Chicken and Gorgonzola PizzaWas this too much of a pizza? I mean: chicken, onion, mushrooms, spinach, tomato, cheese…is this overkill? All of these ingredients managed to combine to make a delicious fork-and-knife pizza. And I enjoyed experiencing the nuances of soft and tangy gorgonzola cheese. Using a pre-baked pizza crust is really what makes this cooking event possible in an apartment kitchen. As in the past, I used a Berkshire Mountain Bakery pizza crust, with fine results.

This recipe, from Allrecipes.com, asked for 14 oz. of jarred pizza sauce. I used less than this, and my pizza was still fine. As I said, my gorgonzola cheese was very soft, almost impossible to “crumble.” But what an exciting, umami flavor! I chose to add my sliced tomatoes to the top of my pizza, rather than to hide them beneath my cheeses. Again, this was a fine variation to the original recipe. My pizza was cooked in 13:30 minutes.

Quick I delighted in the “Quick ‘Stewed’ Tomatoes,” from the October 2007 issue of Everyday Food, only because it sounded like such a ridiculous recipe to prepare. I mean, cooked TOMATOES as a side dish? Being an unashamed lover of summertime tomato salads, I easily embraced the notion of sauteing these lovely grape tomatoes in a simple recipe that relies on your judgements for seasoning and timing.

I cooked my celery/onion combo for 8:30, adding 1 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of black pepper. When I added my little tomatoes, I needed to cook for another 10:00 before they became “soft and juicy.” I seasoned with another 1 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper. My resulting stewed tomatoes were perfectly seasoned. They provided a great “pop” with each bite. And they were very addictive -- you’ll keep eating and eating them. Happily.

RECIPES: a meal-of-a-pizza: everything’s there; snappy, juicy tomatoes are a pleasure to serve and to eat
PREP TIMES:
you’ll prep and bake your pizza in less than an hour; tomato time is less than 30 minutes
TASTES:
your satisfying pizza includes everything you like about chicken and spinach and cheese; enjoy the pop of sweet and luscious tomatoes

Let’s cook a vegetarian meal next time. I’ll make “Quinoa and Black Beans,” from Allrecipes.com, along with “Cabbage and Fennel Slaw,” from the March 2008 issue of Everyday Food (recipe below). Return here on Sunday, April 20, to see what happens.

Cabbage and Fennel Slaw
PREP TIME: 10 minutes. TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
Serves 4

2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup raisins
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 fennel bulb, with fronds
1/2 head green cabbage (about 1 lb.)
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, oil and raisins. Season dressing with salt and pepper and set aside.

Cut off and reserve 1/4 cup leafy fennel fronds; discard stalks. Using the large holes of a box grater, coarsely grate fennel bulb and cabbage. Transfer fennel fronds, fennel, cabbage and walnuts to bowl with dressing. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.