Beet Pizza

18th November 2015

Beet PizzaFall is all about root vegetables for me. Right now in the super markets here there is a wide array of beets: red, golden, and candy cane. I bought an assortment to experiment with at home. My husband made beet chips with the golden ones, we tried out marshmallows with the candy cane, so that left only the red.

Food 52 has a recipe for a Rustic Beet Tart, which served as inspiration for my beet pizza. Rather than a pizza with a tomato sauce, this version has a layer of goat cheese custard that pairs perfectly with the oven baked beets. You need a little bit of time for this recipe, but all of the ingredients are inexpensive and it’s quite easy to make!

Beet Pizza

Beet Pizza

Beet Pizza

Beet Pizza, makes 1 pizza

  1. Peel the beets then place each beet on a small square of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in the foil. Bake at 400 F / 200 C degrees anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your beets. They’re done when they are knife tender and can be pierced with the tip of a paring knife with ease.
  2. Once the beets are knife tender, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. While the beets cool, roll out the pizza dough into a nice circle. Transfer the pizza dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Roll in the edges of the pastry about an inch along the edge so that you have a delicious pastry wall. You want to make sure that the custard doesn’t leak out when poured into the “shell”.
  5. Combine the egg and the goat cheese with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Slowly add the milk or cream, stiring until you have a thick but pourable consistency. It should be no thinner than pancake batter.
  6. Slice the beets into rounds. You should get 5 or 6 rounds from each beet.
  7. Pour the custard into the pastry shell, then lay the beets on top, being careful not to overflow.
  8. Bake at 400 F / 200 C until the pizza is golden, the custard is set, and the top is just a little brown. Slice and enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Squares

13th November 2015

Sweet Potato SquaresI love sweet potatoes all year long, but especially once the weather turns colder. So sweet, warm, and comforting!

This recipe for Sweet Potato Squares from Yotam Ottolenghi is perfect as a starter, a side, or a main course if paired with a nice salad.

The sweet potatoes are baked in the oven with goat cheese and chili peppers, then topped with a garlicky mixture before serving.

I used organic pastry dough because I was short on time, but if you have time you can also use your favorite dough recipe.

Sweet Potato Squares

Sweet Potato Squares

Sweet Potato Squares

Sweet Potato Squares, makes 4

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F/205 C. Bake the sweet potatoes in their skins for 35 to 45 minutes, until they soften up but are still slightly raw in the center (check by inserting a small knife). Leave until cool enough to handle, then peel and cut into slices 1/8 mm thick.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, roll out the pastry to about 1/16 inch thick on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out four 2 3/4 by 5 1/2-inch rectangles and prick them all over with a fork. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper, place the pastry rectangles on it, well spaced apart, and leave to rest in the fridge at least half an hour.
  3. Remove the pastry from the fridge and brush lightly with the beaten egg. Using an icing spatula, spread a thin layer of sour cream on the pastries, leaving a 1/4-inch border all round. Arrange the potato slices on the pastry, slightly overlapping, keeping the border clear. Season with salt and pepper, crumble the goat cheese on top, and sprinkle with the chili pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through. Check underneath; it should be golden brown.
  4. While the galettes are cooking, stir together the olive oil, garlic, parsley, and a pinch of salt. As soon as the pastries comes out of the oven, brush them with this mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Corn Cakes

25th August 2015

Corn CakesCorn is a summer staple in the Brörmann home. So crunchy, juicy and sweet! Maybe it’s the Southern Belle in me (grits, anyone?) but I can’t get enough.

I was thrilled when I found Naturally Ella’s recipe for corn cakes. It combined corn with another of my summer favorites – avocados. The combination is perfect – crunchy corn cakes with soft avocado and goat cheese, fresh cilantro, and zesty lime…mmm… Plus they are super easy to make!

Corn

Corn cakes

Corn Cakes

Corn Cakes with Avocado and Goat Cheese, serves 2

Corn Cakes

Toppings

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add in onions and cook until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Remove corn from cob and stir in to onions, continuing to cook until corn becomes soft, 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and place mixture in a bowl. Add ⅓ cup pastry flour, baking powder, egg, honey, lime juice, salt, and cilantro; stir until well combine. Add more flour until mixture pulls together and can form patties.
  2. Divide batter in to 5-6 patties. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Pat in to 1″ thick round disc. Fry on each side for 5-6 minutes. Each side should be browned.
  3. Remove the skin and pit from the avocado and cut into cubes. Toss with lime juice, red onion, cilantro, and salt/pepper. Top cooked corn cakes with avocado and finish with a sprinkle of goat cheese.

Maple Tossed Rhubarb and Lentil Salad

4th August 2015

Maple Tossed Rhubarb and Lentil Salad

It’s warm again in Antwerp – Thursday it’s supposed to hit 87 degrees! When the weather is hot, I crave salads. Green Kitchen Storie’s Maple Tossed Rhubarb and Lentil Salad is one of my favorites. The flavors and colors are so fresh and vibrant.

Rhubarb is a delicious addition. Before I had only used it for baking, but raw is also delicious! The chopped rhubarb adds a nice crunch and sour compliment to the sweetness of the strawberries and tomatoes.

Because I prepare most dinners after work, I like to cook my lentils either the day before or in the morning so it’s completely cool when I get home – then I only have to chop and add the fresh ingredients!

Maple Tossed Rhubarb and Lentil SaladMaple Tossed Rhubarb and Lentil Salad, serves 4

Dressing Ingredients

  1. Cooking lentils: Rinse the lentils under running water and cook in 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Let it boil 2-3 minutes before reducing the heat to medium. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender. When done, add a pinch of salt and set aside to cool. We add the salt at the end, otherwise it will toughen them during cooking.
  2. Making the salad: Prepare all salad ingredients (except feta cheese) and place in a large bowl. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, add to the salad and toss with your hands. Top with feta cheese and a couple of basil leaves.

Summer Tomato Lentils

18th May 2015

LentilsWhen the weather gets warmer, I really crave tomatoes. It doesn’t matter if they’re raw, roasted, baked, stewed, etc. I just can’t get enough!

Summer tomato lentils from Sprouted Kitchen is a really great summer brunch or dinner dish. You have oven roasted tomatoes, lentils, goat cheese, and fresh herbs all mixed together and served in a pita bread. I did make a few changes to the recipe. I tried to make the crispy shallots but it just didn’t work for me. So I added the shallots to the tomato dish and roasted them in the oven. I also used 1 clove of garlic and sea salt instead of garlic salt with the tomatoes, but feel free to make your own improvisations!

Mmm! It’s easy, healthy, and delicious!

Lentils

Lentils

Lentils

Lentils

Lentils

Summer Tomato Lentils, serves 2

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F or 165 C
  2. Cut tomatoes in half. On the baking pan, toss with sliced shallots, 1/2 tbsp. of the olive oil, minced garlic, and salt. Turn the tomatoes so they are cut side up, and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse and drain the lentils, pick out any scrappy pieces. In a medium pot bring 1½ cups water to a boil, add the lentils, turn down the heat to medium and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Test the beans for doneness; the liquid should be absorbed, add more if they are not soft to your taste. Put them in a large bowl and crumble in the goat cheese so it melts in the warmth. Add the lemon zest and juice, and gently fold to coat.
  4. Gently fold the dijon mustard, remaining olive oil and fresh black pepper into the goat cheesey lentils. Add the basil and chives, and roasted tomatoes and shallots. Add salt to your preference.
  5. Serve in a pita and enjoy!

White Asparagus Soup and Spanakopita Quiche

19th April 2015

Soup and quicheI am so happy it’s finally white asparagus season again. In Northern Europe, white asparagus season begins in mid to late April and only lasts until June. Compared to green asparagus, white asparagus is less bitter and more tender. They are so delicious that they’ve been deemed “the royal vegetable”, “white gold”, and “edible ivory”. This time of year I simply cannot get enough!

White asparagus grows away from direct sunlight so that photosynthesis never occurs and they stay white. It’s best to buy white asparagus as fresh as possible – normally you can tell by the ends. If you stick your nail into the bottom, there should be moisture. If it’s dry then they’re not fresh.

There is a bit of preparation that takes place before you can eat them. First you have to peel the woody exterior of the white asparagus. This takes time but it’s worth it! You also have to get rid of the ends. The best way is to break it off with your hands, because it will break naturally at the correct point.

There are many ways to enjoy white asparagus – boiled, steamed, in the oven, and as soup. This post includes my favorite recipe for white asparagus soup and a great accompanying spanakopita (spinach) quiche.

Soup and quiche

Soup and quiche

Soup and quicheWhite Asparagus Soup, serves 2

  1. First peel each asparagus stalk from the tip to the cut end. Chop off the tips and set them aside, then cut the stalks into small pieces.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat the shallot for about 5 minutes until translucent – don’t let it brown. Add the chopped asparagus stalks, keeping the tips aside, and sweat them gently with the shallot for another 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock and simmer until the stalks are very tender. This will take 20–30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks. Blend until very smooth, then pour the soup back into the saucepan.
  4. Bring the soup back to a simmer and add the reserved asparagus tips. Cook gently for about 5 minutes until the asparagus tips are just cooked through.
  5. Mix the crème fraiche and egg yolks in a small bowl. With the pan off the heat, stir this mixture into the soup and continue to stir gently for a couple of minutes until the egg yolks have thickened the soup. Warm through over a very gentle heat, stirring constantly and taking care not to break up the asparagus tips.
  6. Serve the soup garnished with a sprinkling of parsley.

Soup and quiche

Soup and quiche

Soup and quiche

IMG_5196Soup and quicheSpinach Quiche with Oat Crust

Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Finely grind oats and almonds. Combine the oat and almond flours with sea salt in a bowl. Add the coconut oil and ice-cold water. With your hands, work the dry ingredients towards the centre until a dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm, then chill for about 30 minutes.
  2. Press the dough evenly into an 8 inch tart case. Trim the dough flush with the edge of the case. Prick the bottom with a fork and blind bake for about 10 minutes. While the crust is in the oven, prepare the filling.

Filling

  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, whisk for 30 seconds, then crumble in the feta cheese. Stir in the oregano, chilli flakes, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Add the spring onions and garlic and fry for about 3 minutes until golden. Add half of the spinach and a pinch of salt. Stir the spinach gently until it wilts, then add the rest and keep on stirring until wilted. Remove from the heat and pour into the mixing bowl containing the egg and cheese mixture. Stir well until everything is combined.
  3. Spoon the filling into the crust. Bake for about 30 minutes at 170C/325F until the filling is firm and golden. Let it cool for a while before serving.

 

Caramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese Flatbread

15th February 2015

Caramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese FlatbreadThis is a such a delicious brunch! It’s making my mouth water just to look at the photos. The caramelized fennel paired with goat cheese and arugula tossed with lemon juice all served on top of fresh homemade spelt flatbread – yum!

For this dish you need time. Make sure you plan ahead of time with the dough, because it needs 1 to 2 hours to rise. The flatbread is so delicioso that you may want to make it again but maybe served with pesto, or egg salad, or hummus, or any other topping you can think of!

This Caramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese Flatbread recipe comes from a favorite food blog of mine, My New Roots. My New Roots will always hold a special place in my heart because it opened my eyes to healthy, vegetarian cooking. All of the recipes are outstanding and creative!

FennelCaramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese Flatbread

Caramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese Flatbread

Caramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese Flatbread

Caramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese Flatbread, serves 2

Spelt Flatbread

  1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water, add to flour and stir in with the oil.
  3. Continue stirring until you have a uniform texture, then start kneading by hand in the bowl, or on a large, clean surface. Knead for 5 about minutes.
  4. Cover ball of dough with flour and place underneath a damp towel for 1-2 hours until the volume is approximately double.
  5. Divide dough for 2 small flatbreads, 1 “party size”. Cover with a damp cloth until use.

Caramelized Fennel

  1. Wash the fennel and remove fronds. Slice the bulb thinly on the vertical (from top to the bulb base).
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Place fennel slices on the pan, making sure that they all come into contact with the surface of the skillet (not overlapping). Sprinkle with sea salt. Do not stir or move the fennel for a few minutes, until golden on the bottom side. When all the pieces have browned, flip onto the uncooked side. When the underside has also browned, add a sprinkling of fennel seeds and 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup, let cook for 1 minute. Toss to coat, remove fennel from pan.
  3. Repeat until all the fennel is cooked. Season to taste.

To Assemble

  1. Preheat to 350°F. Place a cookie sheet or baking stone in the oven while it comes up to temperature.
  2. Roll out a desired portion of flatbread dough on a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and roll to press into the dough. Add caramelized fennel, and drops of goat’s cheese. Remove cookie sheet or baking stone from oven and slide the parchment on top. Bake flatbread for approximately 30 minutes until the crust is golden and cheese has slightly browned.
  3. While the flatbread is baking, prepare the arugula for serving. Wash and spin dry. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Season to taste.
  4. Remove flatbread from oven, let cool slightly and pile high with dressed arugula. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Quick Pickled Onions, and Goat Cheese

29th January 2015

Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Quick Pickled Onions, and Goat Cheese

Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Quick Pickled Onions, and Goat Cheese is a favorite lunch of mine and comes from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. The salad is not only beautiful, but delicious!

The Sprouted Kitchen originally uses millet instead of quinoa, but I like to use whatever grains and seeds I have on hand when preparing my lunches. The toasted pinenuts, salty goat cheese, tangy pickled onions, and peppery arugula pair perfectly together!

Quick Pickled Onions

Quick Pickled Onions

Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Quick Pickled Onions, and Goat Cheese

  1. Prepare your quick pickled onions.
  2. Rinse the quinoa well, then add to a small pot with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover for 15-20 minutes until all of the broth has been absorbed.
  3. Using a fork, break up the quinoa and fluff it, add the oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir, and set aside to cool completely.
  4. Once the quinoa is cool, combine it with the arugula in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar on top and gently toss to coat.
  5. Drain the desired amount of pickled onion (I use about half a cup) and add to the salad along with the pine nuts and goat cheese, giving it another toss. Taste and add more salt, if necessary, and serve. Enjoy!

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Spinach Cakes

9th January 2015

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Spinach Cakes

I am really loving The Green Kitchen cookbook! Whenever I’ve been eating too heavily, I like to pull it out to find a vegetarian meal that acts like a mini-detox. By mini-detox, I mean no meat and lots of vegetables and superfoods!

The recipe I’m sharing today is my adaptation of the Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Ramsons Cakes recipe. Ramsons is a type of wild garlic, but is difficult for me to find. In the book, they recommend substituting ramsons with spinach and garlic if it’s not possible to find.

Below is my adaptation of The Green Kitchen’s recipe. My cake patties were not strong enough to fry in a pan, so I just baked mine in the oven and they turned out perfectly!

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Spinach Cakes

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Spinach Cakes

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Spinach Cakes

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Ramsons Cakes, serves 2 people

  1. Cook the quinoa. After it has finished cooking, drain any excess water and set aside to cool.
  2. Place the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it is a rice-like texture.
  3. In a bowl, add quinoa, cauliflower, and the rest of the ingredients. Mix with a spoon until well combined.
  4. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven on the grill setting.
  6. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Take out the mixture and make 6 patties with your hands. Place the patties carefully on the baking pan.
  7. Grill each side for 3-4 minutes, monitoring carefully so that they do not burn.
  8. Take the baking pan out of the oven and serve immediately.