Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Rustic-Style Grilled Pizzas

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Whenever I talk about making pizza at home, I need to decide on the toppings. Because we’re into the beginning of summer, I thought I check out what was in season at my local farmers’ market. Boy was I surprised! There was so much to choose from that I thought I get a little of everything.

These pizzas are great if you’re leading a vegetarian lifestyle. I will post this under both categories, “pizza dishes” and “vegetarian dishes”. Oh yeah, I’ve got a great to prepare the toppings.

Making your own pizza dough is fun but because this post is going to concentrate on the toppings. I’m taking help from my local grocery store and buying the pre-made pizza dough. You can also go to your local pizzeria and buy your dough.

Let’s get started on my Rustic-Style Grilled Pizzas.

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Sweet Basil (2)

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Fennel bulb

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 60 minutes
(each of the veggies takes a different roasting time. The roasting order starts with onions and fennel, next, the bell peppers, garlic, and finally, the beets.)
Grilling Time: 2 to 4 minutes per side
Total Time:  2 hours 8 minutes
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, indoor grill pan, 2 large mixing bowls, rolling pin, 1 small mixing bowl, 2 pair of disposable gloves, chef’s knife

Complete List Of Ingredients:
1 ball of store-bought pizza dough
2 4-ounce balls of fresh mozzarella cheese
4 ounces of fresh goat cheese
6 slices of Prosciutto, thin julienned strips (optional)
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 sweet onion, roasted
2 bulbs of fennel cleaned, cored, and roasted
2 red beets, roasted and diced
2 golden beets, roasted and diced
1 red bell pepper, roasted and julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted and julienned
2 bulbs of garlic, roasted
3 tablespoons of basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 16-ounce package of Spring Mix

Ingredients From The Pantry:
Olive oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Red wine vinegar
granulated sugar

Ingredients For Heirloom Tomato Topping:
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Directions For Heirloom Tomato Topping:
Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, toss to combine. Set aside.

Ingredients For Roasted Fennel And Onions:
1 large sweet onion quartered
2 bulbs of fennel cored and quartered
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil

Note: The fennel and onions will roast on the same rimmed baking sheet pan. The garlic, bell peppers, and beets will roast on the second baking sheet.

Note: Watch the roasting times for each vegetable.

Directions For Roasted Fennel:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Place the fennel and onions onto a rimmed sheet pan, spread out into one even layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, toss to coat. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl set aside.

Note: The bell peppers, beets, and garlic bell peppers will roast on the same baking sheet pan.

Ingredients For Roasted garlic:
2 bulbs of garlic, cut in half crosswise
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Directions For Roasted Garlic:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Place the halved garlic bulbs into a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the tops of each half. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Wrap the garlic up tightly in the foil, transfer to a baking sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, using a fork smash the garlic into a paste.

Ingredients For Roasted Bell Peppers:
1 yellow bell pepper, washed and dried
1 red bell pepper, washed and dried

Directions For Roasted Bell Peppers;
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Wrap each bell pepper in foil, Place onto a baking sheet pan along with the garlic. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes. Unwrap the peppers, transfer to a large mixing bowl. cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Remove the skins, seed, and slice into julienne strips. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Ingredients For Roasted Beets:
2 red beets, washed and dried, cut off the tops and bottoms, cut in half
2 golden beets, washed and dried, cut off the tops and bottoms, cut in half
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O., divided
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

Directions For Roasted Beets:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Layout two large pieces of aluminum foil. Place the red in one and the golden ones on another. Add the olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to each pair of beets. Using gloves toss to combine. Wrap up tightly in the foil, transfer to the baking sheet pan containing the wrapped garlic and bell peppers. Roast for 1 hour (60 minutes) or until a knife can be inserted with no resistance. Once cool, using disposable gloves, remove the skins, dice, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add chopped basil, Italian parsley, 2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O., and red wine vinegar. Toss to combine set aside.

Directions For Store-Bought Pizza Dough:
Allow the dough rest a room temperature for 1 hour. Cut the dough ball into four equal parts. Next, dust a flat surface with all-purpose flour. Roll the dough out to around 6 to 8-inches in diameter. They don’t have to be perfectly round, that’s what gives them that rustic look.

Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush two of the pizza doughs with olive oil then place onto the grill pan, oiled side down. Brush the tops with olive oil. Grill for 2 to 4 minutes per side.

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Arrange the four grilled pizzas (2 grilled pizzas on each pan) onto 2 rimmed baking sheet pans. Next, brush the tops of each of the pizzas with roasted garlic. Evenly distribute torn fresh mozzarella over each one. the pizzas. Transfer the baking sheet pans to the oven leaving the door slightly ajar. This process only takes a couple of minutes.

Once the cheese melts, pull the pizzas out and start arranging the toppings. I made different combinations of flavors for each of the four pizzas. For the base of all of the pizzas, I added the roasted onions and fennel over top of the melted mozzarella. Two of them I saved for the heirloom tomatoes and prosciutto, one for the roasted peppers, and one for the roasted red and yellow beets topped with crumbled goat cheese.

To serve the pizzas I added mixed greens, which included baby spinach, Swiss chard, and baby kale. The heirloom tomato pizzas, I laid the greens underneath the tomatoes because I wanted the colors to show through. Then I topped with the sliced prosciutto. With the roasted peppers and beets, I placed the greens on top with a sprinkling of Kosher salt and pepper. You could make your Rustic-Style Grilled Pizzas with whatever ingredients you like. These are just a few ideas you may want to play around with when you’re making your favorite pizza.

*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

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Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

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Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash (2)

My Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash is a great substitute for mash potatoes. By roasting the cauliflower and the garlic intensifies the depth of flavor in this dish. I’ve also added spices that are both earthy and smokey in flavor. I’m going out on a limb here by saying this dish is life-changing!

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Heavy Cream

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Chives (2)

Chives (2)

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash (2)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time For Garlic: 35 to 40 minutes
Cook Time For Cauliflower: 25 to 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Equipment: 1 (10 cup) food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, chef’s knife, 1 (1-quart) saucepot

Ingredients For Roasted Cauliflower Mash:
1 to 2 heads of cauliflower (2-pounds) broken into florets (about 8 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 whole head of garlic, roasted
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, extra for garnish
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup of heavy cream, room temperature
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted and melted
Fresh chives for garnish

Directions For Roasted Garlic:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Cut a head of garlic lengthwise, leaving the head intact with all the cloves connected. Season with 1 teaspoon of  Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Drizzle each half with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Wrap each half in foil and place onto a rimmed baking sheet. Place into the oven on the top rack. Roast for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, begin checking the garlic. The garlic is done if the center clove is completely soft when pierced with a paring knife.

Note: For a deeper golden brown and more caramelized garlic flavor extend the roasting time.

While garlic is roasting start prepping the cauliflower.

Directions For Roasted Cauliflower:
Adjust oven temperature to 450-degrees F.
Cut the core out and break up the cauliflower into large florets. Spread them out onto two baking sheet pans in one even layer. Sprinkle on half (1/2) of the ground cumin, the remaining Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, and the remaining with olive oil. Toss the cauliflower florets all around with your hands to make sure all they’re all really well coated.

Remove the garlic from the oven. Allow to cool down for 10 minutes. Carefully open the hot foil packet allowing the garlic to cool down enough to handle.

Place the cauliflower in the center position of the oven, roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and tender. Double-check by taking a fork and pricking the florets to see if they”re nice and tender. If they need a few more minutes, leave them in but keep your eye on them.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade add the roasted cauliflower florets. Squeeze the softened roasted garlic into the processor. Add the remaining ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,  melted butter, and heavy cream. Blend until smooth and mashed potato-like. Give the cauliflower mash a taste, if needed season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

To serve, spoon the Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash into a porcelain serving bowl. Garnish with a sprinkling of smoked paprika and finely chopped fresh chives.

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Homemade Meatloaf

Homemade Meatloaf

Growing up in the ’70s, I remember one of the most traditionally made dinners was meatloaf. My mom had her version #tastethelove, my friends’ moms had their version, and my grandmother had her version. They were all delicious but so very different. I think that’s what makes this dish so common throughout many households but so individually unique is meatloaf is a blank canvas. You can add ingredients you like making your meatloaf specifically to your liking. Traditionally meatloaf is made with ground beef, but that’s not the case anymore, ground pork, chicken, or turkey can be used to make meatloaf today.

My Homemade Meatloaf is a family favorite. Let me show you what goes into my Homemade Meatloaf, starting with the roasted garlic.

Onions

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Roasted Red Peppers

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Prep Time: 15 minutes (prep the vegetable while roasting the garlic)
Cook Time:  2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 large mixing bowls, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, 1 (3-quart) saucepot

Ingredients:
1-pound of lean ground sirloin (90% lean)
2-pounds of ground pork
1 bulb of garlic, 4 cloves, roasted, 2 cloves, raw and minced
1 1/2 onions, small dice
3 ribs of celery, small dice
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup roasted Piquillo peppers, small dice
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups breadcrumbs, Italian-style
1/4 cup half-and-half
4 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup

Ingredients For Brown Gravy:
4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Kitchen Boquet, browning and seasoning sauce
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of chicken broth, low sodium

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Peel and discard the papery out layer of the garlic bulb, leaving intact the skins of the individual cloves. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to 1/2-inch from the top of the cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.

Set the garlic on top of a piece of foil. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over each exposed head, using your fingers to rub the olive oil over all the cut, exposed garlic cloves. Sprinkle each head with a pinch of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Wrap the garlic bulbs up in the foil. Place the foil packet on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cloves are lightly browned and feel soft when pressed. Remove from the oven, carefully open the foil packet and set aside to cool.

While garlic is roasting prep all the vegetables.

In the meantime, in a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add olive oil, diced onions, diced celery, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and minced garlic. As the veggies start to soften, add 1 taablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and freshly chopped thyme leaves, stir to combine. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off and remove from the heat to let cool.

Adjust oven temperature to 350-degrees F.

In the large mixing bowl, with the roasted garlic, diced roasted red peppers, and beaten eggs add the Italian-style bread crumbs, half and half, fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, Kosher salt, fresh black pepper, dried oregano, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and the cooled vegetable mixture, mix to combine.

Next, it’s time to add the meat to the bowl with all the other ingredients. Using your hands, mix in the meat until it’s all just combined, do not overmix. After everything is combined and all that goodness is mix throughout, form the meatloaf and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form the meatloaf delicately into a pretty looking loaf. Refer to the picture above. There’s no need to do anything else to the meat. The oven will take care of making it look all nice, beautiful, crispy, and brown. Trust me!

While the meatloaf is in the oven make start the Lumpy Mashed Potatoes, Click the link below for the recipe.

I bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 155-degrees F. Transfer the meatloaf to the counter, cover with foil and allow to rest for another 15 minutes. There will be some carry over cooking time.

Directions For Brown Gravy:
In a saucepot on medium heat, melt the butter, add the fresh thyme leaves. Next, the flour and whisk together making sure to get all visible lumps. Add Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, continuously whisking until mixture turns light brown in color. Turn the heat down to low and slowly add the chicken broth, whisking constantly. Add Kitchen Boquet and Worcestershire sauce. Turn the heat back up to medium. Continue whisking until gravy boils and thickens 3 to 5 minutes.

Lemon Pepper Asparagus 

Lumpy Mashed Potatoes

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