Well, it seems like forever since I’ve posted, it was July. I’m sorry to have been absent for so long. No excuses but simply needed a break. Honestly, I haven’t been cooking, hardly at all, maybe lack of inspiration, the blues or a combination. Trying to get back into it for the Holidays. Speaking of the holidays I wanted to offer a giveaway as my holiday gift to one lucky person. My friend Michael makes the most beautiful cutting/serving boards. I have given them away before and they are always a wonderful and welcome addition to any kitchen. The board is similar to this one, walnut rectangular with a handle. I will also ask Michael if he would personalize for the lucky winner.
The winner will be announced next week on Monday, December 10th, all you have to do is comment and you are entered. Sorry no international shipping :o(
Blogging should not feel like a job, it should be a joy and a creative outlet. What do you do when you lack inspiration? The other day I visited the food52 site and decided to enter their latest contest. The challenge is to post a recipe for the dish that you are known for, you are asked to bring or make when you go to gatherings with friends, families or neighbors. The truth is that whenever I go anywhere people ask me to make dessert and a favorite is so simple I didn’t feel that it was contest worthy. Instead I decided to enter my recipe for Crostata it is always a favorite and is perfect for a buffet because it is delicious served warm or room temperature. It’s also easy to serve and not at all messy to eat. The inspiration for this recipe came from Lidia Bastianich, I saw her make it years ago on her cooking show on PBS. The crust is super easy, flour, semolina, olive oil and water. The filling is a mixture of greens, different types of onion, ricotta and parmigiana. I like to serve it warm with homemade tomato sauce or roasted cherry tomatoes.
Crostata With Mixed Greens
Serves 6-8 or more depending on serving size
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup semolina
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
1 tsp salt
Add the flours and salt to your food processor and pulse to mix. Add the olive oil and water and pulse until a cohesive dough is formed. Turn out onto your work surface that is floured and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and cover with a tea towel. Let sit for 30 minutes. If using a 9×13 baking pan you can double the recipe.
1 lb swiss chard, cleaned very well, tough part of stem removed and chopped
1 lb escarole cleaned well and chopped
1 lb baby spinach cleaned and chopped or a package of frozen chopped spinach defrosted and drained
2 cups sliced leeks (2 big leeks) cleaned scrupulously to remove grit use only the white and light green part
1 shallot chopped
1 cup chopped scallion (white and light green parts)
1 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tbs fresh basil chopped
generous pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cups whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
In a large heavy dutch oven add a little olive oil and heat on medium high. Add the leeks, shallot, scallion and saute until they soften, add the marjoram, basil , red pepper and greens, continue to saute until all the water has evaporated and the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature.
Place the ricotta, eggs, parmesan, heavy cream and optional lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly, add the cooled vegetables and mix well. Adjust seasoning (add salt and pepper to taste).
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface and line your baking pan, you should have approximately a 2 inch overhang. Spoon the filling in and fold the overhanging dough onto the filling. Brush with egg wash and if you like sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes until golden brown and filling is set. Serve with sauce or roasted tomatoes.