Thursday, December 04, 2008


It would never have occurred to me to put Boursin on a pizza, but I’m so glad I found this recipe from Eggs on Sunday. Spinach and garlic are a natural combination, and the garlic-herb cheese amps it up times ten, not to mention having a really appealing creamy-browned texture when cooked. Originally titled “Green Garlic Monster,” this is certainly not for the garlic-averse, but it isn’t so intent on being super-garlicky that all other flavors are obliterated. The parsley (another great pairing with earthy spinach) and the red onion brighten things up nicely. My only quibble is that the recipe only called for “two large handfuls” of spinach; I used a 6-ounce bag, which was more than that, and this particular spinach-lover still wanted more. Maybe I made a bigger pizza than the recipe intended, but there was a lot of crust showing through. I’m going to try 10 ounces next time and see what happens. Regardless, this is an excellent addition to my burgeoning pizza recipe collection.

Pizza dough for 1 pizza (1 lb)
½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
6–10 ounces baby spinach
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
Half a round (2½ ounces) Boursin garlic-herb cheese (or other soft garlic-herb cheese)

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Roll out your pizza dough and place on an oiled or cornmeal-dusted baking sheet.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and garlic and sauté until spinach is just wilted and bright green, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

4. In a small bowl, mix the parsley with the Parmesan and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

5. Spread the parsley mixture over the pizza crust. Lay the red onion slices on top, then add the sautéed spinach. Crumble the Boursin over the top of the pizza.

6. Bake for about 8 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is nicely browned.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Good

Monday, December 01, 2008


Look, yet another way to combine vegetables with shallots and lemon! I will never tire of those flavors. This is a nice, simple-but-interesting side dish that reminds me, with its crisp greenness, of deconstructed zucchini fritters. It reminds A, for some strange reason, of Rice-a-Roni. But don’t let that put you off; he clarifies, “I always liked Rice-a-Roni!” I’ve never tasted Rice-a-Roni myself, but surely it doesn’t have a shallot-and-lemon flavoring? Still, I suppose the shape and texture of the shredded zucchini is vaguely rice-like, and maybe the nutty brownness it achieves when briefly sautéed over high heat is somehow reminiscent of rice too? Or we could all just ignore A on this one.

Anyway, aside from the minor travail of shredded and squeezing the zucchini, this is an easy and fast-cooking recipe to throw together, and it will pair well with most flavors. We ate it with the splendid roast chicken with pears, shallots, and leeks, and the fact that I even remember we had a side dish at all in the face of such blinding magnificence should tell you that this one is surely worthwhile. The original recipe says it serves four, but the two of us ate it all in one sitting.

5 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
1½ teaspoons salt
2 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1–2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Shred zucchini (on large holes of a box grater or with shredding disk of a food processor). Place zucchini in a colander in the sink and toss zucchini with 1½ teaspoon salt. Let drain for at least 10 minutes. Wrap zucchini in a kitchen towel (in batches if necessary) and wring out extra moisture.

2. Place zucchini in a medium bowl and break up any large clumps. Add shallots and 2 teaspoons oil and toss to combine thoroughly.

3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add zucchini mixture and spread evenly. Cook without stirring until bottom layer browns, about 2 minutes. Stir well, breaking up any clumps, then cook until new bottom layer browns, about 2 minutes more.

4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves: 2-4
Time: 20 minutes
Leftover potential: Unknown