Rosemary, Olive Oil, Potato Pizza and Lemony Zucchini Ricotta Pizza

At first mention, the idea of a sauceless, cheeseless pizza doesn't seem too enticing, so if it makes you feel better, you can call these flatbreads or something else. I'm happy thinking of them as pizzas where the focus is all dough and toppings. (In case you're new here, I LOVE dough.)

These are both Smitten Kitchen recipes I made last weekend with my friend Allie. The zucchini pizza I first made last summer, but this time used ricotta instead of goat cheese. And a recent LA Times article reminded me I had never tried the potato pizza I saw on Smitten Kitchen two summers ago.


Both are great summer pizzas, in my mind. Light and fresh tasting. (I know, carbs on carbs, how is potato pizza light? But the potatoes are sliced thinly and there's not sauce and cheese to weigh it down further.) The two pizzas with a side salad make a perfect evening-on-the-porch meal.

I won't post the full recipes since I didn't make any significant changes, except as mentioned, this time I used ricotta instead

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of goat cheese. For the potato pizza don't be shy with the sea salt and cracked pepper. For both, I used Trader Joe's dough, then cooked the pizzas individually in a 500-degree oven on a preheated pizza stone until the toppings were cooked and the crust turned golden brown.

Rosemary, Olive Oil, Potato Pizza

Lemony Zucchini Ricotta Pizza


Ratatouille and Polenta

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With an eggplant, zucchini and bell pepper in the fridge the other day, I couldn't

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help but think of ratatouille. Since I couldn't justify another trip to the market, canned tomato sauce would have to suffice to complete the traditional four-fecta of produce in the dish.

I wanted to make a meal of it, so I opented up the pantry. Hmm polenta…That sounds a big bowl of mush, unless…yes, I could make some firm squares and pan-fry the outsides. Althought I didn't have success in my first crisp polenta attempt this summer…


I've since found the proper 3-1 ratio of liquid to dry polenta, and I haven't had any similar fails. (I'll note that the polenta in that photo, while melted out of its square shapes, ended up with a most pleasant grill flavor.)

Serving an untraditional ratatouille with polenta, of all things, is a departure from the French spirit of honoring culinary tradition, but a Google search shows I'm not the first to have bastardized a classic in this way. Yet when it works so deliciously, why fight it?

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Recipes from Iron Chef Competition: Indian Rice Fritter and Shrimp Curry

Back in February, Michael, my friend Gwen and I competed in the university Iron Chef competition, where we had a few days to plan a two course menu involving various rices. We all love Indian food so that’s the route we went. Then we had one hour and two burners to prepare the dishes for four judges with the help of campus chef Jeremy Elmore. We wished we placed better than third, but we were very proud of the food we made and think you’d like it, too. The menu:

  • Vegetable and Brown Basmati Fritter with Three Sauces: Curry-Lime Yogurt, Coconut-Mango Chutney and Chili-Garlic Tomato Paste
  • Gulf Shrimp in Coconut-Tamarind Curry Sauce with Red Himalayan Rice Pilaf and Cucumber Raita

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Someone told me that his mom once used five successive exclamation points in a note saying she was making frittata for dinner. At that point I had never tried frittata, but I knew I must if it roused that much excitement in someone. Now I love to make it, and it has become a default meal if I have a lot of eggs and vegetables. If you’re not familiar with frittata, it’s like a crustless quiche, or a baked omelet. 

I love to put ricotta in frittata, if only so I can say “ricotta frittata” over and over. I made this one just before spring break when I needed to clean out my refrigerator. No ricotta unfortunately, but I used up a zucchini, a Chinese eggplant, half a red bell pepper, leftover chorizo and most of my eggs. It made a nice dinner and breakfast before my flight.

Plus, it’s so easy, you’ll be singing like my friend Kat did, “Hakuna Frittata! It means no worries!”


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