

I let the sausage mixture thicken up, then turned the heat to low, stirred in a handful of grated parmesean cheese and added two big handfuls of baby spinach. I covered the skillet and let the spinach wilt.

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By now, the pasta water was boiling, so I cooked some black pepper pasta while I waited for the sausage and spinach mixture to be done.

To counteract the dark, cloudy skies, I plated the pasta on a sunny yellow plate and topped it with some chopped fresh mozzerella (I love cheese). Good stuff! Plus, the leftover sausage/spinach seems like it might be good on a pizza…

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Yum!

And so it begins..

This week was the first week we really had a taste of just HOW. MUCH. PRODUCE. we should expect.

This week’s haul included three kinds of peppers, yellow squash, a perfect eggplant, lettuce, kohlrabi, Swiss chard, spinach, green beans, tomatoes, snap peas, bok choy, and cucumber. Plus, there is always a sign for CSA members to “Help Yourself” to fresh herbs in giant pots outside the greenhouse. Don’t mind if I doooo.

Here’s a picture!

We’ve been warned by Dean’s Greenhouse that we will be getting more and more over the next 6-8 weeks. Kim, when is your canning class?