Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Flatbread pizza with tomato, bell pepper, eggplant, and baby arugula トマト、ピーマン、ナス、ルッコラのフラットブレッドピザ

Picked up some nice vegetables at the farmer's market after a few weeks' hiatus - in particular, the most fragrant and tasty baby arugula that I've had - and came up with this idea of making this vegetarian pizza. Didn't want to make dough, however, so used a store-bought flatbread crust.


Started by sautéing some minced garlic and finely chopped shallots in olive oil, added the eggplant and bell peppers - both cut into fairly large chunks to enjoy the texture - and stir-fried a bit, just enough to soften them. Removed from heat and set aside.


Brushed the flatbread on both sides with olive oil and spread some tomato paste seasoned with salt, pepper, and a pinch of oregano on one side. Placed some sliced tomatos on the paste, then the pepper-eggplant mix, sprinkled with a modest amount of cheese (used leftover Swiss and Parmesan), and baked in a 450F oven for 10 minutes.


Transfered the baked pizza to a plate and sprinkled a handful of uncooked baby arugula on top to finish. Pizza can be very satisfying without meat or a lot of cheese - and it can be a great way to eat vegetables.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Grilled shrimp with citrus pesto

Made these for a 4th of July potluck party at a friend's place. Since I learned there was going to be several meat dishes I wanted to do something different but was lacking in ideas - then my professionally trained friend posted this tasty-looking shrimp recipe on her blog so I borrowed it  - with only a few modifications that my mother may call "unsolicited tweaking".


* 青梅弁で「頼まれもしない変更」

The recipe is very simple - peeled and deveined shrimp marinated in basil pesto, skewered, and grilled.


The original pesto recipe called for a full cup of basil leaves for 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp, but even after stripping my home basil plant of all the edible leaves I didn't have enough (that's growing herbs in the city) so I made up that gap with extra garlic, a few springs of parsley, and a clove of shallot. As if that deviation wasn't enough, I also added zest and juice from half a lemon for tanginess with a pinch of red pepper for a touch of heat.


Fortunately, the resulting dish was pretty well received by the group (and it was a pretty discerning group of foodies). I guess this "grilling with pesto" can also work well with scallops, lobster, and even fish with firm white flesh. Perhaps another occasion.