ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Monday, June 28, 2010

Meatless Monday- Portobello Chard Pizza and Roasted Beet Salad

Buona Sera!

We are in the middle of a self-made tornado here at Casa Bramasole. We've started to consolidate, sort, and generally wade our way through years of household accumulation to decide what can be purged before this house gets listed. How does ONE family collect so much "STUFF"??

Mr B keeps asking how many macaroni picture frames we really NEED to keep. Every single one! I'm an Italian mama- macaroni picture frames are my life!!

Anyway, time to take a quick bloggy break- it's Meatless Monday after all! 
So, for the record, Meatless Monday around here isn't exactly universal- Mr B is a true Irishman who lives for his meat and potatoes. So HE had grilled pork chops tonight.
 I hadn't been well this weekend and didn't make my normal Farmer's Market run, but a wonderful friend surprised me with a big bag of goodies.
Portobellos, chard, fresh herbed goat cheese, and cherry tomatoes right off our own plant

and for those in the house who refuse to eat mushrooms (I know, I know- but it means more for the rest of us!)

same ingredients on a homemade crust

I'm including a basic crust recipe if you choose to make a more "typical" pizza

Chard and Portobello Pizza

1 1/2 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
2 envelopes  instant (quick rising) dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups (about) all purpose flour (unbleached)
Pour  water into large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over and let stand 5 minutes to dissolve yeast. Add oil then flour and salt. Stir until well blended (dough will be sticky). Turn dough out onto generously floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding just enough flour to prevent dough from sticking, about 5 minutes- you should have a fairly soft dough. Shape dough into ball, place in large oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with kitchen towel. Let dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled, about 2 hours. Punch dough down; form into ball. Return to bowl; cover with towel and let rise until doubled, about 2-3 hours. If you choose to only use part of the dough, simply refrigerate the rest- it will be fine for a couple of days- the flavor will actually develop and get better. When you're ready, simply allow to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then proceed.
Meanwhile, season some oil: In a small bowl mix 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 large garlic clove, minced, 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, and a few chopped basil leaves. Let sit for 30 minutes then strain through a fine sieve and discard solids
If you're making portobello pizzas, gently wipe 8 portobello caps clean and remove stems. Preheat grill at high heat, then lower to medium Brush caps with seasoned oil. Grill on both sides till tender- about 5-6 minutes per side. Place on rack over a pan to drain excess liquid. Then proceed as below using the caps instead of dough- bake for about 10-15 minutes

1 bunch Swiss chard, cut off red or white ribs (spinach may be substituted)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed and minced
8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, grated
4 ounces soft fresh, herbed goat cheese, broken in pieces
a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes, cut in half horizontally and seeded

Drop chard into a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. Drain. Immediately submerge into cold water to stop cooking then rinse under cold water; drain. Squeeze dry, then coarsely chop. Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add chard and stir 1 minute. Season to taste with salt.
Preheat oven to 500°F. Punch down dough. Form into 2 balls; place on floured work surface. Cover with kitchen towel; let rest 30 minutes. (this makes 2 pizzas)
Sprinkle rimless baking sheet or a pizza peel with cornmeal. Roll out dough on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to baking sheet or peel. Lightly brush dough with seasoned oil. Sprinkle mozzarella over dough, leaving 1-inch border. Scatter chard over mozzarella. Top with goat cheese. scatter tomatoes on top. Brush crust edge with some of seasoned oil. Set aside a bit of seasoned oil; drizzle remaining oil over pizza. If using a pizza peel, transfer pizza to a stone in the oven which has been preheated for at least 45 minutes
Bake pizza until crust is brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven; brush edge with seasoned oil and serve.
I have also scattered small spoonfuls of ricotta cheese on these pizzas, but just didn't have any today

I LOVE roasted golden beets and tonight they were the basis of a lovely salad.
I started with some roasted beets and added 3 oranges, peeled and cut in rounds. This would have been prettier with a combination of red and yellow beets, but I used what I had :)

Add some thinly sliced red onion and a handful of toasted nuts- I used pignoli tonight. I threw in a handful of fresh baby spinach leaves and dressed it with a vinaigrette made of olive oil, champagne vinegar, a teaspoon of coarse Dijon mustard, a tsp of sugar, salt, pepper, a couple of chopped mint leaves and the orange juice accumulated in the bowl when I sliced the oranges. Shake till combined and emulsified and pour over the salad. Toss gently

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. This looks great, I now know what I'm making for dinner later this week! Where did the cheese come from? Also, I think I'm going to start participating in Meatless Mondays as well, its a great idea.

  2. Oh my goodness that does look fantastic. I'm quite the chocoholic as well so I think I could go for that dessert.

  3. This looks fantastic and a great meal for my son who needs to lower his cholesterol count at only 26!

    Consulting advice - my neighbor just had hip replacement surgery. Any menu suggestions? I think you will have some tasty advice to make someone feel better fast!

  4. Am loving the pizza, but those beets, well . . . am loving them even more! I have a real thing for beetroot! It's one of my favourite vegetables! xxoo

  5. Pattie,
    This looks so good! Tony is in the other room and I am reading the recipe to him! He said to tell you we'll try this on Friday!
    His gram made the best pizza dough and all three 3 daughters feel that they have the right recipe for the dough, but to be honest none of them taste like Gram Kays. We can't wait to try yours!! I have a feeling your recipe is going to taste like Kay's.
    What a task going through all your belongings and trying to decide what you can let go of.

  6. You, my friend, are amazing! This looks FABULOUS!

    Hope things are going better this week. Sending you big hugs...


    Sheila :-)

  7. This looks wonderful. I never would have thought to use chard on a pizza. I'm really impressed with your creativity. Especially on meatless Mondays. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary.

  8. Wow, Pattie, you've used farmers market ingredients so creatively. Your beet salad looks delicious (I do love beets) and topping a pizza with tomatoes and chard looks mouthwatering. What a feast.

  9. I couldn't possibly refuse anything at all on your table at any time. I especially love beets so keep that in mind when I come to visit:D

  10. Not only does it look amazing, I'm sure it tastes amazing too! I had something very similar when I was living in Texas at a artist ranch called the Chicken Coop. I know it doesn't sound very gourmet, but it was - and it was divine! Thanks for the memories! :) I emailed you a few weeks ago - but didn't hear back. Did you get it? Talk soon! MUAH! Artie

  11. Pattie, I hope you are feeling better! This heat and humdiity has everyone down. We love portobello mushrooms and this looks so good!
    ♥ Pat

  12. Oh wow! This looks delicious!!!

  13. Yummy!

    We make pizza often, but I have to try these beets...You are so creative!

    Warm wishes darling!

  14. I look for every way possible to serve beets. Thanks for adding to my recipe collection. I even came across a recipe for beet hummus this week!! Both pizzas look delicious. Thanks for sharing.


  15. These look delicious! My 15-year old daughter is a vegetarian {who happens to LOVE mushrooms ~ hooray!} so this would be perfect to cook at our house. I also happen to love chard, despite what many scaredy-of-greens people might say. I re-discovered beets a few years ago. I'd never had them fresh, but now I'm a convert. SO, you have brought a lot of great things together in this post. Thank you for sharing! xx Suzanne

  16. Love your liberty bread/butter dishes, etc. paired in contrast to the red water can with flowers!!! Gorgeous! And the meal, especially that shrimp, looks divine as always!
    And last, but not least, those two little girls ARE beautiful!
    Hugs, Lana


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