Fiorentina Pizza

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you already know I have a penchant for not-so-common pizza toppings. And here is another – eggs! Ok, wipe that look off your face….I know it sounds completely inappropriate, but to date I have a 100% success rate in changing the Ewww’s! to Ooooh’s! when presenting this pizza to guests.

Fiorentina Pizza

The Fiorentina Pizza is not my unique idea. It is one of the many delicious pizzas created by UK-based pizza chain Pizza Express. While living in London in the 90’s, Pizza Express was a staple in our family’s diet. Weekly (sometimes daily….) visits were a must. My go-to was always the Margherita (mozzarella and tomato) until I was introduced to the Fiorentina by best friend Kelly. Despite being topped with ingredients I thought I didn’t like (spinach, olives, runny eggs), I ignored my gut instincts and had a bite. Oh. My. God. That sh*t was good! The salty olives, earthy spinach and just enough run in the egg yolk to create a bonus sauce – everything melded into awesomeness.

Fiorentina Pizza

  • Pizza dough
  • Pizza sauce (store bought)
  • 4 – 6 Oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • Fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • 6 – 8 black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 – 3 eggs, room temperature

Preheat gas grill and pizza stone on high heat. Spread dough out on a floured pizza peel. Shimmy, to ensure it is not sticking. Spread the pizza sauce evenly around the crust. Scatter the spinach, olives and cheese evenly. Transfer to the pizza stone, and lower heat to medium. Crack each egg onto the pizza, trying not to let them overlap. Allow to cook for 10 -12 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and dough is cooked through. Also make sure that egg whites are cooked through. Transfer back to the peel. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting.

Pizza Dough (for one pizza)

  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 – 1/3 C. warm water

Combine flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly add water until you reach desired consistency. Turn to “stir” and knead for 7 – 10 minutes. Dump into oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for until doubled in volume. Punch down dough, and divide into balls (one for each pizza). Cover until ready to use.

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Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

These pancakes are light, fluffy and chock full of blueberries. The buttermilk gives them a little zing, while whipped egg whites and ricotta cheese deliver a great texture. These are perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast, or a quick week night meal. Add bacon and eggs and a little maple syrup to finish off this meal.

Blueberry Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 C. flour
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 C. buttermilk
  • 1/2 C. ricotta
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 C. blueberries

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, ricotta and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold egg whites into batter. Fold blueberries into batter.

Lightly spray a griddle or nonstick pan with cooking spray. Heat to medium heat, and spoon batter out in 1/4 cup heaps. Wait for bubbles to form on top of each pancake and for the bottom to be golden brown before flipping. Cook on second side until golden brown (4 to 5 minutes total cooking time).

Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Recipe modified from Martha Stewart

Eggs Florentine Sandwich

A quick, healthy breakfast – an Eggs Florentine Sandwich goes together in minutes and is a great jump start for the day.

mixed greens in garlic oil

Saute spinach (or mixed greens, as I am using today) in a little garlic infused olive oil. When just wilted, crack an egg in the middle. Sprinkle it with black pepper and parmesan cheese, and put a lid on it. Turn the heat down to low, and allow the egg to cook to your desired runny-ness (or hardness, if that’s what you prefer.

spinach and eggs

Slide onto toast, and enjoy!

eggs florentine sandwich

No Scrambled Eggs Here

carbonara

 I’ve always liked Pasta Carbonara, but for the longest time I was scared to attempt it. What should be a silky, flavorful delight could easily become scrambled eggs and bacon over watery pasta. Gross. A few months back I decided to face my fear and went in search of a foolproof Carbonara recipe. I was pleased to find one by Tyler Florence – his recipes have never let me down, and this one was no exception! I’ve made some tweaks to suit my tastes – but Tyler’s cheese to egg ratio and cooking method are key. This is a quick dish (as quick as boiling water and cooking pasta) that packs a ton of flavor.

ingredients

Get all of your ingredients out and prepped while you put a pot of water onto boil. This dish goes together quick, and you don’t want to be beating eggs and grating cheese when you should be done and eating. So start by whisking the eggs, cheese and pepper together. This will make your sauce – just set it aside for now. Dice the bacon, mince the garlic, shell your peas (just kidding – pop them in the microwave to thaw them out), and rough chop the parsley. The water should be boiling now – add in the pasta with about 2 teaspoons of salt. Undercook the pasta just slightly – it will finish in the sauce.

sauce

In a heavy bottom pan that’s big enough to fit the whole pound of pasta, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove it with a slotted spoon and pour off some of the fat – you want to keep about 1 – 2 Tablespoons in the pan. The next few steps happen quickly, so make sure this isn’t your first time reading through the instructions. Add in the garlic, peas and parsley and cook for about one minute. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the water (I dip a measuring cup in before I pour the pasta into the collander). Dump the pasta into the hot oil (with garlic, peas, and parsley) and toss it around to coat. Cook the pasta in the oil (stirring constantly) for 2 minutes.

Almost there! Take the pot off of the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture over the hot pasta. Stir while you pour, and keep stirring until the sauce coats the pasta and starts to thicken up. If it gets too thick, pour in a little of the pasta water. Oh my – you forgot to keep some!? Throw the whole thing out and start over….or just add a little plain water – no one will ever know the difference ;)

mixing

That’s it! A little hectic for a minute, but truly a breeze! When you dish it out, sprinkle the top with some bacon, extra cheese, and a few grinds of black pepper.

carbonara

  • 1 pound Linguine
  • 4 ounces bacon, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup green peas (thawed if frozen)
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

No short version here. I can’t in good conscience give you this dish without details for making it successful!