Tag Archives: red onions

Orange, Olive and Onion Pizza

After having such success with my very first homemade pizza Friday night, I decided to branch out a little with the second one!  The recipe for pizza dough from Linda at Savoring Every Bite makes two pizzas.  For the second one, a few nights later, I couldn’t help but remember the orange salad I made the other day.  The sweet, flavorful oranges mixed with thinly sliced red onion and salty green olives was so tasty I thought it should be made into a pizza!  Who knows, perhaps it will become a classic!

After preparing the dough according to Linda’s recipe, add some shredded mozzarella and pecorino romano cheeses.  Peel two large oranges with a sharp knife, leaving no pith.  Slice and add to the pizza.  Add a generous handful of roughly chopped large green olives and some thinly sliced red onion.  I added just a bit more of the pecorino.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 18 to 20 minutes.  A very different taste for a pizza, but one I think you will enjoy!  Ritchey loved it – and so did my sister!

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Oranges, Onion and Olive Salad

Doesn’t this look like a luscious and healthy way to start the new year?  Yes, all those holiday meals and desserts were tasty and enjoyed by all – but now is the time to start thinking a little leaner and a little healthier!  It doesn’t hurt anyone to eat light now and then (I can hear the boos coming from a few of you!)!

I met Kate at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  She is one very busy little person!  She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kentucky on the 16th, works full-time as a Fellowship Officer in the Graduate School at the university, and works part-time with a young autistic boy – among other things!  This was her one week off and I was very happy to have an afternoon with her!  Kate was running a tad late – and that gave me more time than I needed in the cookbook section!  I found Essentials of Mediterranean Cooking – a Williams-Sonoma book – and just had to have it.  After spending a little time with this book, I found recipes I just had to make!  Such as this one!

I love oranges – so sweet, so good – so good for you!  Believe it or not, olives were not on my favorites list.  But a little encouragement from Ritchey and I have fallen in love – well, with them both!  And the red onion added with the other two main ingredients just gives a super combination of flavors!  The dressing is not overpowering, but the hint of cinnamon truly makes this a Mediterranean dish!  I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did tonight!

Oranges, Onion and Olive Salad

  • 4 navel oranges
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup olives, quartered and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Using a sharp knife, cut a slice off both ends of each orange to reveal the flesh.  Place the orange upright on the cutting board and, using the knife, cut downward to remove the peel and pith, following the contour of the fruit.  Cut each orange crosswise into slices 1/2 inch thick.

Arrange the orange slices on a serving platter, overlapping them slightly to cover the plate nicely.  Separate and scatter the onion slices over the top.

To make the dressing, add the orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Whisk until blended.  Whisk in the olive oil.

Scatter the olives over the orange slices and drizzle with the dressing.  Let sit at cool room temperature for 10-15 minutes to blend the flavors.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.  Enjoy!

An Easy and Delicious Way to Eat Your Spinach!

Getting home at 8:00 p.m. is not the ideal time to start supper, but with a quick and easy meal you can have everything ready in a flash!  More to the point this is a meal that is not only high in iron and one of the world’s healthiest foods, but is among the tastiest!  And nothing could be easier!

Wilted Spinach

Saute a large, chopped red onion in a drizzle of olive oil for a few minutes until it starts to soften.  Add two cloves of garlic, finely chopped.  Add a handful of pine nuts and one of golden raisins.  Stir and cook for one minute.  Add a large bag of spinach and cook just until wilted, stirring occasionally.  Crumble some blue cheese over the top and remove skillet from stove, allowing the cheese to partially melt.  The spinach was served with leftover mashed potatoes fried into cakes.  So quick, so easy, so good!  Enjoy!

Winter Panzanella

Winter Panzanella

This panzanella is my favorite salad – strange words coming from a woman who loves her heirloom tomatoes!  But the flavor combinations in this salad, with the slightly warm butternut squash and Brussel sprouts, put this one over the top!  There are three preparational steps for this recipe before adding it all together into one bowl of utter goodness!  We use this as an entree – which makes it perfect for a vegetarian!  This is based on Michael Chiarello’s Winter Panzanella – with a few tweaks!  I love to watch that man cook!

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 pound Brussel sprouts, with ends trimmed, and halved
  • olive oil
  • small handful of sage
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 small loaf sourdough bread, cut into cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Pecorino cheese
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  On a large baking sheet add the butternut squash and Brussel sprouts.  Drizzle with olive oil, sage, sea salt and black pepper.  Using your hands, combine thoroughly.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.  Let cool.

In a measuring cup add the onion and champagne vinegar and soak for 15 minutes.  Just before adding to salad, whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil and a little salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook for one minute, watch garlic – do not let it burn.  Add bread cubes and stir to coat with the butter mixture.  Transfer to a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with Pecorino cheese.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring one or twice.

In a large bowl add walnuts and cranberries.  Add croutons, vegetables and onions.  Carefully mix.  Serve immediately and enjoy!  Much better when the vegetables are slightly warm, but also good served cold for lunch the next day – if there are leftovers!

A ‘Never Frozen’ Chicken Pot Pie!

It’s another leftover supper tonight!  A bit of chicken from Sunday supper.  A few green beans, carrots, potatoes and red onions cooked together.  This will make a delightful chicken pot pie!

Since the potatoes were few and far between I added an extra one to the pot.  My last two leeks went into the dish – oh how we will miss them until next season!  A handful of fresh dill, just a bit of added salt and pepper.  Lastly, half a cup of white wine with two teaspoons corn starch, whisked together.  All that was needed was a luscious pie crust!

Pie crust sounds daunting, but is very easy.  Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking powder in your mixer (or food processor – either will do!).  Mix just a moment to combine dry ingredients.  Add 1 stick butter cut into small pieces.  Mix until butter is about the size of small peas.  Add 5 to 6 tablespoons ice water, one at a time, until a moist clump forms.  Gather dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes.  At that time take half the dough and roll out for your bottom crust.  Arrange in dish.  Roll out top crust.  Add chicken mixture to dish and cover with top crust.  Using 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water beaten together, brush on top crust.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Enjoy!

Today I present to you my 125th post for Food Flowers Herbs and Life!  And I also present my 350th post for Kentucky Kindred – my genealogy blog, for those of you who have not heard of my other love!

Divine Round Steak

Ritchey and Linton returned last night from a three-day camping trip.  They had a great time – hiked 11 miles up the mountain one day!  There was no one to cook for so I relaxed for a few days!  Tonight I wanted something good and nourishing – and found a couple of round steaks in the freezer.

I also had bags of frozen cherry tomatoes.  Now, what could I do with the two?  The tomatoes I put in a pan over low heat and let them thaw – added a little salt, pepper, basil and thyme.  Using my immersion blender I whisked it into a tomato sauce and let it cook on low until thickened.

In a large skillet I sauteed chopped red onion, garlic and green pepper in a little olive oil – and added a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  When the onions were translucent, I removed them to a bowl.

To the same skillet I added a little more olive oil and browned the steaks on both sides.  Since they were rather large, I browned them separately.

I added just a bit of the tomato sauce mixture in the skillet first, arranged the steaks on top, then poured the rest of the sauce over the steaks.  The red onions, garlic and green peppers were placed on top.  I covered the skillet, turned the heat to low and let it simmer until the steak was fork tender – about 30-40 minutes.  Basmati rice is my favorite!  I seasoned it with lime zest and used it as the bed for the presentation of the steak and sauce.  It was a homecoming supper!  After all, I couldn’t let Ritchey get too used to cooking for himself now, could I?  I might be out of a job!  Enjoy!

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Note by Phyllis Brown:  This wasn’t what I intended to have for supper tonight, but when I checked the fridge I decided to make something from what I had on hand – I hate to waste food!  There were lovely peppers – green, red, yellow and orange – zucchini, yellow squash and the usual onions, tomatoes and carrots.  One lone cucumber was in among everything else.  So I opted for stuffed peppers and a tomato, cuke and onion salad.  Nothing especially fancy, but Ritchey thought it was pretty good!  He’s my faithful tester – who has eaten everything through the years.  In the early days when something burned, he still ate it.  If it didn’t work out quite right, he still ate it.  Rather like my dad when I made my first cake.  I was a little over-anxious and took it out too soon.  The middle was a pile of mush – but Dad ate the outer part and declared it good!

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 small carrots, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 small yellow squash, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • small handful Herbs de Provence
  • 5 peppers – choose your colors!
  • 2 cups very small bread cubes (I used some of the Olive Bread from Sunday)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, cored, peeled and roughly chopped

Cut the tops off the peppers, but keep.  Remove seeds and pulp.  Place in a deep oven-proof dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat add a good drizzle of olive oil, the red onion and the carrots.  Saute for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the squash and zucchini and continue to cook for three or four minutes.  Add salt, pepper and the Herbs de Provence.

While your vegetables are cooking, in another skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the chopped garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Swirl the butter and garlic in the skillet several times to keep garlic from overcooking.  Remove from heat and add dill and bread cubes.  Stir to coat all bread cubes with the butter mixture.

Remove large skillet from heat.  Add the tomatoes and bread cubes.  Mix well.  Spoon mixture into peppers.

Place tops on peppers, or if your dish is not deep enough (as mine was not) place beside peppers to cook – and add tops on at the end.  Drizzle olive oil over your peppers and into the dish.  Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Fresh Pasta Sauce

Note by Phyllis Brown:  With all the lovely tomatoes on hand I wanted to make a fresh pasta sauce tonight.  I started with chopped red onion, garlic and green pepper in my skillet.

My tomatoes were at least a pound and a half each – I used three.  They were juicy and very red.  Twelve yellow pear tomatoes added color.

There was one small zucchini on the vine – it was added to the skillet along with oregano and basil.

I could have eaten it just like this!  But I wanted a more traditional sauce tonight and let it cook for about 45  minutes with this result:

Fresh Pasta Sauce

  • olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large green pepper, chopped
  • 3 very large red tomatoes, peeled, cored and roughly chopped, reserving juice
  • 12 yellow pear tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small zucchini cut in half and sliced
  • sugar
  • basil
  • oregano
  • 1 pound pasta
  • Feta cheese
  • fresh basil

Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute for five minutes, adding a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Add garlic and green pepper, cooking for another few minutes.  Add the tomatoes and zucchini.  Bring to a boil and turn the heat to medium.  Add a handful each of dried oregano and basil and a good pinch of sugar.  Stir.  Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Cook for about 45 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Top pasta with sauce, Feta cheese and freshly chopped basil.  Enjoy!

Tomatoes By The Pounds!

Tomatoes, Tomatoes and More Tomatoes!

Sunday was a great day for tomato-picking!  As you can see by the photo above we had all we could handle getting into the house with them!  The smallest of these tomatoes is larger than my fist and at least 1/2 pound.  The largest was over two pounds!  Being the inquisitive folk we are, we had to weigh each tomato and tally up to get an idea of our bounty.  13 1/2 pounds of tomatoes!  In one day!  These are from two plants.  I believe they are German Johnson’s but since Ritchey did the planting I’m not sure.  Let’s just say the tomato dishes will flow for the next several days!  And this does not include the many yellow pear tomatoes we picked!  Ah, summertime and tomatoes!  What could be better!

My sister spent the day with me today, and when I asked, said she would rather have dinner here than at a restaurant.  That’s the greatest praise I could ever have!  We didn’t want to spend all our time cooking so we decided on a simple pasta dish.  We made a tomato salad from a post the other day, cooked a pound of angel hair spaghetti and were ready to dish.  We put chunks of mozzarella in the bottom of the dish, added the hot pasta on top to melt just a bit, then topped it with lots of the salad made with juicy tomato chunks, halved yellow pear tomatoes, cubed cucumbers, red onions, and a splash of champagne vinegar and olive oil.  A sprinkle of Gruyere and a little dill tops it off.  Nothing too hot for a day that was intensely warm outside!  A good glass of red wine and hearty bread and we were ready to eat!

Guest Chef!

Note by Phyllis Brown:  Today is Guest Chef Day!  Introducing my husband, Ritchey, omelet maker extraordinaire!  Honestly, I have never had an omelet in a restaurant – or made by anyone else – as good as his!  He begins by preparing all his ingredients in little piles on the chopping board.  For each omelet he uses two eggs and a little water, lightly beaten.  The ingredients listed are what he used today, but each omelet is unique.  Today was extra special since we used the first green pepper from our garden!  We have used mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, turkey, different cheeses and different herbs – among other things.  Ah, and the aromas while it is cooking!  Today we had the Raisin Brown Bread I made yesterday with our omelets.  Now, isn’t your mouth watering?

Extraordinary Omelet

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • black forest ham, cut into small pieces
  • green pepper, chopped
  • red onion, chopped
  • cheddar cheese, shredded
  • lorraine swiss cheese, cut into small pieces
  • dill, chopped
  • rosemary, chopped
  • thyme, chopped

In a small bowl mix eggs and water.  Add salt and pepper and a little of each herb.  Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add egg mixture.  Watch carefully and run spatula under omelet to let air out – as you see air pockets form.  When set on bottom carefully turn omelet.  Turn heat under skillet down to medium.

Add ingredients one at a time, including more herbs, sprinkling over one half of the omelet.  When bottom of omelet is set carefully fold over the half that is just egg.  Use a spatula and a turner.

Add a little extra cheese on top, wait just a bit and flip.  Put cheese on top and flip again and serve!  Enjoy!