{twd} pizza rustica

I have talent. I’ve been told it takes real talent to break your patella (kneecap) and that’s what I did. I fractured and dislocated my right patella. I’d love to tell you I did it rappelling off the side of a mountain while rescuing cute endangered animals or while executing  a bicycle kick to score the winning goal in a soccer match. The truth is I did it by tripping over my own feet while walking my dog.

Yeah. I return to the orthopedist next week for more x-rays and to see if I’m properly healing. I hope so, because I don’t want surgery. I especially don’t want surgery in the weeks before our wedding (6 weeks from Saturday for those counting). Yikes.

On a more happy note, I’m pleased to present this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection: Pizza Rustica. It’s not the kind of pizza I was thinking it would be when I read the title. It’s more of an Italian quiche-like pizza, with a mixed up filling made with eggs, cheese, and in my version sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. The dough is sweetened and again in my case, baked in 6-inch tartlet pans.

I liked the contrast between the sweet dough and the savory filling, but I know it wasn’t popular with a few of the TWD bakers. Paul liked the taste too, but didn’t like the sun-dried tomatoes. I knew the tomatoes were iffy with him and I thought I was pulling a jar of roasted red peppers out of the pantry. He’s requested I make the recipe again but this time with the prosciutto or regular ham.

You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Julia or at either of the wonderful hosts of this week’s selection:  Emily of Capitol Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home.

my fractured patella


Vegan Creamy Pumpkin and Cashew Curry Pizza

In a couple weeks I’m hosting a pizza get-together. It’s a house re-warming party :P. I’ve invited friends to bring their favorite toppings and I’ll have  different types of dough and sauces. I’m making the standard Mark Bittman pizza dough, a whole-wheat version of the same, the semolina bread version from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I’ve made all of them before, so I know they work and work well. I’ve been wanting to try the Quick Beer Pizza Dough from the King Arthur Flour catalog for awhile and thought it would be great for the party.

When I was in San Francisco last month, I had lunch with one of my bestest friends from high school, Melissa, and her sweet pea of a daughter, Sam. Melissa took me to Zante Pizza & Indian Cuisine in the Mission District for vegetarian Indian Pizza. I’ve been craving Indian pizza since then and wanted to try the beer dough before using it for the party. I found a recipe for Creamy Pumpkin and Cashew Curry in the October 2009 issue of bon appetit and thought it would be a perfect topping for a pizza on Vegan Tuesday.

I liked making the curry because it was the first time I used a whole pumpkin in cooking/baking, the first time I used curry leaves, and I love the spices/smells of Indian cuisine. What I didn’t like was the coconut cream. It made the curry too sweet and even adding curry powder and more spices didn’t cut the sweetness. I should have went with my first though which was not to use the cream or to only use 1/2 the amount.  I now have a 1/2 bottle of coconut cream. I guess I will have to have a piña colada party. 😛

The pizza dough came together quickly. I divided it into 5 ounce portions, using one for my pizza and freezing the rest. The dough was delicious. Baked up beautifully and the beer flavor was subtle. I was a bit worried about that because I was worried the stout I used may have been too intense.

You can find the recipe for the Creamy Pumpkin and Cashew Curry HERE.

You can find the recipe for Quick Beer Pizza Dough HERE.

Desiree’s Pizza for Vegan Tuesday

Today’s post marks my 200th blog entry.

This is my sister, Desiree:


Okay, it’s an old picture. Desiree is 14 years younger than me and when I was younger I used to play dress up with her. This is the Robert Smith from The Cure-look on a 3-year old.

This is a more recent picture:


As I mentioned before,  Desiree can’t have dairy anymore. I gave Desiree a stack of my vegetarian cookbooks  and told her to pick whatever she wants and I will make it for her. She tabbed several recipes, including Oatmeal-Banana-Raisin Waffles (which I will make sometime in the future) and Green Goddess Garlic Pizza (which I made this week). Both of the recipes are from Vegan With a Vengeance.

I chose to make the pizza because: 1) I love homemade pizza and hadn’t made it in a long time and 2) I wanted to demonstrate to Desiree that pizza without cheese isn’t boring (her belief).

Due to the various components, making the pizza was very labor intensive. It took me all day. And I would gladly do it again. It was so worth the work. Full of green vegetables and garlic you can almost taste the life energy and nutrients as you eat it.

The pizza has a Roasted Garlic paste base, which is then topped with homemade vegan Classic Pesto and Green Garden Puree. All of this is then sprinkled with wilted spinach, chopped broccoli florets, green olives, and sliced garlic.

Pre-bake pizza

Pre-bake pizza

I made the pizza dough as written except I used fresh yeast instead of active dry yeast. Then I roasted 2 bulbs of garlic. I made the Green Garden Vegetable Puree, which involved blanching asparagus, green beans, and frozen peas and then puree-ing them with slivered almonds, garlic (yes,more), parsley, scallions, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and nutmeg.  The puree is then mixed with crumbled tofu and chopped basil. I made the Classic Pesto, which instead of Parmesan uses nutritional yeast. I wilted the spinach, chopped the broccoli, sliced the olives, and sliced the garlic.

And FINALLY the pizza was ready to assemble.

The recipe makes enough for two large 14″ pizzas or in my case one large 14″ inch pizza  and two smaller ones. We ate the large one for dinner and sliced up the smaller ones for work lunches. The pizzas were a big success. Desiree loved it. Her boyfriend thought it was tasty. And I thought it was the best pizza I’ve ever made. I loved the in-your-face garlic flavor. I loved the chewy and slightly sweet crust and vibrant vegetable toppings.

You can find the recipe for the Green Goddess Garlic Pizza and all components HERE.

Please visit Michele at Veggie Num Nums to see what she made for Vegan Tuesday.

Grape and Rosemary Pizza

Grape and Rosemary Pizza

A super-simple pizza with great flavors–Grape and Rosemary Pizza. This was a  quick dinner. I had pizza dough in the freezer. I let it defrost in the refrigerator while I was at work.  Let it sit for awhile on the counter and rolled it out. I took a bunch of grapes, halved them, and tossed them in olive oil with some rosemary leaves. I place the grape halves on the pizza and rubbed the crust with the leftover olive oil/rosemary mixture. YUMILICIOUS!!!!

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! oh, and some granola


This week‘s The Art and Soul of Baking recipe was pizza dough. I’ve made pizza from scratch before and it is easy and doesn’t take a long time. I made the pizza in between 3 batchs of cookies.  I made a broccoli and cheese pizza for P and a carmelized onion and cheese pizza for me.

pizza2Homemade pizza is great, not only because it is an easy dough, but also because the dough freezes well. I stick it in the fridge before work and its perfectly defrosted and ready for rolling when I get home.

Carmelized Onions

Enough for one personal-size pizza

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 shot of cognac
  • 1 splash of balsamic vinegar
  • salt, to taste

Heat of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until golden brown. Add cognac and and balsamic vinegar and cook a few minutes longer. Remove from heat and add salt to taste.


I also made the next recipe  in Super Natural Cooking, Grain-ola. For the last few months, I’ve been making home made granola for my morning cereals and yogurt instead of buying processed cereal from the store. I’ve never made the same recipe twice, but they all follow the same method. Mix rolled oats with nuts, add a sweetener and an oil, sometimes add wheat germ or shredded coconut. Bake in low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until toasty and golden brown. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. Stir occasionally while it cools. Once cooled, store in an air-tight container.


This recipe called for coconut oil, which I have never used, and honey as the sweetener. In addition to the oats, walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, shredded unsweetened coconut, orange zest, and dried tropical fruits were added to the mix.

This oatmeal tastes okay. It has a weird taste. I’m thinking it is the coconut oil. I’m leaving for vacation this week and will bring some along for the plane ride.