Tag Archive | olives

Zucchini Pizza-Tart

Honestly, I don’t know if I should call this thing a tart or a pizza. I was going to make a zucchini tart, but I didn’t want to make tart dough, I wanted pizza dough. So I decided to pull it all together like that, and make a sauce-less pizza or a yeast-based tart thing. Eh, definitions are overrated.

1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package yeast
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4-1 cup flour

Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water, and let it sit til the yeast gets all foamy, about 10 minutes or so. Add the olive oil, and then mix in the flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough ball forms. Knead the dough until it is elastic, then set aside to rise for like an hour. This recipe will make either two little pizza-tarts, or one larger one. Adjust the toppings accordingly.

3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
6 kalamata olives, halved
1-2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Roll out the dough and put in on whatever you are planning to bake it on (pizza stone, cookie sheet, baking pan). Place the zucchini slices in a pretty pattern on the dough. I opted not to have the slices overlap, but you can do that if you want. Add the olives in the pattern, and then scatter the cheese and garlic over the whole thing. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes, and enjoy warm.

zucchini pizza thing

This was actually really good. Not that I thought it wouldn’t, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. I think I could have done more zucchini though, and next time I will. I guess this was more pizza then savory tart-like. As you can see, I had this with a Vinho Verde rose, which is a great summer wine. Seriously, go with something light, fruity, and cold for this one. Song of the week: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. It’s been fitting my mood perfectly for nearly a week now, and I just broke down and bought the album on iTunes.

Turkish Pide – an attempt to recreate a restaurant recipe

My favorite restaurant in DC is a Middle Eastern mezze place called Zaytinya, and they have this sort of pizza thing called a pide. Apparently its a Turkish in origin. So naturally, when I was casting about for something to cook, this came to mind. I did an internet search, but nothing really struck me as a good recipe to try, and they all had too much dill in them. I hate dill. So I went on the restaurant’s website and found the description: Turkish tomato sauce with cinnamon and oregano, covered in halloumi cheese. That’s enough to qualify as a recipe, right? Absolutely!

kinda squogy looking but still yummy

kinda squogy looking but still yummy

1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 package yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4-1 cup flour

Take the warm water (warm mind you, cool and the yeast won’t multiple, hot and the yeast die) and add the sugar and yeast. Mix and let sit until its all bubbly, about 10 minutes. Add the olive oil, and then about 3/4 cup of flour. Mix in the flour, and keep adding more, a little at a time, until you have a soft, non-sticky dough to form. Make sure to knead the dough, so that is reasonably elastic. Then let it sit in a warm spot to rise, for about an hour.

1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp cinnamon
2 pinches dried oregano
4-6 kalamata olives, cut in half
strong sheep cheese, grated

So I was not about to make my own tomato sauce from scratch. That is far more work than this project was worth. So instead, I took my normal garlic tomato sauce, and added the cinnamon and dried oregano, and mixed it all together. Then I took 4 kalamata olives and chopped them in half, and grated some strong Greek sheep cheese I found at Whole Foods (I couldn’t find halloumi).

Assembly: Take about 1/2 the dough, and roll it out into the shape of an oval. Place the rolled-out dough on a baking sheet/tray. Spoon as much of the sauce as you want on the dough. Place the cheese and olives on top if the sauce, then fold over the edges of the dough, so the whole thing looks more like a canoe. Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the cheese is all bubbly.

Result: so yummy. Completely delicious. Also completely simple since you don’t need to make the sauce from scratch. The cinnamon makes all the difference. It isn’t overpowering at all, but it is aromatic and definitely there. It’s so little extra work compared to normal pizza and so yummy and different. And it doesn’t require any odd ingredients except the cheese (and worse case scenario you could just use feta). Serve this dish with wine, I used a Greek white that I fell in love with. I also served it with Carrottes d’Afrique du Nord, which are amazingly amazing and can be found in the works of Mollie Katzen. Song of the week: Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N’ Roses. I had a very crappy day this week, and listened to this song on repeat for about 2 hours. Seriously, it can be that cathartic.

Olive and Leek Quiche

It’s always nice when someone volunteers to be your permanent food guinea pig. I usually get nervous cooking for people, but one of my friends, has no problems trying out my new recipes (he was the one who tried the experimental trifle) The only condition is no eggplant. So since I owed him a dinner anyways, it seemed logical to do both in one meal. Rather than do something completely new, I decided to err on the side of caution and make a variation on a recipe I’m fairly comfortable with – quiche.

olive quiche

Not enough filling for a deep pie dish…. oh well

Pastry Dough
1 cup flour
1/3 cup salted butter
some cold water

Put flour in a bowl and cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or a fork if you don’t have one) until it is all incorporated, and the dough can almost clump together. Add the water, a little at a time, stirring it in with a knife and your hands until a nice dough has formed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the topping is done. Always make dough from scratch. My friend actually asked me if I was using store-bought dough or not … I was very nearly offended that he would even ask. Let the dough sit for a while (it lets the butter get all streaky and incorporated better). Then roll it out into a circle and line a pie plate with it.

The Filling:
2 medium leeks
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 pinches dried thyme
8-10 kalamata olives, quartered
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
lemon zest (1/2 lemon)

Take the leeks and thinly slice the white parts. Saute the leeks and garlic for  a bit. Once soft, put them in a bowl and toss with some chopped spinach (I usually use the frozen stuff that I’v thawed in the microwave), the parsley, thyme, and olives. Let the mixture cool. In another bowl, beat the eggs, then add the milk and lemon zest.

Assembly: Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese on the bottom of the pie crust. Place the leek filling as an even layer on top of that. Pour the egg-milk mixture over the filling. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, or until cooked through and set. It should not wiggle at all when you move it.

The result was extremely good – a solid 8 1/2. I was surprised at just how lemon-zesty it was, since there was less than one lemon’s worth of zest in there.  It was, I think, the right level of olive-y though. Enough that it is a dominant flavor, but not so much that it qualifies as overpowering. The leeks really weren’t that flavorful. I’m not sure if its just cause leeks are fairly delicately flavored, or if it was just a function of the recipe. I think maybe caramelized onions might be a good substitution in the future. I had this with a Belgian IPA (my friend’s contribution to the meal) but I think it would pair best with white wine.