Spiced Pumpkin, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad

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Pumpkin Week continues…

I made this salad for lunch on Sunday to share with my mother and then took leftovers to work to share with Aaron. Aaron made out like a bandit this week with home-cooked meals. Lucky dog. The recipe comes from the October 2009 issue of Bon Appetit and once you peel and seed and cube the pumpkin (is there a trick to this?) it’s easy. The pumpkin is roasted with cumin and paprika while the lentils cook on the stove. Once both are done and cooled they are mixed with the goat cheese and other ingredients. It’s actually the perfect meal for the Indian Summer we’re having in Southern California–Fall flavors served chilled.

You can find the recipe HERE.

toasted goat cheese ravioli with red pepper dip

Next weekend I’m heading to San Francisco to attend the Blogher Food Conference. I’m excited to meet my fellow bloggers, network,  and to visit some of my old haunts. And guess who is the closing speaker? David Lebovitz. Yay!

Thank you to Nasoya–maker of all-natural tofu products, noodles, wonton & egg roll wraps–for sponsoring my attendance at the conference. I’ve been a fan of their tofu, but until now have not tried their other products.

I hosted a dinner party this past Saturday and to start things off I served Toasted Goat Cheese Ravioli with Red Pepper Dip. These are super easy to make, can be assembled ahead of time, and taste outstanding. They are light and a great starter for a heavier dinner.

I found the recipe in the September/October 2009 issue of Clean Eating magazine.

TOASTED GOAT CHEESE RAVIOLI with RED PEPPER DIP

Adapted from Clean Eating magazine
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 24 Nasoya wonton wrappers
  • 1/3 cup soft goat cheese with herbs (I like the herb & garlic goat cheese from Trader Joes)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers (from water-packed jar), patted dry & chopped
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F and coat a baking sheet with oil spray.
  2. Arrange wonton wrappers on flat surface. Spoon a bit of the goat cheese slightly off-center onto each wrapper. Using your fingers, wet the edges of the wrappers. Fold wonton over and press to seal.
  3. Place wontons on baking sheet and coat with oil spray. Sprinkle grated cheese over tops.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes until wontons are golden and toasted.
  4. Meanwhile, make red pepper dip: place red peppers and sour cream in blender. Purée until smooth. Transfer dip to bowl and fold in basil. Season with salt and pepper.

The ravioli can be assembed ahead of time and be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to 3 months. Bake them straight from the freezer, just add a couple minutes to the baking time. The red pepper dip can be made 3 days ahead too.

Asparagus, Fingerling Potato, and Goat Cheese Pizza

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I’m slowly making my way through  Daring Bakers challenges that occurred prior to me joining the group.  For October 2008, the host challenged the group to make Pizza Napoletana from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Bakers Apprentice.

This challenge called my name–I have the book and I love making from scratch pizza. One part of the challenge was to perform the authentic pizza dough toss. I did attempt it and the results were disastrous. One reason (and rather than my own inadequacies) my performance was sub par could have been that I reduced the size of the pizzas from 6 ounce to 4 ounce.

To top the pizza, I used a recipe I found in the May (already???) 2009 issue of Bon Appetit for Asparagus, Fingerling Potato, and Goat Cheese Pizza. In addition to goat cheese, the pizza is also topped with mozzarella and Parmesan.

The pizza was wonderful. The crust was thin and crunchy and flavorful, due to the delayed fermentation. Unlike most other pizza dough recipes that can be thrown together at the last minute, this one requires an overnight in the refrigerator. The toppings were great. I’ve never had potato on a pizza before and I had been wanting to try it. I loved it. I’m definitely adding it to my topping rotation. And goat cheese–enough said. :P

You can find the recipe for the pizza dough  HERE at Rosa’s Yummy Yums, the host of the October 2008 Daring Bakers Challenge.

The recipe for topping the  pizza is  HERE.

pizza

Farmers’ Market Pick of the Week: Pomegranates

Pomegranates showed up at the farmers’ market this week. I bought 3 and decided to use them in a recipe in the October issue of Vegetarian Times. In elementary school, pomegranates were all the rage. We loved picking each seed out of every nook and cranny. We didn’t care about the juice running down our fingers and faces–the messier the better. Now as an adult, I prefer to be at least a little neater. A few months back on an Alton Brown show I saw him demonstrate how to get the seeds out of a pomegranate without making a mess and destroying each seed. All it took was a bowl of water! Last week I came across the method again in a magazine.

How to remove pomegranate seeds:

1.

1. Cut off the top

2. Cut in quarters

2. Cut in quarters

3. Fill a bowl with cold water

3. Fill a bowl with cold water

4. One at a time submerge a pomegrante quarter in the water and use fingers to remove each seed. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the white pith pieces will float to the top.

5. Skim off the floating pith and strain the seeds!

6. Voila! One medium pomegranate yields approximately 1 cup of seeds.

6. Voilá! One medium pomegranate yields approximately 1 cup of seeds.

Autumn Apple Salad with Pomegranate

Adapted from Vegetarian Times.

Serves 2 main course or 6 first course salads

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 head of red leaf lettuce, chopped (approx. 12 cups)
  • 1 apple thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

Heat oil in an 8″ inch skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté until soft and clear or for approx 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add vinegar and honey. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Toss lettuce and apples. Drizzle 1/2 of the dressing and toss again. Divide salad among plates, top with goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, and remainder of dressing. Enjoy!