Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad

The perfect weekend recovery food!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

This Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad is a perfect, healthy, filling meal if I ever saw one, and it’s oh so delicious. If any of you had a weekend like I had, you’re definitely ready to whip this up with your favorite lean protein for dinner tonight.


As I mentioned on Friday, we were up in Santa Cruz visiting my parents this weekend, which also happened to involve helping my little sis move into her new house and having an early Sunday birthday brunch for me. All of the family affairs, celebrations and craziness never make for the healthiest eating, but I never restrict myself (everything in moderation!) and just make sure to eat extra-healthy in the days leading up to and following all of the madness. That’s what balanced living is all about!

So when we rolled back into town late last night, all I wanted was a big bowl of whole grains and veggies. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of this Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad sitting around in the fridge, so we had to settle with takeout. Not necessarily the healthiest of options (although we still try to get a well-balanced meal even when we order out) but we knew we’d get right back in the groove of healthy eating today. Smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch. You get the idea! This should last all of two days since my birthday is on Wednesday, but we only live once, right?

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

It’s no secret that ever since I tried the most delicious grain salad in Napa, I have been obsessed with the idea of them. It was way back in May of last year that I made this Herbed Grain Salad with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans, so I figured now that we’re having some warmer “salad-friendly” weather here in California, it was high time for me to come up with another fun version featuring some of spring’s freshest produce. I’m very happy to say that this Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad is not going to let you down and, even better, if you don’t love butter as much as I do, you can easily make this dish vegan!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

So let’s get down to the dirty details. First of all, if you live anywhere near a Trader Joe’s, you’re already in great shape. I got all of my ingredients for this salad there, except for the lemons because we have an abundance of them growing in our yard at the moment. That being said, you really shouldn’t have any trouble getting these ingredients at just-your-average grocery store, TJ’s just makes it soooo convenient.

I started out by sautéing some fresh leeks and garlic in a healthy dose of butter. It may seem like a lot at first, but keep in mind that we’re adding much more to this dish than just leeks and garlic, and all of those extra ingredients mean we need all of that extra butter. BUT, if you are trying to be uber-healthy or if you follow a vegan diet, you can swap in good ol’ coconut oil and this salad will still turn out amazing. Promise.

After our leeks and garlic have started sweating it out a bit, we add some fresh corn kernels. If you don’t happen to live in an area where you can get fresh corn year round, frozen kernels would also work just fine.

The corn kernels are followed by our cooked, shelled edamame, which Trader Joe’s conveniently sells prepped and ready to go in their produce section. Again, if you don’t have access to these, a frozen bag of shelled edamame would work just fine. Just be sure they’re already cooked!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

The final steps are to throw in some pre-cooked barley (a great thing to meal prep on the weekends and throw into healthy meals all week) and some snipped fresh chives. The only sort of dressing that graces our salad is the aforementioned butter and a hefty dose of fresh lemon juice. I do want to mention one thing about the ¼ cup quantity I’ve called for here: we have Meyer lemons in our backyard, which tend to be more sweet and less tart than your average lemons. That being said, if you are using standard lemons, you may want to dial it back just a tad. Just remember to taste as you go and balance the acidity out with the salt. You’ll do just fine!

This Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad is full of filling carbohydrates (which I know some of you colder-weather readers are still totally craving right now) yet plenty of fresh, vibrant produce to remind us that spring is just around the corner. It comes together in under 20 minutes and tastes just as good hot or cold, making it perfect to have on hand for any situation that requires a healthy meal ASAP. It’s quickly become another go-to of mine and I hope it will soon become one of yours too!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

This hearty and healthy grain salad is the perfect dish to usher in warmer weather - loaded with filling carbohydrates and vibrant produce, enjoy it alone or with your favorite lean protein!

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil, for vegan version)
  • 1 trimmed leek, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups corn kernels (about 2 small ears)
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled, cooked edamame
  • 2 cups cooked barley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Melt butter or coconut oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes, until leeks begin to sweat and become fragrant. Add corn kernels and turn heat up to medium-high.

  2. Let corn kernels cook for another 3 minutes, then add edamame. Let cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the corn and edamame begin to get golden flecks on their skins (a slight char.)

  3. Turn heat back down to medium and add barley and chives. Stir to combine.

  4. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper (tasting as you go) until you’ve achieved your desired level of balanced flavors. Serve warm or cold. 

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto

What a fun week I have in store for all of you!

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

Today I’m excited to share this recipe for Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Crème Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto that I created in partnership with JORD Wood Watches, and on Wednesday I have all of the details from the fun Spring Fling Brunch I hosted with some of my favorite Santa Barbara lady entrepreneurs. It’s going to be a great one!


Now that we’ve officially stepped into the month of March, it seems that there’s much anticipation of change in the air. The pressure of our New Year’s resolutions has died down a bit, if only for the fact that  “real life” has picked up again after the post-holiday coma we all fall into. I’ve personally felt a new sense of urgency, that I should always be doing more, more, more and that there is so much I should be doing that I should rarely be having any down time.

It’s a dangerous cycle we all fall into, and I try to stay conscious of not going too far down that rabbit hole. I strongly champion balanced living, after all, and how can I do so authentically if I myself am not taking the time to practice it?

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

Which is why I was so excited when JORD Wood Watches approached me to create a recipe having to do with time and how we should spend it during this turning of the seasons. As adventurous as I am in the kitchen, there are certain projects I’m hesitant to dive into, simply because I have never done them before, have a slight fear of the “unknown,” and just plain not thinking I have the time. Making homemade pasta has been at the back of my mind for quite a while, but I kept pushing it back because I thought it was complicated, required too much equipment, etc. After only a nanosecond of thought, I knew that this partnership with JORD was the perfect opportunity to set aside an afternoon in the kitchen and take the time to master this favorite carb of mine. I’m happy to say that my Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Crème Fraiche was a HUGE success, and I have now made it three times in one week because it is just so good!

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

But before I get to the recipe, I want to talk a little bit about my JORD Frankie 35 Series women’s watch. Let’s just say that as soon as I saw the entire line of JORD Wood Watches, I knew this was a company I wanted to work with. All of their products are gorgeous, and the watches can go from casual to elegant, which means I can wear my watch both in the kitchen and out to a fancy dinner with my man. I love the wooden texture and the contrasting colors on the watch faces. I opted for the navy watch face with the zebrawood band, and I love that it goes with most of my wardrobe since I very much tend to lean towards all neutral colors. Even when I’m working in the kitchen all day and most likely wearing yoga pants, I can throw on my Frankie 35 and feel instantly put together.

Wearing my JORD Wood Watch in the kitchen is also a great reminder for me to be mindful and take my time when exploring new recipes and techniques. As a chef, photographer, social media manager and consultant, it’s all too easy for me to rush through my “”To Do” list for the day and, before I know it, it’s dark outside and time to wind down. I continually have to tell myself to take a second (or minute) or two to really enjoy the process and remember why I started my own business in the first place. Every time I look at this unique watch, it reminds me what I’m here to do – share my joy of food with all of you!

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

As I mentioned, this Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Crème Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto ended up being the perfect dish for my first foray into the pasta-making world.  As soon as I finished my first test of the recipe, I texted my husband and said “If you have time, stop by for lunch. I just made homemade pasta and it’s the best thing I’ve made in a long time!” Really, nothing compares to fresh, homemade pasta. Nothing.

In order to make this “matcha” pasta, I simply whisked some culinary grade matcha powder into the flour before kneading the dough. It didn’t turn out quite as vibrantly green as I had hoped, but trust me, the flavor is allll there.

After the dough was made, I divided it into two pieces and used a rolling pin to make each piece of dough thin enough to pass through my Kitchen-Aid pasta roller attachment. You could also use a manual pasta roller, or even just a very long wooden rolling pin to get your pasta down to the proper thickness.

Once the pasta was rolled out thin enough to make fettucine, I cut each piece in half (I don’t know about you, but I hate SUPER long noodles) and then rolled each piece up like those good ol’ fruit rollups you had as a kid. This way, you can slice the dough evenly and the fettucine will turn out much straighter than if you were to just free-cut all the way down the length.

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

The next step is to unroll the individual fettucine and let them dry slightly before cooking (about 5 minutes is all you need, although you could let them dry for longer.) You don’t need a fancy pasta dryer to do this, I simply laid mine out along my marble slab.

Even though I went on and on about never wanting to make homemade pasta because I thought it would take too long, I’m very happy to report that my assumptions were wrong and I was able to get this entire dish made in less than an hour. The pasta rolling and cutting take the longest, but once those steps are complete, the rest of the components that make up Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Crème Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto come together in a flash.

I crisped up some prosciutto in a large pan with olive oil, and whisked some lemon juice, olive oil and heavy whipping cream into my crème fraiche to make the sauce. Once added to boiling water, the pasta was done in seconds, and I added it to the pan with the prosciutto along with some minced garlic. The whipped crème fraiche and a couple of hefty handfuls of arugula were the finishing touches to this amazing, intricately-flavored dish.

Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto | A partnership with JORD Wood Watches on CaliGirlCooking.com

To me, making this Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Crème Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto was the perfect foray into my new world of homemade pasta-making, a fulfilling project that helped me remember why I love my job in the first place – because I can spend as much time in the kitchen as I want!

And now for even better news – you can become part of the wood watch family too! That’s right, I’ve teamed up with JORD to offer one lucky person $100 to use towards any product on the JORD Wood Watches website. But wait, there’s more! Anyone who enters will receive a $25 gift code to use on the site once the contest ends on March 12. So hurry up and enter now!

Click here to enter (and keep scrolling for the delicious pasta recipe!)


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Homemade Matcha Pasta with Tangy Creme Fraiche and Crispy Prosciutto
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

A comforting, homemade pasta dish - fresh pasta is laced with matcha and tossed with a lemony creme fraiche, finished with crispy prosciutto and arugula.

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons culinary grade matcha powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups arugula
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and matcha powder. Pour onto a clean, dry surface and create a small well in the middle. Crack the eggs directly into the well, then whisk gently with a fork, slowly bringing in some flour from the sides. Once eggs are mostly incorporated, begin kneading the dough with your hands. Keep kneading and pressing with the palm of your hand until everything has come together. There will be some extra flour that doesn’t make it into the dough, but that’s okay. About halfway through your kneading, wipe off your workspace so there is no additional flour. The dough will be a bit tough, but that’s how it’s supposed to be!

  2. Cut the dough in half and roll out with a rolling pin until it’s thin enough to pass through the widest setting on your roller. Pass the dough through at this setting a few times, folding in half a couple of times if there are any holes. Once your dough passes easily through the widest setting, go up to the next thinnest setting and pass through a few times again. Continue this process until both of your pieces of dough have gone through setting 4, which is the recommended thickness for fettucine on the KitchenAid pasta roller. 

  3. Once again cut each sheet of dough in half so that you’re not working with super-long pieces of dough. Take each new sheet and roll it up like you would a fruit roll-up or tortilla. Slice each roll in ¼ to ½ inch pieces (the width of fettucine) and then unroll and spread out on a clean, dry surface to dry. 

  4. While your pasta is drying, prepare the sauce and toppings. In a large saute pan (one that will be big enough to hold all of the pasta and the toppings), warm one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped prosciutto and cook until crispy. Turn off heat. In a small mixing bowl, combine crème fraiche, the other tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, heavy cream, salt and pepper using a whisk. Set aside. 

  5. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, slide in the dried pasta and immediately start stirring with a wooden spoon (this will help prevent it from sticking together.) Bring water back to a boil. The pasta will be done cooking 5-10 seconds after the water starts boiling again. Keep an eye on it, it cooks quickly! Drain pasta and add to pan with crispy prosciutto. 

  6. Add minced garlic to the pan with the pasta, and then add the whipped crème fraiche sauce. Stir to combine. Add a tablespoon of butter to thicken things up a bit. 

  7. Stir arugula into pasta right before serving. Enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan

Sometimes I just don’t know how I come up with certain things.

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

Take this Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan, for example. I suppose it’s not too surprising that I paired a creamy, vegetable-laden, curry-laced dip with everyone’s favorite Indian carb, but I’m not too sure adding chunks of bacon to the bread is really staying in line with the traditional flavors of that culture. Oh well, that’s what cooking is all about, right? Taking already established, delicious dishes and turning them into your own?


And let me tell you a little story about bacon, and why I feel compelled to add it to just about everything I cook these days (in small amounts, that is.) You see, one of my hubby’s best friends has a family hook up with a local butcher in the Bay Area, and for my hubby’s bachelor party he literally brought all. the. meat. We’re talking tomahawk steaks, ham steaks, sausages and, of course, bacon. It was LITERALLY a sausage fest. My hubs came back raving about this bacon, and the next time we were up visiting his friend we snagged a small pack to bring home with us.

Fast forward a few months, to Christmastime, and we had mentioned to his friend that we were due for a replenishment of our bacon stock. We show up to his parents’ house on Christmas Day, and he literally goes into the garage and comes back with a 15-POUND box of this bacon for us.  So we’re basically set with bacon for life, or at least for the foreseeable future. Thank goodness for plenty of freezer space!

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

Needless to say, we always have some on hand so I couldn’t help but add a little bit to the naan I was making for this Creamed Curried Spinach. (I must also mention that I was partially inspired by our favorite little spot in Napa, Model Bakery, and the bacon bread that’s regularly part of their daily homemade bread selection.) Let me tell you, the end result is nothing short of spectacular. I adapted the naan recipe from this one I found on Girl Versus Dough, basically just adding in the bacon and using my stovetop griddle instead of the gas grill outside. The end result is a chewy and moist naan that holds up extremely well to the whole dipping and scooping up the creamed spinach process, yet melts in your mouth save for the slight salty crunch of the bacon. Delish.

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

So now that we’ve talked about the bacon naan, I’ve also GOT to tell you about this Creamed Curried Spinach because it is out of this world. First of all, this part of the dish is completely vegan. Do you believe it? Well, if I told you I used my trusty cashew cream as a base I bet you would. Seriously, I don’t think there’s any sort of cream sauce that vegan sub can’t stand up to. So, if you’re vegan, I strongly urge you to give this a shot, and simply find (or make) some sort of substitute for the bacon naan.

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

Okay, back to our Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan. When making the cashew cream this time around, I simply added a hefty dose of curry powder instead of nutritional yeast. I then stirred it into some wilted onions, garlic, and spinach, and fancied it up with some fresh cherry tomatoes and a dash of red pepper flakes. The result was so creamy and bursting with flavor, I really am giddy with excitement for you to try this.

All glowing reviews aside, I do realize that Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan is not the most photogenic, but PLEASE do not let that stop you. You will be incredibly sorry if you do. Most Indian food involves dipping into a blurry blend of exotic herbs, spices and sauces without silverware, and this is no exception. Use your bacon naan as your spoon and really get in there and shovel some hefty scoops straight into your mouth. I’m pretty sure once you start eating this you’re not going to be able to stop, so get after it!

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
2 hr 30 mins
 

A vegan, Indian-inspired curried spinach dish is accompanied by homemade naan studded with crunchy, salty bits of bacon. 

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the bacon naan:
  • 3/4 cup water, bathtub temperature (about 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 3/4 cup milk, bathtub temperature (about 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
For the creamed curried spinach:
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours (or up to overnight)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 small sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 8-ounce bag fresh spinach
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. First, make the naan. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the water, milk, yeast and salt. Next, add the Greek yogurt and honey, then slowly stir in the flour. Before the mixture gets too thick, stir in the chopped bacon and continue stirring until all ingredients are combined and a sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place, away from drafts, for about two hours or until doubled in size. 

  2. With lightly floured hands, punch down the dough and divide into six even pieces. (The dough will be quite sticky, so just keep adding enough flour until you can handle it without all of it sticking to your fingers.) 

  3. Heat a griddle over medium heat on the stove. Spray with nonstick spray (I used coconut oil spray from Trader Joe’s.) Using your hands, form each piece of dough into a flat, oval shape that’s about 1/4-inch thick. Place the dough (working in batches) on the griddle and cook for about 3 minutes each side, until it becomes slightly charred and feels like it’s been cooked through. If your naan seems to puff up a lot when it’s cooking on its first side, simply flip it once that side’s done and then press down with the back of a spatula while it’s cooking on its second side. This will help it spread out more and cook more evenly.

  4. Remove cooked naan from griddle and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.

  5. Next, make the curried cashew cream. Drain the cashews from their soaking water and add to a high-powered blender with the curry powder, ½ teaspoon salt and filtered water. Puree until a creamy sauce forms, adding a tad more water if needed. Measure out two cups of the cashew cream and reserve the rest for another use.

  6. In a large saute pan, melt the coconut oil. Add the garlic and onion and saute until fragrant and translucent, about 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add about 1/3 of the fresh spinach to the pan, stirring until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the tomatoes. Next, add about 1/3 of the curried cashew cream. Continue this process two more times, until you’ve used up all of the spinach and the whole two cups of the curried cashew cream. 

  7. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Simmer on low until ready to serve. Serve with bacon naan. No utensils required!

Recipe Notes

The Bacon Naan recipe was adapted from the No-Knead Grilled Naan recipe on Girls Versus Dough.

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina

The best way to get our daily dose of veggies!

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina | CaliGirlCooking.com

I mean, who doesn’t want to get their Vitamins A and C and tons of fiber from a PIZZA? That’s right, carb-y crust and cheese included. How many times do I have to tell you I’m all about keeping things balanced? This Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina is nothing but.


If it were up to me, we’d have pizza for dinner at least a couple of times a week. I mean, I’ve certainly made quite a few insanely delicious variations here on the blog already (see this Pastrami Pizza, this Fresh Fig, Prosciutto and Burrata Pizza with Truffle Honey and this Chocolate Brie Dessert Pizza with Almond-Orange Shortbread Crust.)  It really is one of my favorite foods, but we gotta keep things in check and make sure we’re evening out that sort of dinner, which is a little more indulgent, with healthier stuff like broth-based soups and protein-packed salads. No restriction, just variation! That’s how I like to eat and I hope it’s the same for you.

That being said, if there were ever a “healthy-ish” version of the dish to be had, this Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza is it. So you don’t even have to feel one bit bad about whipping it up on a weekly basis! And thanks to Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough recipe, you can make one pizza that easily feeds two one night, and another one with the leftover dough a few days later. Let me tell you, we were quite excited to whip out the extra dough and have a pizza ready in 20 minutes this weekend when we had so many better things to do than slaving away in the kitchen.

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina | CaliGirlCooking.com

With it still being winter (and with all the crazy weather we’ve been having in California – I don’t think it’s rained this much in yearrrrrs!) the root vegetables that top this pizza are the perfect thing to make you feel like you’re eating the ultimate comfort food while still getting all of the vitamins and nutrients that they’re known for.

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina | CaliGirlCooking.com

Looking at these likely drool-inducing photos, you may be wondering what those purple-looking things are. They’re the carrots, my friends! I spotted the tri-color bag at Trader Joe’s and knew they’d be the perfect way to jazz up the monotony of color that orange carrots would have provided. That being said, plain ol’ orange carrots would work just fine if you’re not looking to make your pizza super photogenic.

So let’s talk about the process of making the deliciousness that is this Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina. As I mentioned above, I used Jim Lahey’s popular No-Knead Pizza Dough recipe for the base, but you could easily use your own homemade pizza dough recipe OR even a store-bought, premade dough. Jim Lahey’s recipe does require an overnight rise, so plan ahead if you’re going to go that route. It also makes enough dough for two pizzas, but you can easily save one for later if you’re not feeding a crowd that particular night!

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina | CaliGirlCooking.com

After the dough has gone through its overnight rise, the pizza comes together in no time at all. Simply roll the dough out onto your favorite pizza stone (or a pizza pan if you don’t have a stone,) add the toppings and pop it into the oven for 20 minutes. That’s all you need! Your delicious dinner will be ready for you faster than you can finish a glass of wine.

Speaking of wine, my mom is coming down to visit later today and I’m very much looking forward to catching up with her and enjoying a delicious glass of vino or two. We’re heading to check out a new, hip restaurant in Santa Barbara tonight, so be sure to check my Insta-stories for all the deets!

I hope you’re having a great week. Maybe bake up a little pizza tonight to get past the hump? Xx

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina | CaliGirlCooking.com

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This easy pizza recipe is loaded with bright orange and purple veggies, all topped off with a hefty serving of slightly salty fontina cheese.

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 recipe Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough (or other pre-made dough)
  • 1 small sweet potato, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup finely chopped cauliflower florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups grated fontina
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle the cornmeal evenly over your pizza stone or pan, whichever you are using, then roll the dough out on the pan in a circular shape. 

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the fresh thyme, salt and pepper. 

  3. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the prepared pizza dough, then sprinkle on the minced garlic and then the grated fontina cheese. Top with the vegetable mixture. 

  4. Put the prepared pizza in the oven and bake at 450 for 20 minutes, or until the crust is nice and golden and the cheese is melted. Remove, slice and serve as soon as it has cooled slightly.

Recipe Notes

Click here for Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough recipe.

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

A Valentine’s Day Wine and Food Pairing for Two

I’m so excited to be partnering with Hana-Lee from Wander & Wine to bring you today’s post!

A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

We got together recently to create the perfect Valentine’s Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two, and let’s just say it’s so ridiculously tasty that you won’t even think twice about trying to make a reservation out somewhere to celebrate this year.


We’re talking Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade and Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction over Creamy Polenta, both paired with the most delicious wines. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect Valentine’s Day meal, I don’t know what does.

A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

One of the greatest things about this blogging life is the huge network of other bloggers and entrepreneurs I’ve gotten to connect and eventually become good friends with. I feel especially lucky to have found a great group of gals living here in Santa Barbara that are in the same (or very similar) lines of work.

Hana-Lee and I first became “Insta-friends,” and it only took us oh, about six months, to actually meet IRL. Ever since, we’ve become blogging partners in crime, taking “research” trips to Napa and working up some fun collabs just like this one! Stay tuned for another simple fun collab coming in March, but until then, let’s chat about this delicious Valentine’s Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two.

A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

The menu is perfect for next week’s big event for multiple reasons:

  • It looks elegant and decadent, but comes together seamlessly.
  • It has lots of red, purple and pink hues going on.
  • It is INCREDIBLY tasty and is guaranteed to wow your significant other.
  • Finally, and most importantly, it is paired with TWO delicious wines.

Does it get any better than that? I think not.

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

We start with an appetizer course of Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade. From the creamy cheese filling laced with sautéed shallots and thyme to the fruity, citrusy marmalade gracing the top, once you taste these tartlets you MIGHT not be able to go back to just any old sweet or savory tartlet. Even better, the tartlet shells, filling and marmalade can all be made up to three days in advance, which means all you need to do before serving is compose and pop in the oven for five minutes or less. See, I told you this wouldn’t be too difficult.

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

These Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade are mouth-watering on their own, but they only get better when paired with Domaine Chandon’s fruity, refreshing sparkling Rose. Click here for Hana-Lee’s in-depth wine pairing notes!

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

For the main dish, we created these Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction and Creamy Polenta that, although not difficult to prepare, are far from your average weeknight dinner. You’ll want to start by making the polenta because, although it’s incredibly easy to make from scratch, it does take about 45 minutes to come together (most of that just sitting simmering away on the stove.) If you’re really in a pinch, you could use pre-made polenta, but seriously, once you try making it yourself once, you’ll realize it’s not any more difficult. We also graced our homemade polenta with a hearty handful of aged gouda cheese, which lends the perfect salty, savory kick to the entire dish.

Next, you’ll want to get the Blackberry Reduction simmering away on the stove. Sweet, tart and savory all at once, I’m very confident that once you master the basics of a reduction like this, you’ll feel liberated with all of the different ingredient combinations you can use to make the perfect topping for any meal.

The lamb lollipops are going to be the last step, as they’re both the quickest and the easiest to put together. We simply take a garlic and rosemary concoction and rub it all over the chops, then sear them off in a cast iron skillet (although you could use any nonstick skillet or even the grill if you’re so inclined.)

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

Once you have all of these components made, these Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction and Creamy Polenta come together quickly and painlessly. Scoop a heaping pile of the creamy polenta onto whatever serving dish you choose (the individual gratin dishes we used worked perfectly, you can find similar ones here,) top with a lamp lollipop, and then drizzle on the thick, glossy blackberry reduction.

We paired this entrée dish with Tablas Creek Vineyard’s 2014 Patelin de Tablas, a Rhone-style blend made up of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Counoise. Click here for Hana-Lee’s notes on this delicious pairing.

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

With two delicious courses and two just-as-delicious wine pairings, we’re guessing you won’t have too much room for dessert. But, just in case you have a little sweet tooth that needs tending to, here are some options for a third and final course:

A Valentine's Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

And there you have it! The perfect Valentine’s Day Wine and Food Pairing for Two. So cancel your reservations, put on some slow tunes and light some candles for a romantic night in. Your significant other deserves it, and you do too. XO

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

These savory tartlets are creamy and decadent and topped with a brilliant red marmalade. The perfect appetizer to pair with a sparkling rose!

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 4 tartlets
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons shortening
  • 4-5 tablespoons ice water, as needed
  • Special Equipment: Four 4-inch nonstick tartlet pans
For the filling:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 5 ounces triple cream soft cheese (We used Delice de Bourgogne)
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Pinch of pepper
For the marmalade:
  • 6 blood oranges
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cointreau
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
Instructions
To make the crust:
  1. Combine all crust ingredients (except ice water) in a food processor. Pulse until crumbly. Add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms. Remove from food processer and shape into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to ¼-inch thickness (you may need to let the dough warm up slightly before trying to roll it.) Cut dough into fourths and shape into tartlet pans, crimping the edges as needed.

  3. Place tartlet pans on a small rimmed baking sheet and bake in 400-degree oven for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove and let cool completely. If you’re not composing the tartlets that day, wrap the pans in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature until ready to use.

To make the filling:
  1. In a small saute pan, melt the butter. Once butter is melted, add the minced shallots and thyme and saute until fragrant and translucent. Transfer mixture to a small mixing bowl. 

  2. Add your triple cream cheese, crème fraiche and pepper to the mixing bowl and use a spatula to combine all of the ingredients. If you’re not composing the tartlets right away, transfer filling to a resealable container and keep refrigerated until ready to use. 

To make the marmalade (you will have extra marmalade left over, but that means all the more to put on your toast in the morning!):
  1. Using a microplane, gather 1 cup grated blood orange zest (being careful not to scrape the bitter white pith.) 

  2. Once you have the zest, peel the blood oranges and gather 2 cups of pulp, squeezing it out of the translucent white membrane that’s segments the orange into slices. 

  3. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the zest, pulp, Cointreau, lemon juice and water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer until mixture is thick and reduced, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. If not composing the tartlets right away, transfer to a resealable container and keep refrigerated for up to three days. 

To compose the tartlets:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Use a spatula to put the filling into a piping bag. Cut off the tip of the bag (no piping tip needed) and pipe it into each of the tart shells. Use a small spatula to spread it and make it even. 

  3. Place tartlets on a small rimmed baking sheet and place in oven for just 5 minutes (you might not even need this much time, you just want the cheese to get melty so keep an eye on it!)

  4. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Top with a scoop of the blood orange marmalade and serve immediately.

 

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta
Prep Time
55 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins
 

Rosemary and garlic crusted lamb lollipops are placed over a bed of creamy, cheesy homemade polenta and topped with a perfectly balanced blackberry reduction.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 2 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the polenta:
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup shredded aged Gouda cheese
  • Salt and pepper
For the reduction:
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup red wine (it would be best to use the Tablas Creek here)
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
For the lamb lollipops:
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bone-in lamb chops
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
To make the polenta:
  1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling, slowly pour in the cornmeal, whisking as you pour to avoid clumps. 

  2. Turn down heat to a low simmer and let cook for about 40 minutes, whisking every 10 minutes. If polenta gets too thick at the end of this, simply add a bit more water. 

  3. Whisk in butter in two parts, then stir in Gouda cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Keep polenta over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.

To make the reduction:
  1. Combine all ingredients (except butter) in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a heavy simmer. Turn down heat slightly and let simmer until mixture is reduced by at least half. 

  2. Remove thyme sprigs from sauce and remove sauce from heat. Whisk in butter continuously until it is completely melted, or your sauce will break. Return to very low heat until ready to serve.

To make the lamb lollipops:
  1. In a small bowl, form the herb rub by combining the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Place the lamb lollipops on a plate and rub the herb mixture all over both sides. Let lamb sit with the herb rub on it for 20 minutes if possible. 

  2. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot, add the lamb lollipops (you should hear a big sizzle when you put them on.) Cook the lamb lollipops for about 5 minutes each side, or until they get a nice dark golden crust. Remove from heat and let rest for about 10 minutes before plating.

To plate the dish:
  1. Scoop a large spoonful of polenta into two individual gratin dishes. Place a lamb lollipop on top of each dish, then spoon the blackberry reduction over top. Serve immediately.

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Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com