Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pesto Gnocchi with Chicken and Roasted Cauliflower

FOUND IT: The original recipe came from a Penzey's catalog. I made it a few times to perfect it and changed the vegetable from potatoes to cauliflower to make it healthier.

I have an Aerogarden in my laundry room, and it's been growing nothing but basil all winter. It needs to be harvested every few weeks, which means I'm making another batch of my spinach basil pesto every few weeks. This might be the best thing I've made with it.

Cauliflower is the best vegetable I've found to use here, but it's certainly not the only option. Almost any roasted vegetable could be substituted or added.

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • 1 16 oz package of mini gnocchi (here's the brand I use)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 8 ounces Spinach Basil Pesto, or your favorite pesto sauce.
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, roasted if possible
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper and roast at 350 for 20 minutes, stirring once in the middle.

If you haven't already browned the chicken, now is a good time to do that.

While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the gnocchi according to package instructions (if you're using mini gnocchi, this won't take long). Drain them well, then combine the cauliflower, gnocchi, chicken, pine nuts and parmesan cheese in a large serving dish.

Pizza Quiche

FOUND IT: I more or less invented this, although I used the egg/milk/salt combination and crust baking time from this recipe.

I was eating a quiche on Saturday morning and, though I'm not sure why, I ended up thinking about the possibility of a pizza quiche. My initial experiment was pretty simple, but I think the concept would work with pretty much anything you'd put on a pizza (provided it's chopped small enough and pre-cooked if necessary).

  • 1 premade pie crust
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp pizza seasoning (I use Penzey's)
  • Roughly 10 small slices of pepperoni, chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 cup pizza sauce (I eyeballed this, so I don't have an exact measurement)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I mixed Havarti and Mozzarella)

Roll out the pie crust into a pie plate, poke a lot of holes in the bottom with a fork, and bake it at 400 for 10 minutes. Reset the oven to 350 once it's out.

While the crust is baking, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and pizza seasoning. Once the crust is out of the oven sprinkle the pepperoni (or whatever toppings you're using) onto the crust, then pour the egg mixture over that. Your pepperoni or other toppings may float to the top, just do the best you can to keep them spread out.

Bake this at 350 for 25 minutes. At that point, take it out and carefully spoon and spread the pizza sauce on top. Cover the sauce with the shredded cheese and bake for 20 more minutes. Let it cool for five minutes or so before serving.