Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Crisp Onion & Zucchini Pizza

Got pesto? Got zucchini and onions? Try them all together on a pizza and be ready to fall in love!

My family and I love our homemade pizza nights. Even though pizza is available--fast and inexpensive--from a variety of pizza places within just a mile of us, those ready-made pizzas don't hold a candle to our creations.

Each family member gets to come up with their own ideas (admittedly, the youngest rarely strays from his regular cheese pizza). During the summer I love to come up with ways to use fresh veggies from the garden. The first time I tried fresh zucchini on pizza, I was astounded--it's delicious!

I found this recipe in Lady's Home Journal several years ago, and adapted it to my own taste (namely, using Greek yogurt instead of ricotta, since I always have yogurt on hand. Click here to see how I make Greek yogurt--it's easy and tastes infinitely better than any commercial brand). The caramelized onions are really what make the pizza over-the-top delicious (fellow onion lovers, you know how awesome caramelized onion is on anything), and the zucchini takes a sort of co-star role. Together, and added to the pesto base, this simple pizza has become one of my all-time favorites.

Maybe the kids won't try it (my oldest son loves it, but the other two still hesitate when unusual pizzas are presented). For us grown-ups, however, this is an incredibly tasty pizza to add to the repertoire of homemade pizza flavors!

*Need more zucchini ideas? Click here for a zucchini noodle recipe, plus lots of other ideas from TenthAcreFarm*

Crisp Onion and Zucchini Pizza     Print Here

1 lb. pizza dough
2 T. coconut or olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c. Greek yogurt (or ricotta cheese if you have it)
2 T. prepared pesto
1/4 c. grated Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour; usually I end up with onions that still have some glistening white, along with plenty of tan and crisp edges. Turn up heat slightly if it seems to be taking too long.  *Note: onions can be caramelized ahead of time and stored in the fridge if you know you'll be trying this recipe and want to save some time on the night you make it.

2. In a bowl, mix the yogurt or ricotta (or a mix of both ingredients), pesto, and Parmesan.

3. Stretch and shape your pizza dough to the thickness you like (I love to make mine as thin as possible). In a pinch, you could use a ready-made crust like Boboli. Spread the pesto/yogurt mixture over the dough, and then place the zucchini slices on top. Spread the caramelized onions evenly over the top of everything, then bake in your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy! It will be hard to share!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Food Forest Update; Quiet Steady Growth

From the street, it's becoming obvious that this is no longer
a typical urban empty lot.

If you didn't see my original post about the Food Forest, click here to see how I got to be present at its 'birth'. What was once just a simple empty lot has begun a transformation beyond my wildest dreams...and it will only get more lush and beautiful as the perennial plants and trees reach maturity.

Since I first wrote about this magical place, the Young Urban Homesteaders--the dynamic couple who dreamed up the whole plan--launched their own website and included a page about their long-term vision. They described what a Food Forest is better than I ever could. You MUST click here to take a look!

Here are a few photos I took this weekend showing some of the changes and growth in this humble and beautiful place.  

Sunflowers and amaranth thrive along the borders.

From the far corner. Hard to see in the photo, but the hazelnut, pawpaw and seaberry trees are growing tall. You can see the raspberry trellis that the Young Urban Homesteaders have added.
All the food plants (FORTY whopping varieties) are thriving!

Wow, look at this! A sturdy, natural arch for the grapes and hardy kiwi plants to climb.
I can hardly wait to see this beautiful structure fill out with life.

Strawberries along the entire front edge of the lot.

The first of what will be many, many sunflowers this summer!

More updates to come as this former empty lot becomes a tiny forest brimming with wildlife, plants, and food. :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Today in The Garden- Six Blossoms

Early in the morning, there was a huge yellow blossom on the Jack-Be-Little pumpkin plant--by afternoon it had closed in on itself and revealed another blossom underneath it. Throughout the day we looked closely and found a few other flowering surprises.

There is something indescribably exciting about spotting those first blossoms. While the whole garden is hard at work, growing and greening in all the rain, these 6 are the star of the show for today...


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lamb's Quarters Poppers

It's time for you to discover lamb's quarters! 

A common 'weed' that is also known as goosefoot, fat hen, and smooth pigweed, lamb's quarters is a plant you may have overlooked. Tasty and abundant, and common nearly everywhere human beings live, it is the perfect forager's find. The leaves taste incredibly similar to spinach, and the raw stems taste like asparagus.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Forager's Find- Mulberry

For a long time, I hesitated to include mulberries as a Forager's Find because, well--they are everywhere! Is it really foraging if you only have to walk a block or two to find them?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mulberry Alley- A Simple Gift from my Husband

I've had mulberries on my mind a lot lately.

I've been working on an informative blogpost--one that I never knew I wanted to write, until I realized that a lot of people don't know what mulberries are. I've been eating mulberries by the dozens every day since they began ripening last week. They are always something I've always taken

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Death of A Chipmunk

It's just a chipmunk. Its death should be inconsequential. I wanted it to die, after all. I wanted lots of the chipmunks who have set up residence in our yard to die. As long as I didn't have to do it--or see it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Today In the Garden: Migration to Backyard

You would think that the backyard would be the most logical place to start when you want to plant a garden, right?

In our case, no. This is our 4th garden season, and we have just now officially moved into the back.

Since it's only the beginning of June, not a lot has filled out yet in our gardens. We have nearly everything planted, however, and some things are already taking off. Come along on my little tour Today in The Garden!

Here is the original, 4-year-old garden space, along the south side of the house. Our property ends with that sidewalk.