October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
On my first day in Munich, Germany, I went straight to the famous Viktualienmarkt. It is like a farmers market but even better. They have the most amazing food to eat there and many cafes are in the market. I tried a few things and started with my favourite, olives. These olives were marinated with everything that you could imagine, herbs, cheese, citrus, garlic and much more. I got the most popular flavour which was herbs and spices and also tried the citrus and cheese olives.
I bought a few items from this adjoining deli as well. I tried feta that was wrapped with thinly roasted eggplant, dried apricot that was stuffed with cream cheese and figs stuffed with cheese. I also got a cold lima bean salad that was in a tangy tomato sauce.
There are tonnes of stalls selling the most beautiful exotic fruit and vegetables that were all mini in size. I did not buy anything but was amazed at the selection.
These were also popular at the market. It seems the Germans are always ready for Christmas and these ornaments were on sale at the market in September.
June 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
I love making personal pizzas and lately I’ve been using Indian naan bread for the crust. I get creative with the ingredients and try something different each time. For this recipe, I picked out vegetables that I had in my fridge and created this delicious pizza. The dill was amazing and added more flavour to the pizza.
1 piece of naan flatbread
2 tbsp (30 ml) pasta sauce
scant sea salt
freshly ground pepper (optional)
1 leaf swiss chard broken into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbsp (15 ml) diced pepper
1 tbsp (15 ml) diced tomatoes
2 green olives sliced
1 tsp (5 ml) roughly chopped cilantro
1 tsp (5 ml) roughly chopped dill (optional)
grated cheese (optional)
1. Place the naan on a baking tray and add the ingredients in the order listed above.
2. Bake the flatbread pizza in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10 mins until the cheese has melted.
February 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
Olives are one of my favorite foods and I eat them almost every day. I like to make a platter with a handful of olives, cheese and crackers that I eat for a snack or nibble on while I am cooking. To make olive tapenade all you do is throw a few things into a blender or food processor and it’s ready. Besides the obvious ways to use tapenade, you can easily dress up a sandwich by smearing on a layer of tapenade. Or you can mix a spoon of tapenade in a small bowl of plain vegan mayo and replace that with the plain mayo that you use in your sandwich.
1 small clove of garlic
1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice
2 tsp (10 ml) olive oil
1/4 – 1/2 tsp (1 ml – 3 ml) salt (depends on the salt in the olives)
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped cilantro
1 cup (250 Ml) pitted kalamata olives
1. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a blender and blend together.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on low being careful to not over process the olives.
3. Serves with crackers and cheese.
November 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
Every weekend my daughter goes to her best friend’s house for pizza and movie night. Last weekend she came back from her friend’s house and said that Allison, the mom, is making amazing pizza dough and that people are asking to buy it. Before I had kids I made pizza dough quite frequently and came up with very creative recipes including a whole wheat dough with flax seeds and fresh herbs. After having kids I trimmed my baking and started to buy organic pizza dough from a natural foods store. I called Allison and she was more than happy to share her recipe with me.
To Allison, pizza and movie night is a family bonding ritual and a way to punctuate the week. Allison’s learnt how to make pizza dough from Luigi, an Italian brother-in-law. One of Allison’s favorite places to eat pizza is at Terroni’s in Toronto.
Cooking time 1 hour
Makes one medium-sized medium crust pizza
Or one large thin crust pizza
Bake pizza at 450 F
1 cup (250 ml) warm water 100 degrees F
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
2 1/4 tsp (12 ml) yeast
1/8 tsp (1 ml) sea salt
2 cups (500 ml) + 1/8 cup (30 ml) all-purpose unbleached
3/4 cup (185 ml) pasta sauce
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) black sesame seeds
3 cups (750 ml) organic spinach
1/2 cup (125 ml) cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 ml) pitted mixed olives
1/4 (65 ml) goat’s cheese (optional)
1/4 cup (65 ml) thinly sliced red onions
1. Rinse a large mixing bowl with warm water to heat the bowl.
2. Add the warm water, sugar, and yeast to the bowl. Without disturbing the yeast gently guide all yeast granules into the water and stir ever so lightly to ensure that the yeast is submerged. Let the yeast stand for about 10 minutes or until the mixture foams.
3. Add the flour to the mixing bowl. If using a standing mixer, lock the mixer head and mix on low until the mixture is solid and comes clean from the sides and forms a ball. If the mixture is wet add some flour and if to dry add a bit of water. If hand mixing, mix the flour with a spoon and transfer to a work surface and continue kneading by hand. Transfer back into the bowl.
4. Add 1/8 cup of flour to the bowl and coat the outside of the dough and bowl. The raising process draws out moisture from the dough and the flour prevents the dough from sticking to the bowl.
5. Cover the top of the bowl with a tea towel to prevent the top of the dough from drying. Take the bowl and place in the oven on the lowest heat setting for the raising process. If the oven is too hot, you can keep the door open. Another option is to place the bowl near a heat source such as a heat vent, being careful not to cook the dough. The dough is ready when it doubles in size about half an hour.
6. Flour your work surface and place the dough in the middle. Work the dough with your hands and flatten out to the desired thickness. Flip the dough with the back of your hands and not your fingers to prevent making holes especially when making a thin crust.
7. Grease your pizza pan with 1 tsp of olive oil or lightly flour to prevent the pizza from sticking to the pan.
8. Fold your dough in half and transfer to the pizza pan.
9. Fold the edges of the crust in and pinch. If you like you can stuff the crust with cheese.
10. Pour the pasta sauce on to the middle of the dough. Start in the middle and use a spoon and spread the sauce in a circular motion working from the inside out. Drizzle the crust with olive oil and press with black sesame seeds.
11. Layer the pizza with the toppings in this order. Spinach, cherry tomatoes, olives, goat’s cheese, and sliced red onions.
12. Place your pizza in the middle rack of the oven until the crust is cooked about 10 minutes, this makes a crispy crust. Transfer the pizza to the top rack and cook until the toppings are cooked 3-5 minutes.
13. Set the oven on broil and cook for a couple of minutes to brown the cheese and toppings. Turn off before the spinach wilts.