Tag Archives: Sage

Sage & Butternut Squash Pizza

Fall came crashing into my life today in the most delicious way ever.  Let me teach you the way:

Butternut squash + goat cheese + sage + homemade roasted garlic pizza sauce = the best fall inspired pizza known to mankind.

Seriously.  And don’t just take my word for it.  Make it yourself.

I was inspired by a recipe in a vegetarian cookbook I read through at the thrift store–they are the ones who gave me the idea for butternut squash and sage together on pizza.  The execution is so basic that you don’t need a real recipe, anyway.  But here’s some anyway, “just in cases” (10 points if you can name that quote).

Here’s the basic pizza dough recipe, and here’s the roasted garlic and pepper tomato sauce I used.  The pizza dough recipe makes enough for three pies, but this recipe made two pies.  Freeze the last third of the dough to use some other time!  My measurements are all very approximate–because I didn’t measure and because pizza is so specific to individual tastes!  Just try it and see.

Sage & Butternut Squash Pizza

  • pizza dough for two pies
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • dash of salt
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • handful of fresh sage leaves (about 20 per pie)
  • 1/2 C-1 C sauce for each pie
  • 3 oz crumbled goat cheese (to split between the two pies)
  • 1-2 C shredded mozzarella cheese (depends on your personal taste)

Spread the butternut squash and half the sage leaves on a baking sheet (I used a deep glass one).  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.  I did this while the pizza dough was rising.

This is quick and easy.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (the hotter the better!) and set your pizza stone inside to heat up.  If you don’t have a stone, you can use the back of a baking sheet to bake the pizza on, but don’t worry about preheating it beforehand.

Spread the dough out to a circle with a roughly 10″ diameter on top of a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal.  Spoon the sauce on top, and sprinkle with the two types of cheese.  Layer half the butternut squash and sage leaves over the top, and add a few more fresh sage leaves.

Don’t forget to brush the edges with olive oil!

Slide the pizza and parchment paper from the table top on to a large plate or baking sheet back, then transfer it on the stone in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes or so, until the bottom and edges are browned and the cheese is bubblin’.

Best served sliced and eaten immediately so the cheese burns your mouth.

Then again, that might just be my way.

I absolutely love the taste and texture of goat cheese on pizza–it’s so good!  It makes the slightly boring taste of butternut squash become exciting.

Lastly, this pizza is ridiculously filling with all the squash on top–Fritz and I didn’t even finish a pizza between the two of us (but we really, really wanted to).

Have a good night!

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Filed under Entrees, Vegetarian

Get Your Lentil On: Masoor Dahl (and drying herbs)

I love me some Indian food.  Fritz’s sister Eber bought us (well, me) a cookbook called complete indian cooking for a wedding gift and every single recipe I have made from it (and it has been quite a few) has been absolutely delicious.  I bought a couple of bags of dried lentils the other day, and I was in the mood to make something spicy yet comforting: masoor dahl.

I’ll let the book speak for itself for once:

“This spicy lentil dish…is high in nutrients as well as tasting delicious, so you can feel good about its benefits as well as enjoying its fantastic flavors.  Lentils are full of nutrients and have a high energy value.  They are rich in protein, carbohydrates, phosphorus, and iron, as well as the B vitamins.”

I love feeling good about my food, don’t you?

Masoor Dahl (adapted from complete indian cooking)

  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 t cloves
  • 1/2 t freshly ground cardamom
  • 1″ cinnamon stick
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t garam masala
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 C lentils
  • 4 T lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, and add the cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom and fry until fragrant.  Add the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and garam masala and cook for about five minutes.

Add the lentils, stir, and cook for one minute.

 Add salt to taste and enough water to come roughly 1 1/4″ above the lentils.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about half an hour until very thick and tender.

Meanwhile, I decided that to spice these lentils up I’d serve them in a roasted green bell pepper.  Halve the pepper, throw out the seeds, and place under the broiler until tender and browned.

When the lentils are tender, stir in the lemon juice and spoon into bell peppers.  Serve immediately.

Fritz was such a big fan of this meal that I had to stick another bell pepper in the oven so he could have seconds, and then a serving to bring to school for lunch tomorrow.

Speaking of Fritz and school, he has his first patient tomorrow!  I’m so excited for him–he says he’s not even nervous anymore because he is too overwhelmed trying to remember everything he has to do.  But I’m sure he will do amazingly well.  So good luck dental class!  If I had time between now and then I’d bake you a tooth cake (oh!! tooth cake pops! what a great idea!!), but I have to go do some homework myself.

I’ll leave you with a photo essay of my new accomplishment for the day.  This morning there was frost on the ground, and I knew I had to salvage whatever I could from my herb garden before everything dies.  I have waaay too much thyme and sage, so if you live near me and would like some to dry, please let me know!

what our herb garden looked like when it had just started growing

I am going to grab a few paper bags tomorrow when I go grocery shopping to put over the hangers so dust doesn’t collect in them, so hopefully they dry well.  I’m off to do some orthopedics homework, so have a beautiful night!

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Filed under Entrees, Vegetarian

Garlic and Sage Bread and Cinnamon Lamb Stew

I’m so sad to see the weekend leave, but Fritz and I had a great day–a lot of cooking and finishing the third season of LOST.  It was a perfect day for it, because it was gray but not rainy so the windows were open and  the cool air made making fall food finally feel appropriate.  Which you know makes me happy.

The other day I made Overnight Oats, with a recipe I borrowed from this website (it’s a healthy eating blog that I recently started reading as I needed some inspiration for this blog…add it to your favorites! It’s a good one!).  Anyway, I loved the idea of cold oatmeal in the morning (I add uncooked oatmeal to my Grape-nuts  in the morning ’cause I like the texture), but I didn’t exactly love the way it turned out.  Definitely good, very filling, but not perfect…yet.  But it will be!  And when I perfect a recipe, I’ll put it up.  But in the meantime, I’d love some suggestions if you guys try your own versions.

On another note, I got two new cookbooks recently.  Now, if you know me, you know I love cookbooks and kitchen gadgets, ever since I got some wooden spoons as a Christmas gift when I was seven(ish).  So full of new possibilities!  The next two recipes are from my two new books, One Pot and 100 Best Health Foods.

First, I decided to make Garlic and Sage Bread, mostly because I felt like using my mixer and I’ve been baking too many sweet things lately.  I have sage in my herb garden and I rarely use it, but who would’ve known it’s one of 1oo best health foods.  Sage, among other things, has strong antioxidant, antibacterial, and preservative effects. Cool.  Also helps with symptoms of arthritis (Mom!).

Garlic and Sage Bread

  • 1 3/4 C whole wheat bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 3 T chopped fresh sage
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 t honey
  • 2/3 C lukewarm water

 

Set aside 1 t of the garlic, and the first four ingredients and the remaining garlic into a mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center and pour in the honey and the water.  Stir until the dough begins to come together, and then knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes until elastic (or, use your mixer until smooth and elastic).  Brush a bowl with oil and shape the dough into a ball, place it in the bowl, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel to prevent drying out). 

Brush a baking sheet with oil, punch down the dough, and shape into a ring.  Place on the baking sheet, and place an oiled bowl in the center to prevent the circle from closing in while rising.  Leave to rise for half an hour.

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Remove the bowl from the center of the loaf, and sprinkle with the reserved garlic (I opted out of this part) and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when the base is tapped.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool, and spread slices with cream cheese (or not–tastes great without it!).

This bread was quick and easy to make, didn’t rise a huge amount, and makes the cutest little slices.  It perfectly accompanied the next recipe, Cinnamon Lamb Stew.

Cinnamon Lamb Stew

  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lbs lean boneless lamb (I actually used bone-in stew meat, which I cooked whole and then cubed later)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 lg onions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/4 C red wine
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 12 0z canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 C seedless raisins
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • plain greek yogurt and paprika to garnish

 

Season the lamb with salt and pepper to taste, and flour the lamb (shake it up in a plastic bag!) and set aside.  Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the onions and garlic until soft, about five minutes.  Add the lamb and cook over high heat until browned on all sides.  Stir in the wine, vinegar, and tomatoes and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Reduce the heat to low and add the raisins, cinnamon, sugar, and bay leaf.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cover and simmer for 2 hours or until the lamb is tender. 

I served with barley and topped with a generous spoonful of plain greek yogurt (the recipe suggests adding garlic and salt to the yogurt, but I’m not a huge garlic fan so I stuck with plain).  Discard the bay leaf and serve hot, dusted with paprika (like any good part-Hungarian would).

 

Now snuggle up with a movie and a blanket, and eat the first of many fall stews I hope you make!

Tomorrow Fritz is going on a fun adventure called “Looking At And Possibly Buying A Car”, which is an operation we’ve tried several times and have yet to call a success.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better–a 2003 Nissan Sentra with 94,000 miles for $4,000.  Sounds good, right?  I’ll let you know how that goes…and don’t forget to try overnight oats!

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Filed under Breads, Soups/Stews