Office Eats: Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza with Easy Arugula Salad

PearAndGorgonzolaPizza

Ever since I was little, I knew to dream big, and always seemed to have lofty life goals. When asked as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d answer, “A doctor. But in my spare time, I’d like to be President of the United States.” My queasiness around anything bloody ended my medical career before it began, and my future in politics was stunted when two of my senators stood me up during a luncheon sponsored by a future-world-leadership congress I attended (I’m not naming names).  My writing tendencies appeared early on, as well. When my grandmother, a receptionist in a doctor’s office, took me to work with her, she’d plop me down in the waiting room, while she took care of business. I earned the nickname, “Yenta Pisher,” because I’d ask all the patients why they were there, and then I’d get to work writing them a storybook about their visit that day.

It wasn’t until high school, when my mom and I spent many an afternoon watching her “boyfriend,” Emeril Lagasse, elevate an exquisite dish with a simple snap of the wrist and an enthusiastic “BAM!,” that I even considered a future in food. Despite my passion for television development, another career path I love and chose to follow full-time, I’ve always harbored a pipe dream of joining the ranks of Emeril, as a food personality on a lifestyle network. My love for food television grew to new heights when I started watching what I affectionately call, “food porn.” You know the type: perfectly primped chefs cooking beautiful food under soft focus and perfect lighting, with that barely audible soundtrack serenading them as they taste their creation. Mmmmmm…

Pear and Gorgonzola pizza

Close up of my Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza with Easy Arugula Salad on top.

Recently, I received a note from my good friend, Hayley, who produces content for a brand new YouTube channel (#Coin, go check it out!). Hayley, a fellow foodie and an all around good person, remembered my passion for food and entertainment, and reached out to invite me to be part of a cooking show she was working on called, “Office Eats.” The intention of the show was to highlight recipes that someone could make after a long day of work. There would be several culinary points of view featured, but Hayley asked if I would showcase “food porn.”

Food porn!! Not only is that exactly what I loved so much about the cooking shows of yore, but it’s become my culinary specialty! It didn’t take long to decide whether or not I would participate, and soon I was busy planning the recipes I would feature.

Justin Janowitz adjusts the Camera B for our first shoot.

In the next few weeks, as #COIN airs my segments of “Office Eats,” I hope to share this experience with you.

First up, I whipped together a Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza topped with a quick and easy Arugula Salad. Click here to check out the video, and see how I made it!

Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza with Easy Arugua Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4-6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
A savory-sweet pizza that is sure to impress.
Ingredients
  • 1 prepackaged pizza dough
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1 bosc pear, seeded and sliced
  • ½ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Roll out your pizza dough on a sheet of parchment paper, and spread softened mascarpone cheese on top. Layer on the pear slices, and sprinkle on the crumbles of gorgonzola cheese. Drizzle honey on top. Transfer the pizza to the oven, and bake for 10-12 minutes. (*Note: If using a pizza stone, transfer the parchment paper directly to the oven. Otherwise, transfer the parchment paper carrying the pizza to a baking sheet, and then put in oven.)
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add arugula, and dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  4. Once the pizza is browned and bubbly, remove from oven, and let rest for 2 minutes.
  5. Slice the pizza, and then top with the dressed arugula.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Summer Harvest Salad

Summer Harvest Salad

One of the things I miss most about my time spent living in the Midwest is the changing of the seasons. Don’t get my wrong. I understand that living in Southern California, I am certainly spoiled by the weather, but with the two options being hot and hotter, I sometimes reminisce about a cool fall breeze, or a refreshing spring shower (I don’t get too carried away about missing Chicago winters, however).

Fortunately for me, we’ve been experiencing a particularly unusual summer, and have had several days of rain. If I could hand-pick any sort of rain from the sky, it would undoubtedly be a warm summer rain. I can probably count on one hand how many times we’ve had them here in the So.Cal., but I love them just the same. To me, they act as a gentle reminder to appreciate the amazing weather we have every other day of the year. But more importantly, just as April showers bring May flowers, summer rains promise even more than the average colorful and delicious bounty of crops.

My latest venture to the local farmer’s market left me overwhelmed by the season’s harvest of crimson-colored berries, stone fruit in every hue of the rainbow, and the  techni-color array of vegetables available. And after tasting my new favorite herb, the sour-lemon-like sorrel greens at the beloved Saly Cortile Cucina a few weeks back, I was pleasantly surprised to find a bundle of such greens for the picking at my favorite stand. Traditionally, sorrel is a spring green, but with Southern California’s climate the way it is, it was a welcome find on this hot summer day. Needless to say, I left the market with my arms full of produce and the wheels in my head turning.

When I got home, I knew exactly what I’d serve alongside my grilled chicken that night. Making quick work of the strawberries and plums, I arranged them atop a generous pile of peppery arugula and the tart sorrel greens. I then whipped up a quick balsamic vinaigrette, and called it a day. Kenny gave me his stamp of approval when he went for seconds of this Summer Harvest Salad a la Jenny, and I made variations for days, only stopping when I ran out of ingredients. I can’t wait to see what else they have for my salad fixings next week!

I’ve included the basic recipe for you, but know that it is very easily adaptable. Want to make this a main dish? Add goat cheese or slivered almonds for some protein. Don’t have plums? How about fresh peaches, instead? Use your imagination, and get inspired by what you find in your garden or local farmer’s market.

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Summer Harvest Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main, Side
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Total time:
 
This light, fresh salad takes the best of Summer's bounty, and combines it into one dish.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups sorrel greens, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup fresh berries (I used strawberries, but blueberries would be nice here, too)
  • 1 cup fresh stone fruit, sliced (I used plums, but apricots or peaches would work)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the arugula with the sorrel greens, and toss to combine.
  2. Add the berries and stone fruit.
  3. In a separate small bowl, make your vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, and serve.

 

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