Salad: Apple and Fennel with Pistachios and Apricot

Salad:  Apple+Fennel+Arugula+Apricots+Pistachios

Salad: Apple+Fennel+Arugula+Apricots+Pistachios

How strange it is!   It’s not quite over, but it’s over.  Is it the same where you are?  Here where I live, September should have felt like the soft days at the end of summer, but instead it’s gotten cool way too soon.   Mornings have been down right chilly–sweater and jacket chilly.   I’m hoping that Mother Nature will change her mind (just like a woman does), and bring back some warmth.

But now that October is here, we’re in the middle of things;  in a transition period, when we have to put away the bathing suits, shorts and flip flops, and maybe bring out that infinity scarf.  A pumpkin spice latte tastes really good.  Seasons don’t change in a snap, there’s always a transition period, a time to settle in, take a deep breath, absorb the last of warm breezes, and get ready for crisp, cool nights, apples and cider, and the world around us bursting with vibrant color.

This salad feels like a lovely transition.  Fresh apples and fennel make it easy to move into Autumn.  Add some arugula for its peppery notes, salty roasted pistachios, sweet dried apricots, and some salty Parmesan.  It’s all about balance–sweet, salty, and spicy!

Pretty colors go into this salad.

Pretty colors go into this salad.

It’s also very versatile!   Substitute currants or dried cranberries for the apricots.  Add spinach and parsley instead of arugula.  Try a balsamic vinaigrette instead of lemon juice.  This salad can be exactly what you want it to be.IMG_8138

What’s also great about this salad is that most of it can be assembled long before it’s served.  Everything but the greens can be tossed together and left covered in the refrigerator for a day and then tossed with the arugula ( or your preferred greens), just before serving.    Easy breezy as we transition into Autumn.

SALAD:  APPLE + FENNEL+PISTACHIOS+ APRICOT

Yield:  Serves 4   Adjust ingredients accordingly to make more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Fuji or Golden Delicious apple, cored and thinly slicedIMG_8139
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 large handfuls arugula, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely diced dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl toss together the thinly sliced apples, fennel, arugula, and red onions.  Drizzle with lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil.  Add the dried apricot pieces, pistachios and cheese.  Toss to incorporate.  Season with salt and pepper and toss just before serving.   Serve soon after assembling.

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SOURCE:  All Recipes

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Onion and Arugula Frittata with Goat Cheese

Onion and Arugula Frittata with Goat Cheese

Onion and Arugula Frittata with Goat Cheese

Frittatas are omelets for people who have too many things going on.  Heat an oven ready pan, put in the garnishes, pour the eggs over, pop into the oven and let the oven finish the job while you get the rest of the meal ready.

A frittata can be transformed by a variety of ingredients.  In this one I’m using caramelized onions and arugula, but any number of other inclusions will work.  Mushrooms, asparagus, ham, broccoli, cheese, whatever floats your boat for flavor combinations is ok.  Frittatas are suitable for any time of the day – or night!   Snuggled up to some toast or an English muffin, it’s breakfast.  Pair it up with a salad and roll and call it lunch.  Add a bowl of soup to expand the meal and it becomes supper.   For a dish that’s so simple to make, it has a pretty swanky reputation.

For any dieters among you, a frittata is the perfect food.  Load it up with veggies and some extra egg whites, and it becomes about as healthy as it can get.  Serve it warm, at room temperature or cold (hello, 20-second breakfast of leftovers.)

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One final thing I love about a frittata…..  It’s an oven to table meal.  Just take the whole darn thing from the oven to the table and serve it straight out of the pan.    Wonderful, indeed!!

With this recipe it’s the pairing of sweetly caramelized onions and the peppery arugula with the silkiness of eggs and creamy goat cheese that really puts this one over the top.  I had a very hard time limiting myself to just one serving.  I ate the two pieces that were leftover, one day for lunch, and the other,  one morning for breakfast and  had just as much enjoyment as the first time around.

 ONION AND ARUGULA FRITTATA WITH GOAT CHEESE

Yield:   Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1  Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Heat the olive oil in a medium oven-safe skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions, reduce the heat to low and cook the onions until they’re golden brown and caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes.

Slowly caramelize the onions until they're fragrant and golden.

Slowly caramelize the onions until they’re fragrant and golden.

2.  Season the onions to taste with salt and red pepper flakes, if using.  Add the arugula and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.  Raise the heat to medium high.

Next add the arugula and stir a bit till it wilts.

Next add the arugula and stir a bit till it wilts.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg whites and milk to combine.  Pour the mixture into the pan and let it cook  2 to 3 minutes to set the base.  Sprinkle the goat cheese on top of the egg mixture.

Pour in the egg mixture, and sprinkle on goat cheese.

Pour in the egg mixture, and sprinkle on goat cheese.

4.  Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the frittata is set, 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.  The frittata can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled.

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 Onion and arugula frittata with goat cheese.

Onion and arugula frittata with goat cheese.

Additional notes: 

1.  Be sure to allow enough time to properly caramelize the onions.  Onions caramelize best in a large skillet with plenty of room over very low heat.  Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.

2.  This frittata may be made with a variety of other healthy leafy greens.  Try subbing in collards, spinach, chard or kale for the arugula.

SOURCE:   The Incredible Egg

Bacon, Tomato, and Arugula Pizza

It all started with a Buy-One-Get-One-Free special at the market.  I don’t normally take advantage of these deals because for two of us its often too much of something and it goes to waste.  But for some unknown reason I bought the grape tomatoes being offered, and got the other one free.  OK, now what to do with them?  Other than put these sweet little tomatoes in salad,  I really don’t  cook with them, although I’m starting to.  Coexisting in my refrigerator there was also half a bag of arugula that I wanted to use up, and four slices of thick bacon.  Put all those items together and they spell BLT.  What could taste like a BLT sandwich but be substantial enough for a Friday evening supper?   How about a  pizza!

I always have a bag or two of frozen pizza dough on hand, so I took one out of the freezer to defrost, and in about 2 hours I was ready to get creative with my pizza.  First I cooked the bacon till crisp, drained it and broke it into pieces.  Then in the drippings remaining in the pan I briefly cooked the tomatoes with a little salt and the red pepper.

I always use a pizza stone to bake pizza,  so I sprinkled a little cornmeal on that and patted and stretched the dough into a 12 inch circle to cover it.  Cornmeal helps to get a crispy crust and keeps the dough from sticking.  Next I spread a little pizza sauce on the dough, topped that with the tomatoes, then the bacon pieces and of course lots of cheese.   Once baked and out of the oven I scattered a layer of arugula over the top.   The smell of this pie baking brought Mr. D. to the kitchen without being called, so I knew I was on to something good.  Mouthwateringly delicious is what it was.   I know I’ll be making this one again–and again!

BACON TOMATO AND ARUGULA PIZZA 

Makes one 12 inch round pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 pound refrigerated pizza dough, preferably whole wheat
  • 4-5 slices smoked bacon
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup jarred marinara or pizza sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup baby arugula

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Sprinkle a baking sheet or pizza stone with cornmeal;  roll or stretch dough into a 12-inch circle, and place on prepared pan.

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to paper towel.  Break into pieces or crumble.  Add tomatoes, red pepper and a little salt to drippings in pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spread sauce evenly over dough, leaving a small border.  Top with the tomatoes and bacon.

Sprinkle cheese over top.  Bake at 450 degrees for 17 minutes or until crust is golden.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle arugula over the top.  Cut into 8 wedges and serve immediately.

Source:  a Carolyn Original