I Heart the Napa Valley

May 8, 2008 at 6:07 am (Napa Valley) ()

So today was one of those days that I realize why I have never left the Napa Valley after 6 years of living in St. Helena.  It was a “perfect 10” of a day – the sun was shining, I took The Minkie on a long walk and enjoyed the fragrance of all of the blossoming flowers, and friends came over in the evening to have dinner (5 of us in a 3 butt kitchen – pretty entertaining)!  There was a lot of dodging and maneuvering and stirring and chopping. 

A-Star was making soup and I made Majorcan Veggie Pizza.  While cooking up dinner we played Trivial Pursuit and drank a fabulous bottle of Trimbach Pinot Gris.  Both dinner items were delicious.  A perfect ending to a perfect day!

Majorcan Veggie Pizza (Coca de Verduras)
Variation of recipe in Cooking Light, May 2008
Yields: 6 servings

The original recipe in the magazine calls for home-made pizza dough.  Instead, I bought pre-made pizza dough from Trader Joe’s.  Making it from scratch just didn’t sound like too much fun at the time.  I have broken up this recipe into 5 steps to make it functionally more easy to follow:

1.  Preheat oven to 500 F
2.  Start Samfaina
3.  While Samfaina simmers prepare pizza dough
4.  Spread Samfaina on pizza dough and top with Ricotta Cheese
5.  Load pizza into oven and cook for 16 minutes

2.  The Samfaina (Topping) – A mix of onions, garlic, eggplant, pepper, tomatoes, and zucchini.  Exact proportions of  this recipe are not crucial – improvisation works!
2 T     Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 C     Coursely chopped Onion
5 C     Cubed, peeled eggplant cut into cubes (about 1 #)
2 C     Cubed zucchini (about 1/2 #)
1 C     Chopped red bell pepper
7        Minced garlic cloves
1 1/2#   Chopped Tomatoes (seeded and peeled)
2 T     Parsley
1 T     Thyme
1 t     Smoked Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Stir in eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and garlic.  Cook 5 minutes.  Add tomatoe, parley, and thyme.  Simmer until vegetables are tender and liquid evaporates.  Stir in salt/pepper and paprika.  Cook 1 minute. 
Yield:  10 servings, so you will not use it all on the pizza.  Go ahead and throw the remainder on a baguette for lunch the next day.

3.  Pizza Dough/Crust
While the Samfaina cooks prepare the pizza dough.  You can buy pre-made pizza dough at most grocery stores….or you can choose to make your own.

4.  Putting it together:
Samfaina
1 C Ricotta Cheese
Spread Samfaina evenly over dough.  Cover with Ricotta cheese.  Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with a little Olive Oil!

5.  Load pizza into oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is golden.  I feeling adventurous, throw on some toasted pine nuts when the pizza comes out of the oven.  Very Spanish!

Tired now after a great day. 

Until next time!  XOXO!

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