Tomato Rhubarb Cobbler

There is nothing not amazing about this dish.

I know that’s a horribly-put-together sentence, grammatically speaking, but it can’t be helped because I’m still in the haze of having eaten this amazing dinner.

IMG_4008

A couple of years ago my friend had an awesome cooking blog that was basically my kitchen bible. One day she posted this tomato cobbler recipe and with the way she raved about how good it was, it was too tempting not to try. And ever since I too was able to partake in its amazingness, it’s never left the back of my mind as the perfect summer recipe that I crave any time of year.

But it’s almost summer and that’s good enough for me; the local farmer’s market is already full of awesome, inspirational veggies. So, armed with a fresh bundle of rhubarb and already tasting warm pinched cherry tomatoes, I delved into this recipe after work and a yoga session to cap off the day right.

IMG_3993

It has two parts – the filling and the topping – but despite that, it’s pretty easy to make.

Preheat oven to 375 F

What You Need for the Filling:

  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes
  • One large onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp flour

IMG_4002IMG_4001IMG_4003

What You Need for the Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 oz blue cheese crumbles (or extra if you’re cheese-addicted like me)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick butter (8 tbsp) melted

IMG_3995What You Do:

Start by prepping the filling. Heat oil on low-medium in a large skillet. Add onion slices and cover, letting them caramelize. When they’ve become softer and begin to look translucent, add the rhubarb and garlic, stirring for about 5-8 minutes until the rhubarb softens. Remove from heat before the rhubarb totally breaks down and becomes mushy.

Add cherry tomatoes and 3 tbsp of flour to the rhubarb/onion filling and mix well, making sure the tomatoes are fully coated.

Pour the filling mixture into an 8×11 baking dish and pop the filling mixture into the oven for about 20 minutes. Take them out when the tomatoes are looking hot and pinchy.

In a medium bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.

In a separate, larger bowl, mix the buttermilk and melted butter, whisking well.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture, stirring well. Then add the blue cheese and mix thoroughly. It will start to become dough-y.

Once the filling is done pre-baking, spread out the dough somewhat generously over the top of the mixture to create a topping. IMG_4005

Put this whole shebang back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes (check it though – the topping will burn easy if it’s in for too long!)

Give it some time to cool, even though that will be hard, and delve in! Works great as leftovers too!

 

Pro Tip: I have 2. First, as you guessed this is not a Gluten-Free recipe. But it easily could be by substituting the flour and using any gluten-free biscuit recipe you have for the topping! My second tip is that you will likely have biscuit dough leftover so make some biscuits! #duh

Advertisements

Tomatillo Pizza

Pizza with tomato sauce? How about pizza with tomatillo sauce?

I’ve only ever used tomatillos to make salsa. That is, until I discovered that when you slice them and heat them in a pan, they reduce to a thick and sweet sauce that pairs perfectly with other veggies and – my favorite – goat cheese.

This sauce puts a fun spin on pizza. It makes it a little sweet but it’s definitely tasty and a really good summer pizza. I busted it out on a hot day for a pre-dinner appetizer and it was a hit!

IMG_3851

Preheat Oven to 350F-375F

What You Need to Make the Pizza Dough:

(Adapted from this recipe from my cooking idol Smitten Kitchen)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon  active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • About 1-2 tablespoons whole flax seed. Gives the dough a little crunch and healthy boost!

What You Need to Make the Topping:

  • Pre-made or homemade pizza crust. If you make your own, I highly suggest using this recipe from my cooking idol Smitten Kitchen.
  • 6-8 medium tomatillos, shells peeled off and sliced into quarters
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 3-4 oz. of goat cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of corn meal (to sprinkle on baking pan to bake the pizza on)

IMG_3853To Make the Pizza Dough:

Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add the water and olive oil and stir until formed into a ball. Knead well and place in a well-greased bowl with a damp towel covering it for 1-2 hours until it has doubled in size.

Knead dough again to eliminate air pockets and place back in the bowl for 20-30 minutes. Roll out the dough and lift onto a pizza stone or pizza pan pre-sprinkled with cornmeal.

To Make the Topping:

Place the tomatillos into an oiled pan heated on medium. Cover and simmer until they reduce and thicken, stirring frequently.

While tomatillos are cooking, place sliced onions in an oiled pan on medium heat, cover and cook until caramelized.

Spread the tomatillo mixture across pizza like a sauce. Top with caramelized onions and goat cheese and bake for 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness of your dough.

Pro Tip: Along with the flax seed, add fresh basil or dill to the pizza dough to give it a little kick and a little more of that summer flavor!

Vegetarian Quesadillas with Beans and Corn

This is truly a quick dinner dish. Perfect for those nights when you’ve worked late and have no desire to cook anything, but have no leftovers in the fridge and no appetite for Annie’s Mac (which is generally my go-to for nights like this).

001

I went straight for the cupboard for this dinner, pulling out a can of corn and a can of pinto beans. Luckily, this is one of those dinners that you can make with pretty much anything you find around your kitchen.

I made one for me and one for Mike because I wanted mine to be super spicy. It took about 40 minutes total and really hit the spot!

Preheat the oven to 350F

006What You Need:

  • Wraps (I used 4 Joseph’s Omega 3 wraps)
  • Freshly grated cheese of your choice (I used cheddar)
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of beans of your choice
  • Chopped jalapeno or serrano pepper (optional)
  • 1 avocado
  • Jar of salsa (I used a spicy corn salsa)
  • Sour Cream (optional)

What You Do:

Drain the corn and beans in a strainer and combine. Add a teaspoon of salt and pepper if desired.

Sprinkle shredded cheese on one half of the wrap OR on one whole side of one wrap. Then sprinkle the corn and bean mixture on top. Add chopped hot pepper if desired.

Sprinkle more shredded cheese on top and fold the wrap over to cover it OR place another wrap over it.

Place in the oven and bake until cheese is melted and the wrap is toasty.

To dress, add salsa and avocado or – to be “fancy”, mash the avocado and blend with some salsa for a quick and easy not-quite-guacamole.

Add a side salad if desired and you’re good to go!003

 

Pro-Tip: Add chicken if you want! Also, you will probably have leftover corn and beans, so use the mixture to top a salad!

 

Gluten Free and Vegetarian Polenta Pizza

It’s apparently polenta week! Maybe I’m feeling inspired by corn? More realistically, I accidentally bought a brand new bag of cornmeal, not realizing I had not one, but two, already at home.

So bring on the cornmeal recipes!

Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you. But I’m pretty excited to experiment with it because I’ve only ever used it for sprinkling beneath a pizza crust so it won’t stick to the pan.

Speaking of pizza…

photo 5

 

What You Need to Make the Crust:

  • 1 cup cornmeal plus a little extra to line the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used almond – any kind of dairy-free milk would work too)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

What You Need for Toppings:

So obviously you can use whatever you want for toppings, and I definitely plan to make this again and switch out the spinach for basil – yum!

  • Thinly sliced tomato
  • Spinach leaves
  • Thinly sliced summer and zucchini squash
  • Mozzarella cheese (grated or sliced)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

What You Do:

Preheat your oven to 375F

Boil the water and milk in a medium pot. When it begins to boil, slowly add the cornmeal while simultaneously (as much as possible anyways) turning the heat down to a slow boil.

Stir well to avoid clumping. If it clumps try to just break them apart. Then cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes until it becomes thicker.

photo 1 (2)Add olive oil. Stir until thickened. I had to add a bit more cornmeal to make the polenta more of a pizza dough consistency.

While this is going on, sprinkle some cornmeal on your pizza stone or pan.

Once the polenta starts moving in a pizza-dough-type ball, remove from the pot. Spread slowly and evenly over the pizza stone or pan until 1/4 inch thick with no rips or holes.

I put the whole thing in the fridge for about half an hour to help it solidify more, but I have a hunch you could skip this step.

After I took it out of the fridge, I put it in the oven, topping-free, for about 15 minutes to burn off any excess water.

Then, it was time for the toppings! Pile them on, then bake for 12-15 minutes!

While it’s baking, make your balsamic reduction by slow boiling the balsamic vinegar. This takes 15-20 minutes. It will become syrupy, and you can test the progress by letting it drip off a spoon. Watch it closely once the level gets low because it will burn if you don’t remove it from the heat as soon as it fully reduces and becomes syrupy.

Drizzle it over the finished pizza and you’re done!

photo 3

Pro Tip: Unlike real pizza, this one doesn’t taste too awesome straight out of the fridge the day after. Heat this up in a toaster oven or conventional oven if you can! Microwaving would probably be ok too!

 

 

Vegetarian Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers

It’s that time of the month where I have to do a serious assessment of what’s in the fridge. I hate nothing more than reaching into the crisper drawer to grab the tomatoes I bought to make sauce and finding that some – or, GASP!, all – of them have gone bad.

My only consolation is being able to feed my rotten food to the worms in my vermicompost bin, but it’s still food I needed for dinner and no longer have!

My stray vegetable roundup this week resulted in this comfort food dish that was fairly quick to make and perfect after a long day at work.

Preheat Oven to 300F

015

What You Need:

  • 5-6 poblano peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Half a small onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 cups tomato sauce

What You Do To Make the Polenta:

Boil 2 cups of water. When it boils, add 1 cup cornmeal and immediately remove from heat as the cornmeal will thicken super quick in the bioling water. Don’t be alarmed, this literally takes a matter of seconds.

Stir until thickened and add additional water if necessary (I usually have to) to make it creamier. Your polenta should be creamy and easy to stir when complete.

What You Do To Make the Filling:

Slice the tops off the poblano peppers leaving as much pepper on as you can. Cut the pepper in half lengthwise and clean out the seeds and veins.

013Lay the peppers out on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Flip them about halfway through and take out when the skin starts to pinch.

While the peppers bake, warm olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and simmer, stirring frequently, until translucent and soft.

Add any other veggies you want. I added 2 chopped serrano peppers for a little kick and the kale, stirring it until it was steamed and reduced.

Add the onion mixture to your polenta, stirring until well mixed.

Place each pepper in a baking dish with sides, and spoon the polenta mixture into each poblano pepper. Top with tomato sauce and goat cheese, and bake until cheese is melted.

Pro Tip: Consider adding cooked sausage or your favorite kind of bean to the polenta mixture for some protein!

012