Posts Tagged ‘mozzarella’

by Sarah Steimer

Zucchini and pickled beet sandwich

No matter how many dishes I make or how many new recipes I try, sandwiches are still one of my favorite meals. This recipe was no exception, and it proves you don’t need meat to make a tasty and satisfying sandwich.


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by Caitlin Saniga

Grilled beets and peaches with poppyseed dressing

I’m clinging on to every last excuse to use the grill before fall really kicks in. These beets took on a nice, mildly smoky flavor, and the scallion and peaches tasted all-out grilled. Tip for the beets: If the paper towel method for rubbing away the skin seems like too much of a mess, run the beets under cold water while peeling instead.


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by Caitlin Saniga

Gingery heirloom tomato salad with watermelon, mozzarella and arugula

This is an upscale restaurant-quality dish, made especially wonderful by the umami ginger dressing. You’ll have fun creating new flavor combos with each bite and want to lick the plate clean when you’re done.


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by Sarah Steimer

My pizza Monday got a big seasonal upgrade with these flatbreads! I only used half the recipe per dinner, which made two flatbreads; four flatbreads total.

My pizza Monday got a big seasonal upgrade with these flatbreads! I only used half the recipe per dinner, freezing the other half to use another night. I probably had it in the freezer for about two weeks, and it tasted just as good as the fresh dough.

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by Sarah Steimer

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but I do want to try creating more of my own recipes. This was the first such invention of 2013. I expect it started the way most of my original recipes will start: with pure laziness and whatever happens to be in the pantry/fridge.

One of my goals this year is to make more of my own recipes. This was the first such invention of 2013. I expect it started the way most of my original recipes will start: with total laziness and whatever happens to be in the pantry/fridge.

  • 5-6 lasagna noodles
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into about 1/4-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup ricotta
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan or Asiago

Break the lasagna noodles into (not too small) pieces. Cook until al dente. Strain and return to the pot, tossing with a couple teaspoons of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.

Heat a saute pan over medium-low heat and add about 2 teaspoons olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the parsnips can be easily pierced with a fork. Occasionally add the broth as the vegetables cook to de-glaze the pan. Add the sun-dried tomatoes during the last few minutes of cooking time.

Whisk together the ricotta, egg yolk, parsley, oregano and crushed red pepper. Season with a pinch of salt.

Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-by-8-inch cooking pan with olive oil. Loosely layer half of the noodles on the bottom. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella and evenly distribute half the onion, parsnip and tomato mixture. Dot with half of the ricotta mixture, working in 1-teaspoon increments. Repeat this layering with the second half of all ingredients and top with the shredded Parmesan or Asiago.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese on top has started to brown.

Makes about 4-6 servings.

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by Sarah Steimer

Kale on pizza is phenomenal. It gets super crispy and helps to highlight the spices you use. I've done a similar pizza using blue cheese in place of mozzarella as well - and it was also pretty fantastic.

Kale on pizza is phenomenal. It gets super crispy and helps to highlight the spices you use. I’ve done a similar pizza using blue cheese in place of mozzarella as well – and it was also pretty fantastic.

For the crust (makes two pizzas)

  • 1 cup very warm water
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry active yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Whisk together the warm water and yeast until the yeast has dissolved. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

Whisk in the olive oil, honey and salt until all ingredients have dissolved.

Working with either a standing mixer, a food processor — both fitted with a dough attachment — or with a wooden spoon and your own two hands, add one cup of the whole wheat flour. Add the remaining wheat flour, followed by the all-purpose flour a little at a time, or until a stiff ball forms. You may not use all the flour.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 2-3 minutes.

Use olive oil to lightly grease a large bowl and roll the ball of dough in the bowl to coat the dough as well. Cover the bowl, with the dough inside, with a dish towel. Let rise in a warm area for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

TIP: I like to turn the oven on to its lowest setting and then turn it off for a few minutes before placing the dough in the oven to rise. The extra warmth helps the yeast.

For the sauce:

  • 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 8-ounce can tomato sauce (the rest can be placed in a baggie in the freezer)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar (depends on how sweet you like your sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar (really almost any vinegar will do)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste and remove from the heat.

For the pizza

  • 3 large kale leaves, rinsed, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • 3-4 slices uncooked bacon, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 (or more) sauce recipe
  • 1/2 pizza dough recipe

Add a few tablespoons of water to a small skillet. Add the kale and let steam with a lid on for about 3-5 minutes, or until the kale has wilted. Remove the kale and water from the pan.

Dry out the same pan and return to the stove over medium heat. Add the bacon to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent, about 3 more minutes.

Grease a baking sheet with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Stretch the dough out to about a 14-inch-by-10-inch shape (doesn’t need to be perfect), leaving the dough a little thicker toward the edge as a crust. Lightly brush with olive oil.

Bake the crust at 450 degrees for about 5 minutes, or until the crust starts to look golden.

Remove the crust from the oven and add the sauce, followed by the mozzarella, kale, bacon and onion. Grate the sweet potato over the top of the pizza. Sprinkle with the crushed red pepper.

Return the pizza to the oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the kale is crispy and the mozzarella has bubbled.

Makes 3-4 servings.

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by Caitlin Saniga


Notice the missing left crust of pizza? There was no time to take a photo while I was shoveling that piece into my mouth.

  • pizza dough
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 5-6 red-skin potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed
  • 6 ounces buffalo mozzarella, torn into small pieces

A friend said she tried a similar recipe with purple fingerlings. Can you imagine how pretty that would be? Now I’m picturing sweet potato, purple fingerling and beet pizza. Stunning, I bet!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the pizza dough in a well-oiled mixing bowl, and cover with a towel. Place the bowl in a warm (or room-temperature) spot, and let sit for an hour to rise.

In the meantime, warm a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add a generous amount of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once it’s warm, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and golden-brown at the edges. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the potato and sweet potato slices about 5 minutes, or until soft (but not mushy).

On a floured surface, roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin. Make sure it’s a shape and size that will fit on whatever baking sheet or stone you plan to use. If using a metal baking sheet, lightly flour the surface before transferring the dough to the pan. Brush the dough with olive oil, and scatter half of the onions across the surface. Arrange the potatoes over the onions, and top with the mozzarella, rosemary and the rest of the onions.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and brown and the crust is golden. Serve hot.Makes about 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Spicy Icecream

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by Caitlin Saniga

Any time company comes to visit, I try to squeeze in a trip to Euro Bakery for some fresh, hot burek. It’s impressive to watch baker Bari Sinani prepare the pastries, and the burek, like this pepperoni and mozzarella version, is to die for. Heck, I don’t need visitors for an excuse to stop by Euro Bakery. I go somewhat regularly for lunch or on Saturdays during my trip to the Roanoke farmers market, which is across the street.

Bari and Elizabeta Sinani own and operate Euro Bakery in Roanoke. On most days, you can spot their young son curled up in the back of the kitchen, watching TV from a folding chair. Bari, who was born in Macedonia, owned a bakery in Serbia. In 2000, he and Elizabeta, of Bosnia, moved to Roanoke. The couple opened the original Euro Bakery in 2010. You can read more about the Sinanis and their business in this Roanoke Times article from 2010.

I visited: Euro Bakery, a vendor inside the City Market Building in downtown Roanoke, Va., that specializes in Middle-European baked goods. Most notable is the selection of burek, rolled pastries made from fresh-tossed phyllo dough and filled with an assortment of goodies, including beef and onion, spinach and cheese, and my new favorite: pepperoni and mozzarella. Also available is a selection of baked goods such as braided breads, pretzels, crescent rolls, dark chocolate-filled rolls, baklava and tiramisu.

Elizabeta uses a rocking knife to cut burek into bite-size pieces.

I tried: This time, I had the pepperoni and mozzarella burek with marinara dipping sauce. But I’ve also tried and have been a fan of just about every type of burek they serve, including many of the specials.

Why it stood out: Bari Sinani, owner and baker at Euro Bakery, makes his own phyllo dough. Each pastry starts out as a small disc of dough that he works into a fine sheet by pressing out onto a flat surface with buttered hands and then lifting and tossing in the air. It’s an eye-catching spectacle. He says many people who prepare and sell burek, even in Turkey where it originates, use frozen dough. His burek is special because everything is fresh and it’s always served hot from the oven, so it’s totally crispy and flaky.

Bari tosses some fresh phyllo dough before rolling it full of beef and onions.

It cost: $5.50

Find out more:
Euro Bakery
32 Market Sqaure S.E.
Roanoke, VA 24011
Euro Bakery on Facebook

*$6 Snacks is a recurring feature that reviews an area eatery’s snack — for $6 or less. Look at a map of the places we’ve tried. Help our map grow by submitting your own review. Find out how!

Euro Bakery on Urbanspoon

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by Sarah Steimer

These aren’t burnt! It was just a bit dark out when I took the photo. These are a pretty great thrown-together meal when you just have a bunch of odds and ends in the fridge.

  • about 1/2 log of precooked polenta, cut into 12, 1/2-inch slices or larger
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into 12 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped tomato
  • 1 banana pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • crushed red pepper, optional

Place the polenta slices on a parchment paper-covered cooking sheet.

These are the precooked pizzas. This recipe is pretty loose, you can really use whatever is in your fridge or pantry. It’s sort of a healthier alternative to Bagel Bites, I suppose.

Whisk together the tomato paste, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, sugar, oregano, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture still seems a bit thick, thin it out with additional olive oil.

Distribute the sauce over the polenta slices evenly. Top each with a slice of mozzarella.

Combine the onions, tomato and peppers in a bowl. Toss with the balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Distribute the mixture over the polenta slices. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, if using.

Bake the mini pizzas at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the toppings have browned and the cheese has melted.

Makes 12 mini pizzas.

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by Sarah Steimer

There isn’t much physical work involved in this (cutting, blending), but it’s best to start your prep work early. My vegetables needed to be in the oven for quite a while longer than I expected. But it makes the house (or in my case, apartment) smell awesome in the meantime.

  • 4-5 cups fresh tomatoes, cut in half or quarters (about 4 regular tomatoes)
  • 4-5 medium-large carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into large wedges
  • 5-6 medium or large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 2 slices of hearty bread
  • 2 slices fresh mozzarella

Arrange the tomatoes, carrots, onion and garlic in a baking dish or pan (I prefer a baking dish for the higher sides). Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and most — but not all — of the thyme. Toss to coat the vegetables, keeping them in a single layer.

Roast the vegetables at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted into the carrots (my vegetables took closer to an hour for whatever reason — have patience!).

Remove the vegetables from the oven and let sit while you bring the stock to a simmer in a medium pot or dutch oven. When ready, add the vegetables and the pan juices to the stock. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, sprinkle the bread with olive oil and top with the mozzarella slices.  Place the bread on a metal pan or right on the your oven rack under the broiler. Allow the bread to toast under the broiler for about 2 minutes — always keeping an eye on it as it will toast quickly. Remove and sprinkle with the remaining thyme.

Once the vegetables have simmered, add the contents of the pot to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the paprika. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve the soup with the mozzarella and thyme toasts.

Makes two-three servings.

Recipe adapted from: The Gouda Life

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