Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion Pizza

Sometimes, meals are carefully planned. Other times, it’s pure serendipity. I spotted goat cheese on sale at the market and grabbed some. When I got home, I remembered I had some leftover pizza dough in the fridge. I decided to put them together and make a goat cheese caramelized onion pizza.

You can approach this recipe two different ways.  If you make the crust yourself (not hard, but it does take time), it’s a weekend meal. Buy the crust pre-made (you can get it at grocery stores or even your local pizzeria), and it’s a 30 minute meal. So, dinner in half an hour!

I made my own crust (following Smitten Kitchen’s easy recipe), but if you’re in a rush, you don’t have to. By the way, she says to roll out the crust, but I find it works better if I just place it on the baking sheet and gently press outward from the center with my fingers. 

If you do make the dough, it makes enough for one generous dinner serving, or two lunch servings.  It will keep in the fridge for several days, so you don’t have to eat it all at once.  Take it out and let the dough come to room temperature before you start working with it.

Cooking, of course,  is often a process of taking what you already know about food and flavors, doing a bit of research (in cookbooks or online) and combining bits of ideas and techniques.  I often find myself taking bits and pieces from two or three recipes and putting them back together in different ways.

In this case, I started with the pizza crust recipe I already had. Then I added the goat cheese. I took the caramelized onions and the bell pepper from one recipe, the spinach from a second, and the garlic oil from a third.   You can always mix and match to suit your own taste, or the ingredients you have on hand (see more in the Substitutions and Variations section).

Also, I don’t normally post “in progress” photos, but the pizza looked so good I couldn’t resist!

goat cheese caramelized onion pizza_1




 

Substitutions and Variations for Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion Pizza

  • Use roasted red peppers instead of fresh
  • Try a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Add sliced mushrooms and basil
  • Substitute arugula for the spinach
  • Toss in some sun-dried tomatoes

More Pizza Recipes

white pizza without ricottaWhite Pizza Recipe Without Ricotta

Like white pizza, but not a ricotta fan? This recipe has no ricotta at all.

 

tortilla pizza for oneHomemade Tortilla Crust Pizza

A pizza shortcut! Topped with bell peppers and sausage. Quick, and delicious.

 

rosemary potato roasted garlic pizzaRosemary Potato Roasted Garlic Pizza

I like to call this “potato chip pizza.” A whole different take on the usual pizza. No tomato sauce, and easy on the cheese. The potatoes end up golden brown and crisp.

 




Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

This week’s recipe was going to be something else, but then I realized I hadn’t defrosted it.  Oops. No matter, this  Indian fish fillet in yogurt sauce recipe will do quite nicely instead.  You’ll just have to wait for the other recipe!

This is adapted from The Wednesday Chef , who in turn adapted it from Madhur Joffrey.  Since the amounts are smaller, you don’t have to heat up the oven. You can make this in the toaster oven instead. It heats up more quickly and it’s easier to clean too!

All you have to do is lightly fry some onions, pour them onto a tray, season and mix the yogurt, and then pour all of that over the fish.

It’s maybe ten minutes of prep, and 20 minutes of baking.  While it bakes, pour yourself a glass of wine or a beer or make some rice to go with it. Or both.

You end up with a rich, creamy sauce that tastes indulgent (but isn’t, since it’s yogurt, not cream).   So no need to feel guilty.

The garam masala, ginger, and cumin add a bit of bite, but not too much (unless you want it spicier, of course). It’s pretty easy and approachable for Indian food.




Substitutions and Variations for Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

  • Add some curry to the sauce for more kick
  • Try pan frying the fish (about three-five minutes per side); add the yogurt sauce at the end, off the heat so it doesn’t curdle
  • Add half a hot chile pepper

More Fish Recipes

easy canned tuna curryEasy Canned Tuna Curry

Turn a can of tuna into a full meal. Just add some pantry staples, heat it all up and you’re ready to eat in just a few minutes.

 

greek fish with lemon and tomatoesGreek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Bring the flavors of the Mediterranean to your dinner plate with this quick, single pan fish recipe. Make a simple marinade, let it sit, and then pan fry.

 

pan-fried tilapia with lemon butter saucePan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

A splash of citrus, a bit of mustard for bite, and a sprinkle of rosemary add a lot of flavor without much effort.

 

easy mediterranean fish stewEasy Mediterranean Fish Stew

Bring the warmth and sunshine of the Mediterranean to your dinner table, even on a cloudy spring day. This dish is full of flavor from fish, tomatoes, garlic, and citrus.

 

 




Shakshouka for One

Shakshouka doesn’t roll off the tongue when you try to say it.  Maybe it’s a Middle Eastern market?  Or a new folk dance?  It is Middle Eastern spicy poached eggs, either Tunisian or Israeli (depending who you ask, or which ingredients you use). If you make it with onions and bell peppers, it’s Israeli.  On the other hand, if you serve it up with feta or potatoes then it’s Tunisian.

This shakshouka for one recipe is actually two recipes that I mind melded together (one from column A and one from column B) to get what I wanted.

Also, for some reason, I thought it had spinach.  So, I washed and chopped 1/4 C of spinach. Only to find out there was no spinach in either recipe.  I added it anyway. Why waste perfectly good spinach? Besides it adds extra color and flavor, which I think worked out well.

The real recipe ingredients are poached eggs, tomato, onions, bell peppers, and some cayenne for kick.

I’m calling it lunch here, but it works well as a light dinner too. You can put the whole thing together in only 20 or 25 minutes.

So, easy, and no fussing. The hardest part is making sure you don’t break the egg yolks.

Serve it with lots of crusty bread to sop up the sauce.




Substitutions and Variations for Shakshouka for One

  • Slice and fry up a potato in some olive oil, then proceed with the rest of the recipe
  • Add some sliced spicy sausage (merguez would work beautifully)
  • Sprinkle it with some feta cheese
  • If you do break the eggs, just scramble them

More Egg Recipes

egg and tomato gratinEgg and Tomato Gratin for One Person

“Fast” food doesn’t have to mean heavy and greasy. This egg dish is different. Great for brunch or a light lunch.

 

cherry tomato basil frittataCherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Delicious food doesn’t have to be complicated. This recipe has only four ingredients. And you probably have most of them already.

 

egg chili cheese burritoEgg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

A quick meal with a bit of a kick. Ready in about fifteen minutes with pantry and fridge staples.

 

eggs with spinach and chili pepperEggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

Brighten your day with this delicious and colorful frittata. It’s another “fast” food meal, ready in minutes. And only requires one skillet too.

 




Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person

One of the things I like about cooking is that you can take one recipe or meal and transform it into something else entirely.  For example, this vegetarian eggplant sandwich is a variation on the sabich sandwich eaten in Iraq and Israel.  First, I made another batch of the Israeli salad recipe from two weeks ago (the original way, with lemon and bell pepper instead of the mint and lime), and then I added pita, fried eggplant, hummus, spinach, and a hard boiled egg.

And voila! A side dish is now a full meal. The spinach isn’t traditional, but I had some handy and I figured it would go well with the other ingredients.

It makes a great lunch (or light dinner), without a lot of fussing. You hard boil the egg, fry the eggplant and onion, and then just stuff everything into the pita.  You can even follow local tradition and eat it for breakfast on a weekend morning; it has eggs, it must be breakfast food).

Some versions of this sandwich use Israeli pickles and pickled mango sauce. These are both probably delicious, but I didn’t add them because I hate buying large containers of ingredients only to use a few spoonfuls. If you don’t mind that, or plan to eat a lot of sandwiches, you can find both on Amazon.




Substitutions and Variations for Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich

  • Add the pickles and the mangos
  • Layer in some tahini sauce
  • Shred some cabbage and put that between the layers
  • Include bell pepper (about one mini pepper) in the Israeli salad
  • Try some jalapeño for extra heat

More Eggplant Recipes

pasta alla norma with eggplantPasta alla Norma with Eggplant

Take advantage of fresh summer eggplant with this mildly spicy pasta dish. Tender eggplant, a quick tomato sauce, and you’re ready to eat in about 20 minutes.

 

eggplant parmesan for oneEggplant Parmesan Recipe for One

Lightly fried eggplant, rich tomato sauce, and melted mozzarella makes a dinner that’s a lot easier than you may think.

 

sichuan chinese chicken and eggplant with garlic sauceSichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

A takeout standout that you can easily make at home.  And it’s a lot faster than going out for the takeout would be.

 


rosemary olive oil broiled eggplant
Rosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant

An easy side dish that’s ready in minutes. Great with lamb or chicken.

 




Chopped Israeli Salad for One Person

Chopped Israeli salad isn’t quite what you might assume. It doesn’t have lettuce or carrots.  It’s not even eaten when you’d expect.  Israeli salad isn’t for lunch or dinner. Instead people eat it for breakfast with eggs, hummus, pita bread, fish, and olives. Not being much of a standard American breakfast person, I approve!

Of course, all of those things make a great lunch too, especially on a hot day when  you don’t want to get anywhere near a stove or an oven. I adapted this recipe from a comment on Tori Avery’s web site. 

She had a recipe for Israeli salad, and a commenter, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, pointed out that there’s a Persian version called “salad e-shirazi.”

She said it calls for red onion and parsley (neither of which I had).  However, I did decide to follow her suggestion and use lime juice instead of lemon juice and add mint.

Make sure to use either Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers (rather than the standard kind).  The Persian (or mini) cucumbers are shorter and thinner than standard cucumbers and usually sold in sealed packages.  The English (or hothouse) cucumbers are the long, skinny ones individually wrapped in plastic wrap.

They’re easier to cut up and you don’t have to peel them! Also, the standard cukes tend to be more bitter.

I cut everything up, mixed it together, and left it out on the counter for a couple of hours (there’s nothing to spoil quickly) so that the flavors would blend.  Also, if you put tomatoes in the fridge, they start to lose their flavor.

You can serve this salad with the pita and etc. I mentioned above for a light meal or as a side dish with a sandwich or some eggs. You can make plain scrambled eggs, a frittata, or keep the Persian theme going and serve it with Persian eggs. I added about 1/4 C of eggplant I had left over (recipe here and it’s even for one person).

There’s no picture of the eggs because I was hungry and started eating before I remembered to take one!




Substitutions and Variations for Chopped Israeli Salad

  • Try the full standard Persian version, “salad-e-shirazi,” which is made with seeded cukes and tomatoes, red onion, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, lemon juice (or lime juice) and a bit of olive oil.
  • Make it more filing with some crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add some red bell pepper (or try orange or yellow for more color), cut into tiny pieces
  • Chop some radishes and add them to the salad
  • The Book of Jewish Food has a variation popular with Baghdadi Jews in India: add grated ginger and some chopped chili peppers.

Ingredients and Tools for Chopped Israeli Salad

Oxo Lemon/Lime Reamer

You can squeeze the lime with your hands, but it’s a bit messy.  It’s much easier (and neater) to use a reamer instead. And since it’s made by Oxo, it’s comfortable to use.  Tip: Leave the fruit out to get to room temperature (or zap it in the microwave for 5 seconds). It will juice more easily.

Oxo Salad Chopper (mezzaluna) and bowl

You can use a sharp knife to cut up your salad, but it’s even easier with a salad chopper.  The double blades chop the salad, veggies, cheese, etc into tiny little pieces. And it takes a lot less effort. Just rock your hand back and forth.

More One Person Salad Recipes

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Toss together your favorite greens and veggies, add hard boiled egg and leftover chicken, and you’ve got a new twist on the old chef salad.

 

blueberry and spinach salad with fetaBlueberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts

The perfect summer meal when it’s too hot to cook, this recipe is packed with sweet blueberries, salty/tangy feta, and crunchy walnuts.

 

strawberry spinach salad balsamic dressing feta cheeseStrawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Feta Cheese

Don’t have blueberries? Or want a change? Try this spinach and strawberry salad. Sweet, tangy, and fruity. No cooking required.

 

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

If you didn’t quite eat all your lamb breast, use the leftovers for this salad. Rich lamb, creamy soft eggplant, and earthy spinach work beautifully together for a festival of flavors.




Split Pea Soup Recipe with Ham Hock

Nothing beats a bowl of split pea soup when it’s cold outside. This recipe has ham, split peas (of course), and bacon. The ham hock releases a lot of flavor as it slowly cooks into the soup. The bacon is good for salty crunch.  If you haven’t got a ham hock or bacon, salt pork works fine.  Add some crusty bread, or a sandwich, and you’ve got lunch.

The original recipe came from the NY Times Cookbook, but I’ve changed it a bit.  For one thing, it made up to 10 servings (which means one person would be eating soup for a very long time)!  This recipe is only for four servings. Just enough to enjoy it without feeling like you are drowning in split pea soup!

That recipe also called for celeraic (which I never have) and salt pork. Salt pork is fine, but I found it worked really well with bacon (preferably Trader Joe’s no nitrate bacon).

It also freezes well, so you can save some soup for later.

Substitutions and Variations for Split Pea Soup with Ham Hock

  • the original recipe called for 1/2 C diced leek (great for flavor, but not something I usually have in the fridge); if you use it, reduce the amount to about 1/4C.
  • cut up a frankfurter or a chunk of kielbasa, cook it and add it to the soup
  • add a carrot for a bit of sweetness
  • top with croutons
  • cook some extra bacon, crumble it, and top the soup with it
  • add freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • add a parmesan or Manchego cheese rind to the soup while it’s simmering

 

More Soup Recipes

pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Fagioli Soup (Small Batch)

An Italian classic, downsized for one person. It’s packed with flavor from pancetta, beans, rosemary and garlic. Filling too. It’s enough for a meal by itself.

 

ham and lentil soupEasy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

Wonderful comfort food for chilly days. Only needs a single pot and a few basic ingredients.

 

mulligatawny soupMulligatawny Soup Recipe

Britain meets India in this fusion soup spiced with cumin and cinnamon. The Tamil provided the spices, and the British added meat.

 


mushroom barley soup
Mushroom Barley Soup

Nothing fancy or complicated, just filling hot soup.  Just like my grandma used to make (but in a smaller batch).

 




Image of soup in blender with towel thanks to joelk75

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

I’ve mind melded two lentil soup recipes for this and added a few variations to make lentil bean sausage soup. I was going to make bean and sausage soup but looked in the cupboard and found I was woefully short on beans.  There just weren’t enough to make anything with.  But, I did have more lentils.  And, a friend was talking about the bean, sausage, and potato soup she was making.

That gave me an idea.  Bean, lentil, potato, and sausage, plus a bit of manchego rind for some savor (I’ve always wanted to try that, and I had a big bag of rinds in the fridge).

Manchego, parmesan, and romano cheese rinds are great, by the way, for soup or for grating cheese when there’s plenty left on the rind, but not enough to serve.

The nice thing about lentils is that unlike beans, you don’t have to soak them first to use them.

If you only have lentils, skip the beans entirely.  If you only have beans, use my quick soak method to speed up the process.




Ingredients and Tools for Lentil Bean Sausage Soup


2 pcs Stainless Steel Mesh Tea Ball Strainer

Tea strainers are great for tea, but they also have a second use for making soup and other recipes.  Many recipes call for cheesecloth (which I’ve never seen in a store, and seems wasteful anyway).  Instead, I use the tea ball for bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, and herb mixtures that have to be added (and then removed) from soup or other recipes. Because, who wants to bite down into a peppercorn?!

The New York Times Cook Book

This cookbook was the source for part of the recipe. I have had my copy so long it’s falling apart. The soup section includes lentil, split pea, and the savory tomato soup which is the basis for my dad’s secret soup recipe.


The Silver Palate Cookbook

I’m on my third copy of this! The other half of the soup recipe comes from the bean and sausage soup in this cookbook. The peasant vegetable is also wonderful, as is the six onion soup. Actually, I’ve never had a bad recipe from this one. Plus there are suggestions and variations for many of the recipes, which I like.

More Lentil and Bean Soup Recipes

red lentil carrot soupRed Lentil Soup with Carrots

Cumin, garlic, and ginger for mellow, warm spiciness, and a bit of red pepper flakes for a kick.  Warming, filling, and delicious. Quick too, since red lentils take less time to cook than the brown ones.

single serving lamb and lentil soupLamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Take the bones from your lamb breast, make a broth, and transform that into soup. Extra meals, with not much extra cost.

 

pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Faglioli (Bean) Soup

An Italian classic soup, downsized for one person. Flavored with pancetta, rosemary, beans, and pasta, it’s both aromatic and delicious.

 

ham and lentil soupEasy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

Only one pot! Easy too, just a bit of chopping, and then let it simmer.




Easy Singapore Noodles with Chicken for One Person

Nobody knows exactly where Singapore noodles came from.  They’re not really native to Singapore, and the curry is more South Asian than North Asian.  I suspect they are no more “Singaporean” than fortune cookies are Cantonese.  In any case, easy Singapore noodles with chicken is a quick, weeknight dinner that’s a great way to “clean out your fridge.”

They don’t work too well as leftovers (especially if you use rice noodles, which tend to clump when they sit), so a recipe for a single serving is essential.  Since it makes just enough for one person, you won’t have leftovers to fill up the fridge again!

I used regular pasta here, because that’s what I had and rice noodles may not be readily available everywhere.  If you do use the rice noodles, get the vermicelli kind.  Soak them in hot water for thirty seconds to soften them and then add them to the vegetables and chicken once they’re cooked.

The recipe is flexible, so you can use chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp if you have that handy, or if you prefer it.

The vegetables are just suggestions too.  I used broccoli, onions, mushrooms, and two kinds of bell peppers (red and green). More suggestions (and variations) at the bottom of the post.




Easy Singapore Noodles with Chicken Substitutions and Variations

  • Use leftover roast pork or raw shrimp (or both) instead of chicken
  • Use a mixture of frozen Chinese veggies, such as Trader Joe’s stir fry, or harvest hodgepodge. Seapoint Farms Oriental Blend is also good; this will also speed up the cooking time
  • Mix and match the vegetables in the dish. Add snow peas, water chestnuts, or sprouts. Use different kinds of peppers.
  • Throw in a hot pepper or two (depending on your tolerance for heat)
  • Add an egg and scramble it

More Asian Noodle Recipes

spicy beef noodle soupSpicy Beef Noodle Soup for One

A quick, and healthy soup, packed with noodles, cabbage, and chili garlic sauce. All right from your fridge and pantry.

 

spicy sesame noodlesSpicy Sesame Noodles Recipe for One Person

Slightly sweet, a little spicy, and refreshing too. This takeout standard is easy to make at home. Add cucumbers for crunchy cool.

 

szechuan chili noodlesSzechuan Chili Noodles Recipe

A streamlined home version of Dan Dan noodles. Add meat (or not).  All you need is noodles, make your own chili oil for heat, sesame seeds for crunch, and bok choy (or cabbage) for color and a little crunch.

chinese chicken noodle cabbage soupChinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

The aroma alone is enough to make you hungry. Breathe in the garlic, spicy chili, and honey, and then slurp it all down.