Sunday, November 29, 2015

Brown Rice Pilaf with Pine Nuts

A pile of brown rice doesn't have to be boring! Cooking it pilaf-style with onion in vegetable broth adds lots of flavor. Some lightly toasted pine nuts add more flavor along with some crunch.


1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (preferably Italian flat-leaf parsley), divided

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over low to medium-low heat for few minutes until lightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Stir in the rice, coating it well with the olive oil.

Add the broth, water, salt, and pepper, along with 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Raise heat to high, and bring the mixture just to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40-55 minutes, or longer as needed, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Drain any excess cooking liquid that has not been absorbed.

Uncover, add the pine nuts, and toss lightly.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley, and serve.

-- 4 servings

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes and Broccoli (12-inch)

I got this idea from trying the Pesto Pizza from Amy's Kitchen, which I found in the health food freezer at my supermarket.

Amy's version is not bad, but I think my version is even better, because it tastes so much fresher.


1 Basic All-Purpose Pizza Crust (12-inch) or Thin Pizza Crust (12-inch) (or your favorite 12-inch pizza crust)
1 heaping cup fresh broccoli florets, cut small
1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare the pizza crust and press into a 12-inch pizza pan, or form it into a 12-inch round on a baking sheet, with the edges slightly thicker to contain the toppings.

Blanch the broccoli by boiling for one minute (or microwaving for 1 or 2 minutes with 2 tablespoons of water) until crisp-tender. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, and drain. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.

Spread the pesto evenly over the pizza crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella.

Arrange the Roma tomato slices on the pizza in a single layer, and then sprinkle evenly with the blanched broccoli.

Top the pizza with the remaining 1/2 cup of the mozzarella and the Parmesan.

Bake for 12-18 minutes, until golden.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing

-- 3-4 servings