Meyer Lemon Pizza

The look on my husband’s face said it all. He had just returned home from an evening surf session and was ready to devour his dinner. After all of that paddling, not to mention the hike to and from the beach with his surfboard in tow, I’m sure he was hoping that meat and potatoes were on the menu. Sorry BJ, you didn’t marry a meat-and-potatoes-for-dinner-every-night kind of girl.

“Lemon pizza? For dinner?”

“No, MEYER lemon pizza,” I answered, like that would make a difference. It didn’t. Sometimes recipes just sound really good to me. I read it or see a picture of it, and just know that it’s going to be delish. Enter Meyer Lemon Pizza. More often than not, BJ is totally on board with my weird ideas. He loves to try new things and would definitely be considered an adventurous eater…But I guess I can’t really blame him for being a little bit skeptical about this one. I can see where a citrus-covered, meatless pizza could be a bit of a disappointment to hungry surfer. However, any pizza crust smothered in goat cheese, caramelized shallots (my personal favorite flavor-rever-upper), toasted pine nuts and ribbons of fresh basil has to be divine, right?

Right!! This pizza is one of the best things I’ve eaten so far this year. Meyer lemons are a really cool lemon-orange hybrid with a very soft, thin skin that lends a really fun sweet-tartness to every bite. Not having enough goat cheese to adequately cover my store-bought Boboli pizza crust, I mixed in a little bit of plain greek yogurt and lemon juice to get the crust happily smothered. From there, top your cheese with thinly sliced meyer lemons and caramelized shallots, and quickly bake or broil in a screaming hot oven. Top with pine nuts, basil and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Pizza nirvana on a plate!

BJ loved it! I knew he would. My 18 month old “Mmmmmmed” and “Yuuuuumed” his way through his slice. Always my favorite dinnertime serenade. I’m not going to lie. I threw a few steaks on the grill at the last minute. I didn’t want to disappoint the need for meat that BJ rarely voices but always appreciates. It was a fabulous dinner on our back porch. The best company a girl could have, plenty of protein, and a the shining star, my super weird sounding, but oh so yummy Meyer Lemon Pizza. I hope you will try it soon!

Lemon Meyer Pizza

Ingredients:

whole wheat Boboli pizza crust
5 oz. goat cheese
1⁄4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 large or two medium shallots, sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1⁄2 cup basil, chiffonade
2 Meyer lemons-­‐ thinly sliced and 2 teaspoons of juice reserved from half of one
salt and pepper, to taste
extra-­virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat butter over medium-low heat. Add shallots and slowly caramelize. Set aside.
  3. Combine room temperature goat cheese with Greek yogurt and lemon juice. Whisk vigorously until smooth and easily spreadable. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread goat cheese mixture onto pizza crust leaving a ½ inch border all the way around. Top with lemon slices and shallots. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and top with pine nuts, basil, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Slice and serve.


Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Since I’ve already confessed my love of pasta to you guys, I figured it would be helpful to also share my favorite pasta sauce. You can cover pasta in almost anything…tomato sauce, meat sauce, cream sauce, cheese sauce, a light olive oil based sauce…or even a combination of a few of these. Anything goes! However, my personal favorite thing to douse my noodles in, is pesto.

Pesto is an herbaceous green sauce traditionally made up of basil, toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil. Throw all of those ingredients into a food processor and pulse away. YUM! Some people take one look at anything green and think it can’t possibly taste good. Not true, my friend. My dad is actually the perfect example of such a person. I made some pesto to go over a beef dish we had the other night and he was really unenthused about trying it. Green sauce? On beef? Pass the steak sauce, please. Luckly, one bite in he became a believer. I think I even saw him attempt to lick his plate clean…sorry Dad.

I love pesto because it makes me feel like I’m eating super light even when good old carbs are hiding out under all of that herby goodness. So what? At least I’m getting my veggies.

My latest pesto creation is even more exciting because it actually takes some veggies that are REALLY good for you and yet REALLY boring, and turns them into a flavorful and super healthy pasta topping. Yay for “healthy” and “pasta” to be found in the same sentence!

Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pasta is an awesome way to sneak veggies into a meal for a picky eater, but it’s also just a really fun way to enjoy your broccoli a little bit more than usual. Roasting makes anything taste better, but it has an especially awesome effect on broccoli. The crispy little brown bits give your pesto a deep, nutty flavor that you can’t achieve with simple pine nuts. The rest of the pesto recipe remains true to tradition, and is combined with a hearty whole-wheat penne pasta and cherry tomatoes. Serve as-is or top with pan-seared chicken breast. Enjoy!

broccolipesto

Ingredients:

1 package fresh broccoli florets
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
lemon, zested
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for roasting
1⁄2 cup basil
1⁄2 cup pine nuts (toast them quickly in a dry sauté pan if you have time) 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste
1 package whole wheat penne pasta
1 pint cherry tomatoes

  1. Spread broccoli and garlic out on rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan. Drizzle with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  2. Roast broccoli 20 to 25 minutes at 425.
  3. Remove broccoli from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Put roasted broccoli, basil, pine nuts, parmesan and lemon zest in a food

    processor. Turn on and slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil until pesto forms. You want the pesto to be thin enough to cover pasta like a sauce, but not so thinned out that it gets oily. Add more EVOO if needed to achieve this consistency.

  5. Season pesto with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Toss pesto with cooked pasta and cherry tomatoes. Serve.