Sunday, July 19, 2009

Goat Cheese Heaven. Also beets, beans, and pizza.

This weekend's adventures at the farmer's markets involved more rhubarb, more beets (I ended up buying a few loose beets at a farmer's market near my work mid-week; see below for the delicious results!), parsley (will become Israeli couscous salad), cabbage (will become crunchy peanut slaw), and some more blueberries and green beans that hopped into the fridge before their photo was taken.

While at the market this morning, I went to check in with the goat cheese vendors who I got cheese from last week to make last week's squash pizza. I told them how well it turned out, and one of the guys mentioned his wish to see a photo of the pizza. Of course, I had a picture on the iPhone! I showed it to him and explained how I had made the goat cheese sauce by adding lemon juice. He asked me to email the photo to him, along with my blog address, so he can pass on the recipe to other customers. He said people always wonder what to do with goat cheese and hoped that this recipe would inspire them. I'm tickled that he liked the pizza idea (though I must give credit to Smitten Kitchen for the recipe) and that I'm getting to know the local farmers.

After the success of the squash pizza, the second half of the pizza dough became a roasted tomato, caramelized onion, goat cheese and lemon combo.

The dough held up pretty well after a few days in the fridge, though it needed some more kneading and was a bit more difficult to work with. However, this combo of toppings was definitely a winner. The tomatoes were roasted a bit with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper before going on the pizza and into the oven.

I brought Win to the farmer's market later this afternoon as he wanted to buy some goat cheese to bring to his sister's house for dinner. We chatted with the goat cheese farmers again and they ended up giving us a great deal on some additional cheeses: now we've got a veritable goat cheese heaven in our fridge!

This week I followed a few recipes but mostly improvised on a few noteworthy meals. First, using some extra veggies I had on hand post-pizza, I experimented with a tempeh black bean salad.

I marinated and sauteed the tempeh using a Lemon Garlic Tempeh marinade from VegWeb.

1 block Tempeh
1 lemon squeezed
2-4 cloves garlic chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (had fresh chives, so used those instead)
salt and pepper to taste


Slice tempeh into thin slices. Whisk lemon, oil, garlic, basil, and S & P. Marinate Tempeh for about 10 minutes. Brown tempeh in a hot skillet for about 5 minutes on each side, adding the marinade until all is gone. The garlic should be browned too.

Easy! I added it to a mix of cut up zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, tomato, and escarole inspired by Smitten Kitchen's black bean confetti salad.

Great for lunch at work!

Also a big hit this week was an experiment with steaming beets rather than roasting them in the oven. I scrubbed the beets, sliced them up, and steamed them in my steamer basket.

This is waaaay easier than roasting them in the oven.

Then I cooked and quickly pan-fried some portobello mushroom ravioli from Trader Joe's along with some pine nuts.

Add some goat cheese and the beets with a drizzle of olive oil and you've got a fantastic looking and tasting dinner.


  1. Inspirational recipes, can't wait to steam me some beets! Any suggestions for something to do with LOTS of cabbage that doesn't involve mayo?

  2. Yes, and both are conveniently located on this blog! For a great, summery salad, check out the crunchy peanut slaw I mentioned here. It makes a ton and uses a bunch of cabbage. For a cooked option, try the cabbage, rice, and currant/craisin dish I made. Slightly complicated but fun to make. Search "cabbage" within the blog (search engine in the top window) and both Gould pop up. Enjoy!