Tag Archives: olive oil

Red Light Green Light

There are TWELVE days of Christmas – all of you ever so eager to put those lights UP in November, don’t be in such a hurry to take them down – keep ‘em around at least until the 6th of January, the Feast of the Epiphany. That’s the day the Three Wise Guys, um, I mean Wise Men, finally get to the party. And let’s face it – January could use some low key good times, not to mention a little more light.

As for the red light….

Beets.

beetroot

Can’t beat them, so just enjoy them.

Last summer I used fresh tomatoes in salads and uncooked sauce for pasta. Once I found one recipe for uncooked tomato sauce, it seems as if there were thousands.

Or at least several.

Lidia!

lidia_bastianich_2014

Lidia Bastianich

Marian Morash!

vgcb

 

Total stranger from somewhere else!!

Newspapers and magazines…..

So when I got a new Italian cookbook (much of the Italian being American chefs in Italian restaurants…and the Italian cooking was restaurant cooking too.)

italian_intermezzo

 

AND

It came with music. To cook and dine with Italian music. The music was the deal-breaker.

As I was listening to Ciribiribin

– not to be confused with Chili Bean

 

I found yet another variation on the uncooked tomato sauce, but this one had a twist.

The variation called for beets.

RED LIGHT

That were cooked. For 1 1/2 hours.

Which is very different from uncooked. Or tomatoes.

So I really don’t know how this qualifies as a variation and not a whole new recipes.

BUT

I had beets….

GREEN LIGHT

So I scrubbed them, tossed them with a little olive oil and roasted them in a 350 oven for 90 or so minutes until they were tender.

I took them out of the oven and put some water on for the pasta…..

Alton Brown has embraced the cold water method for cooking pasta….

abeverydaycook

 

Cold water pasta is another post.

Anyhow,

While the pasta cooked

farfalle_pasta

Farfalle – butterflies!

I peeled the beets and cut them into a dice. Tossed with some olive oil wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Also some minced parsley and a little rosemary.

Added with the now cooked pasta and some ricotta, a 1/2 cup or so of the pasta water. Stir, taste, adjust, EAT.

It was pink…..and it was good.

It was NOTHING like the uncooked tomato sauce.

But it was delicious.

It was also good re-heated the next day.

 

 

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Filed under Books, Dinner, Italian, Recipe, winter

No Cook Cooking.

The no cook season has begun.

But there is no no eat season, only no eat hours here and there…..

It’s the heat I can’t stand, not the food

FNM070116_Rigatoni-with-No-Cook-Tomato-Sauce-recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

Food Network Magazine. Right now.

Rigatoni with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Rigatoni.  Tomatoes. Basil. Olive oil. Garlic.

If you need more instruction, follow the link. I’m off to get tomatoes and basil….

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/rigatoni-with-no-cook-tomato-sauce.html

FNM070116_Cover_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni18col.landscape

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Filed under Eating, Summer, Supper

Salad (in the) Day

 Once upon a time salad was leafy green….mostly that meant iceberg lettuce

iceberg lettuce Doleand tomatoes came in packets  – except when they came from the garden.

And salad dressing was a verb, what my mother did after the potatoes were mashed and before we had to wash our hands to sit down to supper,

The lettuce was ripped and put in the salad bowl, and then the tomatoes were cut on top. Cukes – peeled and sliced. Cut in half to make half moon or in quarters to make little triangles. Radishes – sliced and added but not always.

cuke3tomato

No fancy radishes - red on the outside and white on the inside radishes

No fancy radishes – red on the outside and white on the inside radishes

Not a lot of fancy ingredients – olives always got their own dish, croutons didn’t show up until the ’80’s – salad was salad and not much more.

Now do I remember the order of what comes next?????

Oil, a circle around, not too much. And not EVOO, this is before Rachael Ray. Our oil often had

Wessonality

wessonality

Toss.

Sprinkle the salt –

When it rains, it pours

When it rains, it pours

Sprinkle the pepper

pepper black tinSprinkle the dried basil

basil dried jar More tossing.

Wine vinegar – just a little.

Not balsamic, not artisan, not fancy

Not balsamic, not artisan, not fancy, salad was for supper not showing off.

Toss some more.

Put the bowl on the table, wash those hands and sit down at the table.

Things got fancier in the ’70’s…..

Good Seasons dressing

Good Seasons Dressing Mix – with cruet included

Up until a few minutes ago, I've been calling this Good Seasonings. Probably for decades.

Up until a few minutes ago, I’ve been calling this Good Seasonings Salad Dressing.

Good Seasons, of course was the gateway bottle to the Wishbone and Kraft and Kens Dressings that would flood the market – and our table – in the ’80’s…

To be continued……..

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Filed under Supper, The 1960"s, The 1970's

Carrot Tops

Carrot top was a phrase that confused me as a child. Why were redheads ‘carrot tops’ when it was pretty obvious that the tops of carrots were

GREEN

carrotAnd why doesn’t any one make a toy  top shaped like a carrot? They’re nearly ideal…..I did find carrot shaped furniture

Carrot Chest Punkin Patch Interiors

Carrot Chest Punkin Patch Interiors Is it just me or does this look like it could topple on these kids without warning?

Back to carrots.

So the carrots have been sitting in the fridge bin for about as long as they might and still be carrots and not compost.Time to make something.

I had a recipe note that I’ve been meaning to try. Recipe isn’t quite the right word.It cleans up to this:

Carrot and fresh Cranberry Slaw

Carrots – 4 cups

dried cranberries Fresh cranberries

Apple cider vinegar

oil

Fresh ginger

Shallot

Fennel – ¼ med bulb

I admit, even for me, this isn’t much to go on.I switched out fresh cranberries for the dried because  1) I like them better and 2)I also had some.

I was totally in love with the fresh ginger and the carrots together.

I had a shallot and this seemed like a good place to park it, ditto the dregs of a fennel bulb.

But it needed something more….

Trimmed and peeled the carrots and got out the handy dandy grater that I bought at Woolworth’s when I first moved out of the ancestral abode ever so many decades ago -sooo last century

The Woolworths is the little bity low down part towards the center

The Woolworths in Plymouth Center, several decades before I went shopping there.

cheese grater 4 sided

Grates more then cheese – stale bread for bread crumbs, carrots and cabbages for slaw, the occasional knuckle, ect.

Grate the carrot

Carrot, gratedAdd the cranberries….a couple of handfuls – I picked through them ( a good berry bounces) and rinsed and dried them first. Or used the dried cranberries.

Two or three handfuls should be enough

Two or three handfuls should be enough

Chop the shallot.

shallots are between onions and garlic in the taste spectrum. Substitute as you wish.

shallots are between onions and garlic in the taste spectrum. Substitute as you wish.

If you don’t have fennel you might use celery

This is also known as Florence Fennel - a little more anise then celery; good crunch, too.

This is also known as Florence Fennel – a little more anise then celery; good crunch, too.

Chop and add.Mix and mingle together Smelling good.

Cut and peel a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger. Avoiding cutting your thumb.Grate or chop finely and add.

This is more ginger then I used, but if you like things zingy

This is more ginger then I used, but if you like things zingy

Now for oil and vinegar…..apple cider vinegar is a good choice, and I had a bottle out.

apple cider vinegarAnd then I remembered….I had purchased flavored oil and vinegar from Omega Olive Oil at the Plymouth Farmers Market in the winter, but between the snow and the fire and the relocation I had forgotten….where are they now?

Blood Orange Oil and Ginger Balsamic Vinegar……now this bowl is singing good..

Sometimes it’s the little things that make something go from good to great.  These carrots were tops!

.

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Filed under Recipe, Summer

It’s snowing and it’s only the second of November…..snowMaybe it’s not THAT much snow, but it might as well be…I have my rain boots at the ready, my rain gear by the back door.

What is this SNOW???????? I’m not ready for snow before Thanksgiving.

Time to head back to the kitchen. Since I really don’t want to go to the store, what’s in the pantry for tonight?

Potatoes. Onions…if there are eggs in the fridge, I know what I’m-ma gonna do….

chicken w a cape on

The Little Chickie was so cold she had a cape on…but still, there are eggs!

Potato and Onion Frittata

¼ c olive oil

2 medium potatoes

4 medium onions

6 large eggs

¼ c grated Parmesan cheese

¼ tsp salt

Ground black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9” pie plate.
  2. Heat the oil in a large cast iron or nonstick frying pan. Peel and cut the potatoes into ½ cubes
  3. When the oil is hot but not smoking, fry the potatoes until golden and tender.
  4. Peel and dice the onions
  5. Remove the potatoes from the pan with a slotted spoon. Cook the onions about 15 minutes, stirring and tossing frequently until very tender. These aren’t caramelized onions, just very well done – more beige then dark brown, but meltingly soft.
  6. Beat the eggs with the salt and pepper and cheese.
  7. Add the potato and onions to the eggs.
  8. NOTE: Keep the onions and eggs in one bowl, the eggs and seasonings in another, cover and fridge for several hours before cooking. Bring out and mix together while the oven is preheating.
  9. Put mixture into pie plate and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Jeanne Lehman. Quick Vegetarian Pleasures:152.

simple vegg pleasur peaseWhich is all well and good, and I’ve made  plenty of fritattas this way, BUT as a single single (versus my single Mom days) I now make half as much and just keep it all on the stove, maybe listening to some NPR at the same time, or staring at the white board at the side of the fridge, writing down things as they flit through my head…

So

1 potato, peel it and cut it into a dice, or really thin slices. Fry in olive oil – the olive oil is part of the flavor. When it’s tender and golden, take those taters out and add in 2 onions, any kind, any color, sliced very, very thin or diced, cook them slowly in the oil, stirring them every now and again, keep it all moving along. By now you’ve already checked around the fridge – any leftover bits that might be nice – but only bitty bits in the fritatta for one.  A slice of ham, one piece of bacon, a stalk of broccoli. Or not.

Beat 3 eggs, add some salt and pepper, maybe a pinch of smoked paprika or a pinch tarragon….by now you know what you’re hungry for. Add the potato to the eggs, add the onions to the potato, and if you want some cheese in it, now the time. If the bottom of the pan is still slick you’re good, or add another drop or two of oil to it. Put the egg mixture in the pan, keep it at medium and shake it about a bit to get the eggy parts to the bottom to cook, and to keep it from sticking.  Put a lid on it, and don’t go too far away….10 or so should do it. Slide it out to your plate, and sit at a table, preferably one with a view (if you don’t have a view, get flowers) and enjoy.

Clara Peeters - flowers, good; mouse, optional

Clara Peeters – flowers, good; mouse, optional

It’s still snowing…….

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Filed under 1990's, Autumn, Recipe

Feast!

A Mediterranean Feast
Clifford A. Wright. William Morrow and Co, Inc. 1999.

 

Travel, travel back in time to February  2001.

med-feast
Price: $35

A price generally out of my range (under $10) for books I wanted for no good reason they …booklust.

BUT –  Waldenbooks sent me a birthday gift coupon.waldenbooks

Thank you Waldenbooks, even though my patronage couldn’t keep you in the black…

Walden books also sent me a  5 buck certificate because of my Christmas spending – books being an Aunties best gift.

Soo – I went birthday shopping for me to Waldenbook.  I took a really long time trying to figure out the best bang for my meager buck. The woman working that night knew me – my son and I were regulars. When I finally decided I would spend the money and buy the book I really, really for no logical reason wanted , I heighed me ho to the counter.

Put down the book.

Put down the 5 buck certificate.

Put down the Birthday coupon.

Put down my credit card.

She looked at the stack. Asked me when my birthday was…then she said she was going to give me a frequent customer discount…… total cost :

$1.50.

Happy Birthday to me!

It was a Thursday night…..and I had Fridays off, so after the boy was tucked into bed I started reading.

Introduction
XVIII
“ As you read the book, I hope that you will let it inform your culinary thinking, your sense of history, but I hope you will also cook from it. This is the whole point of the book: to cook the food. ….. If you are not a cook or are not a confident cook, taste an olive, read a little, and you will start to tackle the simpler recipes and perhaps gain what the Arabs call al-nafas , the culinary equivalent of the gardener’s green thumb.”

Oh, yes this was such a good choice….Oh, Clifford Wright! Clifford_Headshot 2012REZ

Part 1: The Algebra of Mediterranean Gastronomy
Chapter 1 “The Historical Foundation of Mediterranean Gastronomy”

On page 3 there is a  cabbage soup recipe…but it called for 2 cabbages – red and green, as well as pancetta and prosciutto, but also beans and potatoes, a real kitchen sink sort of soup. I have made this since then, but not the first night I read the book.
Page 15   this recipe…

L’ollanda (Roussillon)

This is essentially old fashioned endless stew (from the Old French aeuller, to replenish. Among the ingredients is ¾ of a pound of Savoy cabbage. I thought “I have a half of cabbage in the fridge”….so I got up and made sure.
Bean, leek, thyme – I put them on the table. One pound of potatoes – weighed out and also on the table. Cabbage – still in the fridge and fit to go. I picked through my small white beans and put ¼ pound of them on to soak.
In the morning, it being my day off, after I drank my coffee, I put the beans in my soup pot with 6 quarts of water, some dried thyme and a 2 bay leaves (they were small) and brought it to a boil.
I was lugging the book, all 800 plus pages of it around the kitchen, checking the recipe, which was simplicity itself, while also reading ahead.
While the beans simmered, I took the last large leek, a good sized chunk of salt pork (it calls for 6 ounces and this piece was close enough for horseshoes) cut them all to a dice and added to the beans at the one hour mark. I usually brown leeks and salt pork, but once begun….The directions warn you not to wander away because you need to stir occasionally, and I thought of how thoughtful Mr. Wright was….and took out some olives to snack on…..
I sliced the cabbage and peeled and diced the potatoes so that they were ready to add ½ hour after the leek went in. Tasted for seasoning, add lots of pepper and some salt, then the cabbage and potatoes.
10 or 15 minutes later all was tender and good. This is the part to add some goose of duck fat, which is not an uncommon grease to find in my fridge….some people collect Hummels, I collect grease. What, I should pour it down the drain? Anyhow, if it wasn’t fowl fat, it was some olive oil that I floated on top. Cabbage, like it’s turnip cousin, really needs to served well lubricated.
And thus, lunch was served.
With leftovers for lunch throughout the week.

Vincenco Campi Cucina

Vincenco Campi , Cucina, p. 359

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Filed under Birthday, Books, Recipe

The Tomatoes of Summer

This is the season for tomatoes in Plymouth County. Tomatoes season begins in the D0g Days and last until the first good frost. This is when I eat fresh tomatoes, when they’re local and juicy and unrefrigerated . Unless they’ve been dried or put into a can, the lovely tomato just does not travel well.

Fresh fresh fresh

Fresh fresh fresh

Going to the AWARD WINNING Plymouth Farmer’s Market to get me some ‘matersmusic

There are  plenty of ways to eat fresh, JUICY tomatoes that aren’t really recipes

Out of hand, out of doors with a hose nearby ….

Sink sandwich – sliced, on bread with some mayo, a little salt and pepper – over the sink….even better if you call it a sammiches (but just don’t go to ‘sammy‘ please)

Cut into slices and put with anything else on your plate

Cut into wedges with a little oil and vinegar

or add a little fresh basil to those wedges

or add a little cheese – almost any sort – to those wedges

Sing tomato songs….

Tomato Songs from Red Beet Records in Nashville

Tomato Songs from Red Beet Records in Nashville

tomato-songs

 

But since the season also bring bulk tomatoes, cooking with the fresh fruit (and it is a fruit) is also an option.

Red Gravy d’Estate (for summer)

2 # fresh plum tomatoes

¼ pound butter

1 med yellow onion – not a Vidalia, just a regular ole onion, peeled and cut in half

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon sugar

  1. Wash the tomatoes in cold water. Dry.
  2. Cut them in half lengthwise. Put them in a covered pan, bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Run them through a food mill or strain them through a fine mesh colander. Put the puree back in the pan.
  4. Add the butter, the halfed onion salt and sugar.
  5. Cook at a low simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  6. Taste and correct for salt; discard onion.( I save it for frittata)
  7. Serve over spaghetti.

Marcella Hazan. The Classic Italian Cookbook. Ballantine Books, (1973) 1984. p. 91.

Classic Italian cb

Marcella and Victor Hazan

Marcella and Victor Hazan

Since I started writing this post, edibleSouth Shore and South Coast have set up a workshop for, you guessed it, Tomato Sauce. I’ll let you know how goes….

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Filed under Books, Eating, Influencers, The 1980's

Summertime Kitchen Sink Salads

One notably hot summer – as if we have other then notably hot summers – our suppers consisted of Salads, Sandwiches and Smoothies. It was a “there’s already enough heat in the kitchen, who has any appetite to anything big in this heat anyhow?” summer.

But I never made a salad in a jar. Nor am I about to now. Salad dressing in jar, yes. Salad outside the jar.

Now, IF (when) I’m in the checkout line for far toooooo long, the magazines that line the counter seem more and more interesting. This can lead to some buyer’s remorse. And so the other day I ended up with….a magazine I looked at the next day and said, “I spent CASH MONEY on this hooey?”.

Being summer there was a story on salads, but not any salads:

MEALS IN MASON JARS

This is a Strawberry Pecan Salad

This is a Strawberry Pecan Salad. In a Mason Jar. and although I haven’t mentioned the name of the periodical, they’ve included a photo credit, bless their heart.

You may remember where I stand on the Mason Jar as food service ware. Shark jumped.

fonzie jumps the shark ill

So, what exactly IS a Mason Jar?

The Mason jar was invented and patented in 1858 by Philadelphia tinsmith John Landis Mason[1][2] (1832-1902). Among other common names for them are Ball jars,[3] after Ball Corporation, an early and prolific manufacturer of the jars; fruit jars for a common content; and simply glass canning jars reflecting their material. Wiki

And now for a salad to eat out of a bowl or a plate…..the Summertime Salad.

Take greens, wash them well, add fruit, veggies, nuts, herbs, maybe some cooked beans or hard boiled eggs or even some cheese, leftover cooked macaroni, stale bread bits…. literally everything BUT the kitchen sink  – top with a dressing.

You can get these things from your garden or the Farmer’s Market or even the regular ole grocery store. This can be your lunch, your dinner or your supper. It can expand to serve from one person feeling peckish in the heat to a good sized hungry crowd. This isn’t as much as a recipe as permission to eat the things you like in whatever combination you think would be tasty. The dressing brings it all together.

 

  Goddess Dressing, Neo-Green:

½ total cup rough chopped fresh dill, basil and/ or parsley (or whatever combo you’d like or happen to have on hand – add up to another 1/4 cup if you like it greener)

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 Tablespoon grainy mustard

½ cup plain yoghurt

½ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (1/2 a large lemon)

Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

  1. In a blender (or food processor) combine the herbs, garlic, mustard, and yoghurt and process until well blended.
  2. With the machine still running, add the olive oil in a steady stream.
  3. Add lemon juice and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper .
  4. Put on the salad…you already figured that part out, right?

Adapted from Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby. Lettuce in Your Kitchen. William Morrow and Co, NY. 1996. pp. 138-9.

Lettuce in your kitchen

I may have initially gotten this book just for the great title. It’s a really great salad primer, as it turns out.

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Filed under Books, Eating, Recipe

Beer Pizza, Honey

 

More hunny, Rabbit?

More hunny, Rabbit?

Another beer pizza, one that also has honey it. I’ve only recently started putting sugar 0r in this case, honey, in my pizza doughs. Not enough to alter the flavor so much, but to encourage better browning, which also makes it a little crisper.

Beer Pizza Dough with Honey

1 (¼-oz.) package active dry yeast
¾ cup warm beer with 1/4 cup water (the liquid should equal a cup – depending on your beer it could be 1/2 and 1/2 or even all beer)

1 tsp. honey

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil plus more for the bowl

1 tsp.  salt

3 cups bread flour, plus more as needed

12 minutes at 500

  1. Mix the yeast with the beer in a small bowl. Let get all good and frothy – 5-15 minutes.
  2. Add the honey, the olive oil and the salt.
  3. Put the flour in a large bowl. Add the liquid mixture. Mix it all together until it’s dough.
  4. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until it’s tight and as as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
  5. Wash out and oil the bowl, put the dough back in and turn so all sides are slick and less likely to get crusty (crusty – good in pizza, bad in dough).
  6. Let rise 1-2 hours  OR
  7. Put in the fridge overnight and up to 2 days. Bring to room temp (1 -2 hours depending on your room) before continuing. Whatever works for your schedule.
  8. Preheat the oven to 500° F.
  9. Divide the dough into 4 parts for 4 12″ pizzas ( or more or fewer, depending on your final product. I’ve been making fewer, smaller pizzas and keeping the ‘leftover’ dough in the freezer for the next pizza meal.)
  10. Roll the dough or stretch or pat it – you should be developing a technique all your own by now….
  11. Top and bake Here’s the link to the Six Onion Pizza from Saveur that the dough came from.

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Filed under Influencers, Pizza, Recipe

Beer Pizza Pronto

Pizza and Beer are a pretty good combination.

Grolsch Beer  - Dutch beer from a brewery founded in 1615 - a little history in a little bottle

Grolsch Beer – Dutch beer from a brewery founded in 1615 – a little bottle of history.

Pizza without sauce...sometimes known as white pizza or pizza bianca

Pizza without sauce…sometimes known as white pizza or pizza bianc0

So beer IN the pizza….pure genius!

This is a dough that can be made in a hurry, mostly with pantry/fridge ingredients, so also easy to do on the spur of the moment.

BEER PIZZA PRONTO

3 cups AP flour, plus more for the board
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 12 oz beer, bottle or can, light or dark, whatever your purse and palate allow in the house
Olive oil
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese (not the fresh; the supermarket kind. Even the pre-grated packaged stuff would work here; depending on your topping, the pre-grated ‘cheddar’ stuff could also be good – let your taste buds decide)
Assorted toppings – you know what you like – or what you have…
1. Pre heat oven to 450°
2. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with olive oil; put aside.
3. Spread flour on your work surface – give yourself enough swing room if you’re using a rolling pin.
4. Open the beer (If it’s been a rough day, open 2 – one for the pizza and one for the cook. Put the Cook beer out of swing range of the pizza dough prep – if you spill it, angels will weep. They just don’t like messy kitchens)
5. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder. I use a whisk.
6. Pour in the beer, mix well. This will form a sticky lump.
7. Dump it out on the floured work surface. Roll it in the flour until it’s not so sticky and knead it a time or two to form a ball. A Bench knife is your friend. Divide to make 2 balls.
8. Place one ball on each greased baking sheet and pat, pull and otherwise coax with your impeccably clean hands the dough into a 11-12” circle (oil your hands if the dough gets sticky ) OR
9. Roll each ball to an 11-12” circle and place on the greased baking sheet.
10. Sprinkle 1 ½ cups of the grated cheese on top of each, and top with topping – remember, this is quick and easy, so don’t over load. Make a salad or an antipasto to serve WITH the pizza with all the cool stuff you’ve found kicking around your fridge and pantry instead of piling it all on this pizza. This is a quick dough, not a sturdy one. Cheese, one topping. IF you need some tomato sauce, very little, merest, tiniest  smidge – or use the sauce to dip……you are eating outside the box, after all!
11. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown top and bottom.

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin. Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. Quill. 1998. p. 137.

Simple Veg Pleasures

Jeanne Lemlin

Jeanne Lemlin

 

 

 

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Filed under Pizza, Recipe, Uncategorized