My good friend Annie left me a gift the other day.…….a bunch of Daphne and these amazingly big and beautiful green onions (leeks maybe? she didn’t know if her green onions and leeks cross pollinated…) from her garden. I just walked in and there they were on my kitchen table! That night I sautéed a couple of them and tossed them with some pasta, garlic & grated parmesan. It reminded me just how yummy and versatile caramelized onions can be, and so easy!
They are great added to scrambled eggs, tucked into a grilled cheese or quesadilla, on a steak, baked potato or as a base for a pizza! I use them all the time in my catering business. I wanted to share a favorite recipe, great for all of those Oscar parties this Sunday!
Caramelized Onion Pizzetta
makes 2 individual pizzetta or 8 pieces to pass around
for the onions:
2 T olive oil
1 yellow, red or a bunch of green onions or a combination, sliced thinly
good pinch of salt & pepper
for the pizzetta:
1 pkg. mini Naan bread, available at any supermarket
8-10 Niciose olives, pitted & torn
1 T capers
1 T toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup aged goat brie or parmesan, grated
one sprig each fresh rosemary & thyme
Heat the olive oil in a skillet until hot. Add the sliced onions, salt & pepper and sauté for 8-10 minutes over medium high heat, stirring frequently until browned and caramelized, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook an additional 5 minutes to bring out the sweetness.
Brush the two Naan with some good olive oil. Top with the onions, capers, olives, pine nuts & cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees or until crisp on the bottom. Top with chopped rosemary & thyme leaves. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, cut and serve.
I have had some ‘not so great’ veggie burgers lately. Some are too mushy and some too dry. Here is my version, developed for an entry in a Food Network challenge……wish me luck! I served it on a toasted whole wheat bun with some melted cheddar, organic arugula & a thick slice of locally grown tomato. I had to use leeks as an ingredient in the contest so I fried them and added them to a garlic aioli mayo……..
really yummy, hence the……….
2T olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 yellow onion chopped to 1/4 inch dice
6 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped coarsely in food processor
8 oz cauliflower, chopped coarsely in food processor
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups cooked wild rice blend, cooled
2 T fresh parsley, chopped finely
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
a pinch each of cayenne, dried basil, dried thyme & celery seed
1/2 t each salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
Sauté the garlic, onion, cauliflower & mushrooms in the olive oil until lightly browned and flavorful, about 10 minutes. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and spread into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until firm and lightly browned. Cut into 8 pieces and serve warm on a good bun with your favorite additions!
Violet-Honey-Gingered Lemon Sparkler
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sliced ginger
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Champagne or sparkling wine
Bring 1 cup of water, the honey and ginger to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice & stir. Refrigerate until cold then strain. Put 2 T. of the mixture in a champagne flute. Fill with the Champagne or sparkling wine & garnish with fresh violets and their leaves.
Makes 12 cocktails
Note: you can always use sparkling water or even sparkling cider but, what fun is that?!
Like a lot of women, I am a member of a book club. Our club is kind of a “bad girls” book club. Oh, we do read the books (most of the time) & we do spend a fair amount of time discussing them, but the books are mostly just a reason for getting together to eat great food & drink wine! My food contribution last night was a delicious & easy to make winter salad of Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Toasted Almonds & Kale with a VERY Lemon-y dressing & lots of freshly grated Parmesan. So yummy & the girls loved it!
Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Kale Winter Salad
1 large bunch of Tuscan kale, pulled off the stem & torn into bite sized pieces
1.5 - 2 lbs brussels sprouts, sliced in a food processor through the feed tube with the
slicing disc or cut thinly by hand
1 c finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c almonds, toasted & chopped coarsely
Toss above together in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over, toss again and let sit for 10 minutes or more so that the flavors have a chance to develop and the salad has time to get tender from the lemon juice.
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 small shallot, halved & slivered finely
2 T Dijon mustard
zest & juice of 3 lemons
salt & freshly ground pepper
Put the mustard, juice and zest in a bowl along with the shallot and the garlic, salt & pepper. Add the oil in a steady stream whisking to incorporate. Pour over the salad and mix with your hands to insure that it gets well distributed to every leaf.
It seems like this is way too much lemon but with the cheese, the nuts and the heartiness of the kale and Brussels sprouts...it is perfect!
As an added bonus, this salad keeps just fine for a day in the fridge and if you add some crispy bacon, hard cooked egg and some cooked chicken, you have a mighty fine lunch or light dinner!
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
"Love your recipes! Pat made your avocado toast a few weeks ago, delish! I'm taking them to a party in a few weeks, although the mushroom crostata looks pretty darn good!"