Posts Tagged ‘Peas’

Pizza with Peas, Favas, and Bacon

A few weeks ago, some friends came to town.  It was their first visit to San Francisco.  After roaming around Ghiradelli Square and checking out the sea lions, we walked down to the Ferry Building.  After getting meat cones at Boccalone, we wanted some drinks.  Market Bar was serving their happy hour menu, so we grabbed a table in the sun and ordered up some snacks and Pimm’s cups.

One of the things we ordered was a pizza with pancetta and fava beans.  It was delicious.  I’ve been dreaming about it ever since and finally decided to make my own.  I tweaked it a bit, leaving off the onion and red sauce, using some delicious bacon from the Fatted Calf instead of pancetta, and adding a bit of mint.   I had some peas leftover from a salad the previous night, so I added those too.  I think the favas and peas here are pretty interchangeable – use one or both, whatever you have on hand.

Pizza with Favas, Peas, and Bacon

Pizza dough
8 ounces of fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
2 strips of thick cut bacon, cut into thin strips
2 cups of shelled peas and or fava beans
a few mint leaves, thinly sliced
Olive oil
a splash of lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 425.  After the pizza dough rises, roll it out and brush with a light coating of olive oil.  Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the thing and brush it in so it blends with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Arrange the mozzarella and bacon so its evenly distributed.  Sprinkle with mint and a little more salt and pepper.

Bake for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, toss the peas and favas in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.  When 10 minutes have passed, remove the pizza from the oven and add the peas and favas.  Bake again for another 2-3 minutes, until the crust starts to brown and the cheese is melted.

Let the pizza cool for a couple minutes, and slice and serve.

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The best thing about spring is that I get to make this salad.  I adore it.  Fresh peas are absolutely amazing, and this salad has lots of them.  Freshly shelled and left raw, they are sweet and crunchy and perfect with the spinach, feta, and lemony dressing.

The recipe comes from Jamie Oliver’s Naked Chef cookbook.  Like most Jamie Oliver recipes, it’s pretty relaxed and not very precise.  Just toss a few handfuls of baby spinach with a handful of fresh shelling peas and crumble some fresh feta over it.  To dress, mix one part lemon juice with two parts olive oil, add a sprinkle of salt, and some freshly cracked pepper and whisk together.  Toss the dressing over the salad and you are good to go.

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I’ve been neglecting my blog for the last few weeks, but I’m back.  The farmers’ market is in full swing with spring produce, so I’ve got a few good recipes lined up for the next couple weeks.  This weekend, my freezer was full of ground meat from Marin Sun Farms and I wanted to try something other than burgers.  I gathered up some good looking spring vegetables at the farmers market and set to work on a shepherd’s pie.  Or, apparently, it’s a cottage pie, since it’s made with beef and not lamb.  Whatever it is called, it was good.  I continued the spring theme with a simple spinach and strawberry salad and served it all up with a bottle of Sonoma zinfandel for a really great dinner.

I cooked the dish in a 8×10 casserole dish and it made about 4 large servings.  I think next time around, I might double the recipe and make it in a 9×13 so that it’s a little thicker and deeper.  Plus, it was good enough that we wanted more leftovers.

Shepherd’s Pie with Spring Vegetables
Loosely inspired by Elise’s version at Simply Recipes

1 lb of ground round beef
3 spring onions, finely minced
2-3 sprigs of green garlic, chopped
2 cups of chopped carrots and peas
About 2 pounds of potatoes – I used about 4 medium ones
A few springs of thyme and a few sage leaves, minced
1 teaspoon chives, finely minced
1/4 cup of milk or cream
Butter and olive oil
Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).

While the potatoes are cooking, heat up a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Saute the onions and carrots for 5-10 minutes, until the carrots start to soften.  Add the green garlic and mix together.

Add ground beef and herbs, sauteing until just about cooked.  Turn off the heat and add the peas, salt, and pepper, and stir together.

When the potatoes are finished, drain and return to the pot.  Mash them, incorporating the minced chives, salt and pepper, a splash of cream, and a couple pats of butter. 

Spread the beef and vegetable mixture at the bottom of the pan and gently spread the potatoes over it.  Bake at 400 degrees oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes), sticking under the broiler if necessary and serve. 

Strawberry Spinach Salad for Two

3 cups of spinach, washed and chopped up into ribbons
4-5 large strawberries, sliced
an ounce or two of crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used blood orange infused from Stonehouse)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
a drop of honey
salt and pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and the honey until its emulsified.  Add salt and pepper.  Add the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.  Sprinkle on the goat cheese and serve.


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