Spinach-Chevre-Pine Nut Rollups

This wonderful breakfast recipe came to me via Pinterest, originally from a site called On My Plate.
It called for Feta, but I am using fresh goat cheese (shocking, I know). It’s so quick and easy, you can manage it even if you only have 15 min to prep!
(adapted from a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens)
6 green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 13.8-ounce package refrigerated pizza dough
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
2-4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray twelve muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
In a large skillet cook green onions and garlic in 1 tablespoon of the oil until tender.
Add spinach; cook and stir over medium heat just until wilted.
Season with salt and pepper.
Drain off excess liquid. (This step takes awhile. Spinach releases A LOT of liquid. Press it down in a colander, and then squeeze it out in handfuls.)
Set aside to cool.
On a well-floured surface, unroll pizza dough and shape into a 12×8-inch rectangle.
Spread spinach mixture to within 1 inch of the edges of dough.
Sprinkle with feta cheese and pine nuts.
Starting with one of the long sides, roll dough into a spiral.
Slice roll into 12 pieces.
Place cut side up in prepared muffin cups.
Brush with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Let stand in muffin cups for 2 minutes.
Carefully remove from cups and serve warm.

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Asparagus Pesto

Just arrived:  the perfect late-Spring pasta sauce. Just when you thought you’d seen all the asparagus recipes on earth, here comes this lovely green, velvety blanket of verdant spring-ness to cover your pasta, fish or chicken – schlurp! If you are lucky enough to have aged goat cheese, toss some of that grated goodness in to replace the parm.

Ingredients

…from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Mark Bittman

Salt
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch segments
1 clove garlic, or more to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil, or more as desired
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste

Directions:
1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Add asparagus and cook until fully tender but not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well, reserving some cooking liquid, and let asparagus cool slightly.
2) Transfer asparagus to a food processor and add garlic, pine nuts, 2 tablespoons of oil, Parmesan, a pinch of salt and, if needed, a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Process mixture, stopping to scrape down sides of container as necessary, and gradually add remaining oil and a bit more of reserved cooking liquid to moisten if it is needed. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste, pulse one last time, and serve over pasta, fish or chicken. The pesto can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Everyone’s doing it — shaved asparagus salad

Seems I’ve seen variations on this theme at least five times in the past two weeks, so it’s time to give in and share one with you. Of course, I think it’s best with a hard goat cheese or little clouds of chevre tucked in among the ribbons, but it’s up to you to decide for yourself:) Thanks to Deb of Smitten Kitchen for an easy-peasy version.

There are no exact measurements in this recipe. Everything is to taste, so taste as you go along to make sure you’re getting all the cheesy, nutty, and lemony flavors you want.

1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds, toasted* and cooled
1 pound asparagus, well rinsed

handful of rinsed arugula or your favorite spring greens
1 lemon, halved
Olive oil
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 ounces Parmesan, aged goat Gouda or Raclette cheese, or 4 ounces of really fresh chevre

No need to snap off the tough ends of your asparagus. Lay a single stalk on its side on a cutting board. Holding onto the tough end, use a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler is easiest) to shave off thin asparagus ribbons from stalk to tip. Gently pile your ribbons on a medium-sized serving platter. Save just a few whole asparagus tips as top garnish to make the source of the plated green-ness look recognizable.  Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Toss gently and then use your peeler to shave curls of aged cheese right off the block, over the asparagus (or arrange teaspoons of chevre in the pile of asparagus). Sprinkle with some toasted nuts. Repeat with remaining asparagus, a third of the remaining bundle at a time. Eat immediately.

* Toast in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350 for 5 to 10 minutes. It’s really important, especially with pine nuts, that you stay close and toss them frequently because they love to burn, but if you move them around a bit, you can get a wonderful, even coffee coffee color on them and an intensely nutty flavor. It makes even unfancy nuts taste amazing.