Spring-fresh asparagus, goat cheese & pistachio flatbread

Today was kind of a rough day (despite only being Monday) and all I wanted to do after work was crawl into bed and forget about all responsibilities. This included laying face down on the bed and listening to Serial (which I am finally catching up on). However, it was GORGEOUS outside so when Joe got home, he coerced me into a run at the park. Needless to say, we were in a pinch when it came to time for making pizza crust.

For dinner, I had chosen a (surprise surprise) recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod for an asparagus, goat cheese and pistachio flatbread pizza. Typically dough, even for flatbread needs about an hour to rise, but having worked up a sweat and after a long day, waiting over an hour for dinner seemed ludicrous. That’s where the slightly-stale pita saved the day. Seriously….if you have stale pita in your fridge, DO NOT THROW IT OUT. Unless of course, it is moldy. If it is just kind of hard around the edges, make it into PIZZA! Trust me.

This was quick, easy, tasty and paired so perfectly with the sunny, warm spring day it was ridiculous!

Ingredients

  • 4 oz goat cheeseIMG_2213
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions (tops only)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 5 large asparagus spears
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 pita breads
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios, shells removed
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese, chives, and lemon zest.
  3. Using a julienne (or a vegetable peeler), shave asparagus spears into long, thin shavings. Place shavings in a small bowl. Drizzle a little of the olive oil over the asparagus shavings and gently toss.

    3. Drizzle a little olive oil over the flatbread. Cover with shaved asparagus and left-over asparagus stalks. Place crumbles of goat cheese evenly over the flatbread. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.

    4. Place pitas on a baking sheet (it took 2 for me) and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is starting to melt and flatbread is crisp (you can tell when the middle starts to puff up or curl on the edges). Remove from oven and top with chopped pistachios.

Believe it or not, “peeling” asparagus is quite difficult because the stem is likely to break or not peel deep enough to get a strip. Frustrated, I broke out the julienne (careful of my fingers) and got perfect slivers of asparagus, and chose to use the left over stalks on the flatbread. I limited my use of the oil over the pitas because I was concerned with making them soggy. Just about 1/2 T. on each did the trick to revive the slightly-stale bread and produce crispy deliciousness.

Saag Paneer

I’m backkk!! It has been a while. I have had some medical issues recently and it was hard to get excited about cooking. Tonight I was pretty excited about trying some ethnic cuisine, heavy in iron and protein, and a side of bread. With Passover only days away, goodness knows I want to pack the chametz in as much as possible.

I made this delicious Saag Paneer– my first time ever making it from scratch. This one comes from Connoisseurus Veg.  I left out the suggested lemon juice by accident but  I think it could definitely use the acid flavor the next time. It was a bit too sweet. I would probably use less coconut milk, too, so it is slightly less creamy. Either way, it was delicious. Here’s the deal:

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 T. grated ginger root
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 9 oz fresh spinach IMG_2184
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. extra firm organic tofu
  • 1 t. turmeric
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 t. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Dry tofu by pressing between paper towels and then chop into cubes.
  2. Put onion, ginger, garlic and spinach in a food processor until chopped but not quite blended
  3. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Add tofu and cook until golden brown (about 10 minutes). Keep flipping over so all sides of the tofu cubes are golden brown.
  4. Sprinkle turmeric over the tofu and mix until tofu cubes are coated. IMG_2182
  5. Add the spinach mixture, broth, spices, sugar and salt. Stir to mix then reduce and allow to simmer.
  6. Add coconut milk and cook for a minute. Mixture should be thick and creamy.

The recipe calls for this to be served with naan or rice. I have had rice-based dishes the past few nights so I forewent the rice and used some toasted pita bread instead of naan. IMG_2185

The best part about this meal was how quick it was to cook! Perfect for a busy week night.