Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Recipe Creation: Grilled Fig, Peach + Goat Cheese Pizza

This recipe is easy, seasonal, and perfect for a warm evening when you want to get out and take advantage of your grill (or someone else's).  You can throw on any of your favorite ingredients and change it based on whatever is in season, or happens to be in your fridge.  I use pita bread as the crust because it makes nice individual pizzas, but you can also use pre-made or homemade pizza dough.  If you are like me though, making homemade pizza dough after work is not in the cards.  You can take this concept on the road too, and have a little "pizza bar" and your guests can make their own personal pizzas with different toppings.   The possibilities are endless...

Serves 2


  • 2 pitas (whole wheat or white)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 figs, sliced thinly
  • 1 peach, cut in quarters and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 shallot or red onion, sliced thinly
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


-Preheat grill on medium-high heat.

-Meanwhile, sauté shallots in olive oil until translucent and slightly crispy.

-Remove shallots from heat and set aside.

-Spread about 1/4 cup ricotta on each pita and top with sliced figs and peaches.

-Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.

-Place pita pizzas on the grill and cover.

-Grill pizzas for 10-15 minutes, or until the pita begins to crisp and the cheese begins to melt.

-Top with crispy shallots, and season with salt and pepper.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Restaurant (Re)creation: Hog Island's BBQ'd Oysters

If you are going to have oysters in Northern California, you can't go wrong with the fresh little bivalves from Pt. Reyes.  Hog Island Oysters is a favorite spot to stop for BBQ'd oysters and wine on picnic tables overlooking Tamales Bay.  I just experimented with their BBQ'd oyster recipe from The Hog Island Oyster Lover's Cookbook and the recipe was quite a hit.  I made them for a lawn party we had and doubled the recipe and they disappeared in minutes!  Now you can bring Pt. Reyes home with you and enjoy your own BBQ'd oysters with a nice glass of bubbly in your backyard.

Makes 2 dozen oysters


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • 2 dozen small Sweetwater oysters


-In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to blend.  Cover and let sit for an hour.  (Sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead).
-Prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill.  Place shucked oysters on the center of the grill and spoon 1 tbsp of sauce onto each oyster.
-Cover grill and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the sauce begins to bubble.  Don't overcook!  
-Serve immediately on a rock salt lined platter.
-Eat them quickly before the disappear!

Hog Island Oyster Farm
20215 Shoreline Highway
Marshall, CA 94940
(415) 663-9218

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Restaurant (Re)creation: Nopa's Corn Soup with Walnut Pesto

I found this recipe in The Bay Area Homegrown Cookbook by Aaron French, which features tons of great recipes from local bay area chefs.  Nopa happens to be one of my favorite spots and I have yet to have a bad meal there.  Chef Laurence Jossel generously shared this corn soup recipe in French's cookbook and I couldn't be happier.  The only thing I did differently is I didn't strain the soup through a colander and instead opted for a thicker consistency.  Either way, the flavor combinations are dynamite.  Take advantage of this recipe now while corn is in season and readily available at the farmers' market.  Enjoy!


For the soup:

  • 3 medium yellow onions, diced medium
  • 1/2 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 10 ears corn
  • 1 cup cream
  • salt, to taste
  • water, as needed

For the walnut pesto:

  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste


For the soup: 

-Gently sweat the onions, garlic, and jalapeno in the olive oil until onions are translucent, about 15 min.
-Season lightly with salt and add the corn, cream, and enough water to cover.  
-Simmer slowly for 20 minutes.  
-Puree the soup and strain through a large-holed colander.  
-Adjust seasoning and serve with a dollop of walnut pesto garnish and basil leaves.

For the walnut pesto:

-Combine all ingredients except the basil in a food processor and puree until smooth.  
-Add the basil and puree quickly, keeping in mind that the basil will turn brown if blended more than necessary. 
-Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6

560 Divisadero St.
(415) 864-8643