Tag Archives: arugula

Cherry Tomato, Coppa and Arugula Pizza

~ Cherry Tomato, Coppa and Arugula Pizza ~

Try this pizza on for a weeknight dinner. Homemade pizza is fun to make and with a little organization a breeze to pull together on a school night. The best part is fiddling with different ingredients depending on what’s in season and what’s in the refrigerator. We made this pizza the other night, making use of the abundance of cherry tomatoes we have at the moment, some coppa (which may be substituted with prosciutto or a dry salami) and handfuls of fresh arugula.

When I do have time on my hands, I will make a double portion of crust and sauce. The extras are portioned and frozen for easy use. Just pull them out of the freezer early in the morning or the night before you plan to use them to defrost in the refrigerator.

Cherry Tomato, Coppa and Arugula Pizza

Be sure not to overload the pizza with the toppings. The amounts below are approximations and will vary with the size of the crust. Makes 2 10-inch pizzas or 4 small pizzas.

2 uncooked 10-inch pizza crusts (recipe below)
2/3 cup  tomato sauce (recipe below)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
8 slices (3 ounces) coppa, torn in half
2 cups arugula
1 heaping cup small cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 500 F. Roll out crusts on parchment paper.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over each crust, leaving one inch clear around the edge of the crust. Arrange one layer mozzarella over the sauce. Top with a layer of coppa. Scatter tomatoes and arugula over the coppa. Sprinkle with pecorino. Brush the exposed crust with olive oil.
Slide the parchment and pizzas onto a baking stone on lowest rack in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately as is or topped with additional fresh arugula and a drizzle of olive oil.

Tomato Sauce
Makes 1 cup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, with juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes, until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Pizza Dough Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters. Makes 2 – 10 inch or 4 mini pizza crusts.

2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal disks (or 4 if you would like small pizzas.) Let rest 30 minutes before shaping. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands, stretch the disks out to 10-inch shapes.

Calamari, Fennel and White Bean Salad with Arugula

This salad is the edible version of one-stop shopping. In one bowl, you will find some of the best ingredients and flavors of Italy: Cannellini beans tossed with garlic and lemon, crispy arugula and fennel, Parmesan shavings, and flash cooked calamari coated in olive oil and pepper. Put it all together and you have a light and healthy salad or a heaping topping for bruschetta worthy of a dinner party.

Calamari, Fennel and White Bean Salad with Arugula
Serves 4

For the vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups cooked cannellini beans (or one can, drained and rinsed)
1 small fennel bulb, ends and fronds trimmed, thinly sliced

For the calamari:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound calamari (body and tentacles), body sliced in 1/4 inch rings
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 cups arugula leaves, washed and dried
2 ounces shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Prepare the vinaigrette:
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside.

Combine the beans and fennel in a medium bowl. Pour 1/2 of the vinaigrette over the beans and toss to combine.

Prepare the calamari:
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 30 seconds. Add calamari and saute 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the beans and mix together.

Arrange arugula in a serving bowl.  Spoon beans and calamari into the center of the arugula. Drizzle arugula with remaining vinaigrette. Garnish with Parmesan shavings and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Prosciutto Roll-ups with Arugula, Fennel and Parmesan

Prosciutto roll-ups are the perfect appetizer. Salty strips of prosciutto wrap around leafy arugula sprigs, crispy fennel spears and nutty Parmesan shavings, binding the vegetables together in an edible cocoon basted with lemon and garlic infused oil. This is the best kind of finger food – healthy, fresh and seasonal.

Feel free to fiddle with the ingredients and take advantage of the season’s produce.  Be sure to include a leafy green, a crisp vegetable and cheese for a variety of textures. Other suggestions would include a combination of basil or mint leaves, blanched asparagus spears or crispy pear slices, and pecorino, gorgonzola or manchego cheese.

Prosciutto Roll-ups with Arugula, Fennel and Parmesan
Makes 24 roll-ups

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
12 slices of prosciutto, halved lengthwise
2 cups baby arugula leaves, washed
1 large fennel bulb, fronds removed, sliced in half lengthwise, each half thinly sliced, lengthwise
4 ounces Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese, thinly shaved
Freshly ground black pepper

Whisk oil, garlic, lemon juice and zest together in a small bowl.
Place one prosciutto slice on work surface, long side parallel to the edge. Place several arugula leaves at one end. Top with several fennel slices and a few shavings of cheese. Drizzle with a 1/2 teaspoon of the oil. Sprinkle with pepper. Starting at the filled end, roll up the prosciutto. Place seam-side down on a platter. Repeat with remaining slices. Brush the roll-ups with a little of the oil. (May be prepared up to 4 hours in advance. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature to serve.)

Strawberry Ricotta Bruschetta with Lemon and Arugula

Strawberries are not just for dessert. They are also stunning in salads, lending sweet acidity to the peppery earthiness of greens. In this case, strawberries are jumbled with arugula as a topping for bruschetta. Creamy, lemon flecked ricotta anchors the salad to the bread, while a balsamic vinaigrette dresses the dish. Hello Spring!

Strawberry Ricotta Bruschetta with Lemon and Arugula

Be sure to use a fresh ricotta for this recipe. A creamy, mild goat cheese may be used in place of the ricotta. Makes 2.

2 large strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 slices peasant or levain bread
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
1/4 cup fresh ricotta or mild goat cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup arugula leaves, washed and dried
Freshly ground black pepper

Toss the strawberries and balsamic vinegar together in a small bowl; set aside. Preheat oven broiler. Brush bread slices with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt. Broil in the oven until golden brown, turning once.
Smear the ricotta over the bread slices. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Pile arugula on the bruschetta. Remove the strawberries from the vinegar, shaking off excess liquid, and arrange over the arugula. Whisk 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt into the remaining vinegar. Drizzle over and around the bruschetta. Garnish with black pepper.

Spaghetti with Bacon, Breadcrumbs and Arugula

Spaghetti with Bacon, Breadcrumbs and Arugula

There are many ways to face the winter doldrums. You know, that time when there is a lull in season and activities. The bang of New Year has passed, and winter lays ahead, blustery, chilly and gray. Call it the post-holiday blues. Or, more optimistically, call it a clean slate. It’s all good. A little down time is healthy for us, offering a window to focus inward and reflect. It’s a priceless moment of stillness before the year accelerates in its usual fashion. Enjoy that moment and its simple pleasures. Listen to the silence of the snowfall, brew a pot of tea, walk the dog. And when you’re cooking, be sure to include bacon. Bacon always helps.

Spaghetti with Bacon and Arugula

Serves 4

12 ounces applewood smoked bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound perciatelli or spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese
3 cups arugula, washed and dried

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and sauté until fat is rendered and bacon is golden brown. Transfer with slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Discard all but one tablespoon fat. Add breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Sauté until breadcrumbs are golden. Transfer to a small bowl.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente; drain. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl.
While pasta is cooking, add one tablespoon olive oil to a clean skillet or saucepan. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add cream and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, 3-4 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to the cream. Pour cream over pasta. Add bacon, arugula and half of the cheese. Toss to combine. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and remaining cheese over pasta and briefly toss. Serve immediately.

Roasted Cauliflower and Tomato Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto and Arugula

Cauliflower Penne

This recipe was inspired by the contents of my refrigerator. It was a weeknight, I hadn’t shopped, and I wanted to make an easy and satisfying one-dish dinner. Pasta is always useful in this situation. With a little digging in the refrigerator I unearthed a cauliflower, prosciutto and arugula, while the cheese drawer disclosed a couple hunks of Parmgiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheese.

Further inspired by a Cooking Light recipe as well as a similar recipe from Simply Recipes, I decided to roast the cauliflower and tomatoes and toss them with the pasta. The roasting process softens and chars the cauliflower, adding a nice depth to the dish, while shriveling and intensifying the flavor of the tomatoes. From there I digressed, improvising with my other ingredients. I baked the prosciutto in the oven until it crisped, and snapped the pieces into salty shards. Then I combined the cooked pasta with the cauliflower, tomatoes and prosciutto before tossing in the arugula and tumbling everything together so that the heat from the pasta would slightly wilt the peppery arugula leaves. Finally I scattered the dish wth a mix of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheese. The result was a healthy, satisfying weeknight meal which could be served warm or at room temperature. Digging in the refrigerator is fun, and I highly recommend it.

Roasted Cauliflower and Tomato Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto and Arugula
Serves 4

1 medium head of cauliflower, broken into 1″ florets
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces sliced prosciutto
1 pound penne pasta
1 large garlic clove
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups arugula, washed and dried
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup Pecorino Romana cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F. (200 C.)
Arrange cauliflower and tomatoes in one layer on a baking sheet. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Roast in oven until cauliflower is tender and browned on the edges, about 20 minutes.
While the cauliflower is roasting, arrange prosciutto slices in one layer on another baking sheet. Place in same oven and bake for 20 minutes as well.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain. Combine pasta, cauliflower, tomatoes, garlic and black pepper in a large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Break prosciutto into shards. Scatter prosciutto and arugula over pasta and toss to combine. Combine the 2 cheeses in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over pasta and toss. Taste to see if more cheese is needed. Serve pasta with remaining cheese on the side.

Kitchen Table Philosophy

Ribeye Arugula Parmesan

Good friends have arrived from Denmark. We originally met 8 years ago when we lived near Copenhagen and had small children the same age at an international school. The first time we got together as families was for a meal in our home, and, since then, there has been no looking back. For the next 5 years we watched our children grow up while we shared many meals together. Our youngest daughters are still best friends, and I remember trying to first speak with their daughter who spoke no English at the time, and my Danish was very new. Instead, we tried to tickle each other, and we made each other laugh and our laughter was our shared language. My son and their eldest daughter are also the same age, and were young enough when they met that gender and differing language abilities were inconsequential, paling in contrast to their mutual obsessions with rocks, fossils and collecting creatures in tide pools.

It has been nearly 2 years since we last dined together, but I feel as though it was yesterday. As I prepare our dinner tonight – grilled ribeye steak with rosemary, arugula and parmesan – I feel as though a close family member has arrived, and I know exactly what to cook for them. I remember specific meals we shared and our conversations at the kitchen table, weaving around the food, the wine and the laughter, stretching late into the evening. I think how food is a universal language, a unifier and equalizer, creating traditions and strengthening friendships that last a lifetime.

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Rosemary, Arugula and ParmesanMay food

Serves 4-6

4 ribeye steaks
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 bunches arugula
Parmesan (parmigiano reggiano) shavings
Balsamic vinegar
Extra rosemary sprigs for garnish

At least 4 hours and up to one day in advance, place steaks in a bowl or container.  Rub with olive oil, garlic, rosemary.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove from refrigerator one hour before grilling and bring to room temperature.

Arrange steaks on prepared grill.  Grill turning once, approximately 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Place on cutting board, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes.

Arrange arugula on a large platter.  Cut steaks in 3/4 inch thick slices.  Place steaks over arugula.  Top with parmesan shavings.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Garnish with rosemary sprigs.