Can you believe the end of March is almost here? I feel like it was January, I blinked, and here we are!…
Can you believe the end of March is almost here? I feel like it was January, I blinked, and here we are!…
Balance. It’s what we all strive for (or should strive for) with eating. In the dark depths of winter, this can be rather challenging. A cold green smoothie just hasn’t been cutting it these past couple months. Salad for dinner has been happening…well…it hasn’t been happening at all. Maybe for lunch. But not for dinner…after the sun has prematurely set and the bone-chilling cold sets in at full force.
All I want to do these days, as we work our way through freezing temperatures, icy streets, and another snowstorm, is curl up on the couch with a large serving of something warm, heavy, and nap inducing. Given that it’s March and we’re already in our fourth month of crazy cold temperatures, this sort of thing has been happening more often than I’d like to admit.
So, to make this luscious cheese and prosciutto pizza seem a little more BALANCED, I throw an arugula salad on top. And then top said salad with more cheese. Womp womp. Oh well, at least I tried!
This pizza is like one that you may see at your local Italian pizza joints. I find that most places in my area have some version of a white pizza with fresh arugula on top on their menus. It’s a go to for me, and it never disappoints.
My version starts with a ball of purchased pizza dough. Yes, STORE BOUGHT. Ever since I had the baby, making my own pizza dough hasn’t been high on the priority list. If you want to make your own, though, feel free (here’s my go-to at-home recipe). You earn extra points. Anyway, I roll the dough out super thin and top it with some of my most favorite melty cheeses: fontina and mozzarella. Then, for added punch, I sprinkle on some sharp pecorino romano cheese and thinly sliced red onion. It gets baked until it is toasty and melty and glorious.
Once it comes out of the oven, I layer on the sexiest ham on earth (yes, I just called ham “sexy”): prosciutto. Thin, buttery ribbons of yummy. That’s what I think of when I see/eat prosciutto. It adds the perfect saltiness and luxury to any ol’ pizza.
THEN, I top the whole thing with baby arugula simply dressed with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of sugar for balance (there I go, using that word again). The final touch is a few (read: many) shavings of Parmesan cheese over the top. And voila! You’ve got a killer pizza-and-salad meal all in one.
Whether you’re looking for more balance or just a damn good meal, this pizza is for you.
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 (1-lb) ball of pizza dough
½ cup shredded Pecorino cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded Fontina cheese
½ of a red onion, sliced very thin
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of sugar
6 cups baby arugula
6 slices of Prosciutto
Shaved parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 475°F and place a pizza stone (if using) on the middle rack. Roll the dough out to desired thickness and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a pizza peel lined with cornmeal. If not using a pizza stone, liberally oil a baking sheet and place the rolled out dough on the sheet.
Mix the cheeses and the lemon zest together in a bowl. Layer the cheeses and red onion slices all over the top of the pizza. Transfer the dough to the pizza stone and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the bottom is crispy and golden and the cheeses have melted.
While the pizza is baking, toss the arugula with the lemon juice, olive oil, pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper. Remove the pizza from the oven and immediately top with the sliced prosciutto and the dressed arugula. Top with parmesan shavings, slice, and serve immediately.
Figs are such a treat this time of year. I rarely find “good” figs at the stores around here, and when I do, I have to resist all urges to sink my teeth into them on the spot.
Because they are such a rarity, I try to use them simply, in ways that only highlight their lovely sweetness. These crostini are probably one of the best uses of figs I’ve ever come up with. They’re quick, easy, and definitely highlight the special ingredients.
We are still in the midst of our kitchen renovation, which unfortunately, has turned into a massive project affecting far more than just our kitchen (to name a few affected areas: my sanity and stress level). I have basically cried 495358 times over various renovation issues (I even drove around sobbing one Saturday morning for like a half hour…pregnancy hormones are in full effect!). It’s a long story…perhaps one that I’ll share one day…but for now, just know that I’m doing my best to still provide interesting recipes on this site, despite having only a fridge and a microwave to my name at the moment.
Oh, and a grill. The grill has been a lifesaver. We’ve been doing tons of grilled meats and veggies each week (one of my favs being this grilled corn salad), and grilled bread has become a staple in my life (it’s a must-have side to every salad I consume these days). I think it’s one of the best way to consume carbs. And that’s really saying something. I’m trying to grill as much bread as possible before the weather turns in the fall. I’m such a wimp about grilling in any weather cooler than 50 degrees. We even got adventurous this past weekend and tried this skillet cheese on the grill. It would have worked like a charm had we not walked away from it momentarily and completely charred the bottom of the cheese. Sad face. We’re figuring it out, though!
This appetizer comes together so quickly. The only cooking you really have to do is to grill the bread, which I clearly think is both amazing and necessary. Everything else is ready straight from the fridge or pantry. It’s perfect for summer, and perfect for those going through a kitchen hiatus lasting doubly as long as it was supposed to. Heh.
Between the smoky bread, insanely creamy burrata cheese, salty prosciutto, and sweet figs…these little bites are pure heaven (and have managed to keep my hormonal sobs at bay…for now)!
Grilled Crostini with Burrata, Figs, & Prosciutto (makes 4 servings)
6-8 slices sourdough bread
1 garlic clove, halved
1 cup baby arugula
1 (8-oz) ball of burrata cheese, sliced
2-3 fresh figs, sliced
4 oz sliced prosciutto
1. Preheat the grill to medium and drizzle the sliced bread with olive oil on both sides. Place the bread on the hot grill and cook for a couple minutes per side, until slightly charred and toasted. Remove from grill, and while still warm, rub the bread with the halved garlic.
2. Top the bread slices with the arugula, prosciutto, burrata, figs, a drizzle of honey, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Season with salt and pepper. Serve!
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share a recipe for risotto. I’m in L-O-V-E with the stuff.
I also can’t believe we’re more than halfway through January already! What is happening!?! Time is FAH-LYING by these days. I don’t like it. Not one bit. I mean, I am not the biggest fan of January, generally speaking. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, it’s just a dreary, dull month full of post-holiday gloom. So I’m happy that it isn’t dragging on…but jeez! I can’t believe Christmas was already 3.5 weeks ago! What the what!
I can blame this mostly on work. It has been a whirlwind lately, which is wonderful in some ways and a curse in others. The workweeks have been flying by, which is great, but before I can catch my breath – it’s Friday again! I know, I know. Who complains about it being Friday?! I guess I just feel like time is going too fast, and I don’t have time to process it. It’s overwhelming. At least this weekend is a three-day one for me. Maybe that will help.
Anyway. Back to the risotto…
It’s perfect for when you need some rejuvenation (or soothing because you are getting old and time is going by too fast. Ahem). Risotto is one of my most favorite things to eat and make. It’s a default for me when I get in a cooking rut. It’s warm, creamy, and comforting and can be customized to your tastes/desires in countless ways. Plus, people tend to think it’s impressive…but…shh…it’s actually pretty easy to make! It takes some patience (not one of my strong suits), but the technique is pretty straightforward. And the result is totally delectable.
This rendition has the sweetness of pears, the saltiness of prosciutto, and the warmth of sage. It’s incredibly complex in flavor…but simple at the same time. These flavors just GO together. The key to making great risotto is to keep it simple. Pick ingredients that pair together nicely. And put on your Patience Pants. Seriously. Mine always seem to be dirty in the hamper….or just flat-out missing. But they are a requirement when making risotto. Sigh.
Start by sautéing onion/garlic/shallot/etc. in butter. Add your rice (short-grain rice is best) and allow it to toast for a bit. Add some wine. And then slowly (SLOOOOOOWWWWLLLYYYY) add WARM chicken or veggie broth to the pot. Let it incorporate and then add more. Keep going until the rice is soft and the mixture is thickened and creamy. Grate in some cheese, throw in whatever else your heart desires, and voilà! You’ve got risotto.
See? It’s not that complicated. Just takes some time. Hence the Patience Pants.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go reheat a bowl of this for breakfast. Yes. Breakfast…followed by a full day of medical editing. At least it’s Friday. Again.
Pear Risotto with Crispy Prosciutto & Fried Sage (makes 4 servings)
6 slices of prosciutto
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
6-8 large sage leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 pears, peeled and finely diced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warmed
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Grated parmesan cheese (I used about 1 cup)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Lay the slices of prosciutto flat on the sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the prosciutto is beginning to crisp. Remove from oven. The prosciutto will continue to crisp as it cools. Break up the crispy prosciutto with your hands and reserve.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter together in a pot or deep-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the whole sages leaves and cook until fragrant and crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pot and reserve.
3. To the same pot, add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, chopped sage, and rice. Stir to coat the rice in the oil and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until mostly absorbed. Add in the pears and sugar. It’s also a good time to add a hefty pinch each of salt and pepper.
4. Add ⅓ cup of the warm broth and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stirring frequently, cook the rice mixture, gradually adding the broth in ⅓-cup increments until all the broth has been absorbed. The risotto is ready when the grains of rice have puffed and softened and most of the liquid has been incorporated. The entire process will take roughly 20-25 minutes.
5. During the last few minutes of cooking, stir in the parmesan cheese. Serve the risotto garnished with the fried whole sage leaves and crumbled crispy prosciutto.
Adapted from here.
Hi There. I'm Molly. I'm a food-obsessed, self-taught cook and I can't wait to share my passion for all things culinary with you. My love for egg yolks is just the tip of the iceberg! Read More…