Inga's Indulgence

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dinner and a Wax

This weekend, when my husband went out with the boys, I decided to stay in with two of my favorite girls - my mom and my sister. After putting the baby to bed, the three of us had a whole night of food, laughs, and beautification.

My mom came equipped with her new wax machine, and after a glass of wine I was brave enough to volunteer myself as the first victim.  Believe it or not, a full stomach and some wine really work to mute the pain.

I planned a menu that would be both satisfying and relatively healthy. I kept my pregnant sister's needs in mind, while also considering the needs of my mom and I (both desperately scrambling to lose weight before swimsuit season begins). In the end, my menu was not exactly diet food, but it was okay because I figured that we would compensate by limiting our portion sizes (with the exception of my sister of course). Boy was I wrong! When the three of us get together the indulgence does not end, and mysteriously, a container of Haagen Dazs along with three spoons always emerges.

In any case, the food was good, the company was great, and the wax was...painfully necessary.

The Menu:
Pizza with Caramelized Balsamic Onions & Ricotta
Salad of Spring Greens with Asian Pear & Mojito Vinaigrette


Pizza
yield: 6-8 servings
olive oil, as needed
pizza dough, store bought
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sugar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
  
Lightly grease a large rectangular sheet pan with olive oil, and stretch the pizza dough to cover the pan.

Coat the bottom of a medium saute pan with olive oil, and place over medium-low heat. Add onions to the pan, along with sugar. Cook, stirring, until onions are evenly caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Add garlic, and saute 1-2 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar, and cook for another minute.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread the caramelized onions evenly over pizza dough. Dollop the ricotta over the onions, flattening each dollop slightly with the back of a spoon. Top with mozzarella. Drizzle pizza all over with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place into preheated oven  for 22-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is lightly golden. Eat immediately.

Salad
yield: 4 servings
Mojito Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
3 tsp brown sugar
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup canola oil
 salt & pepper, to taste

6 cups spring greens (or mesclun leaves)
1 small Asian pear (or 1/2 of a large pear), sliced into 1/4-inch matchsticks
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Make the vinaigrette: In a large bowl, whisk together first 3 ingredients. Continue to whisk while drizzling in the canola oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Add spring greens, pear matchsticks, and sesame seeds to the bowl. Gently toss to coat everything with the vinaigrette.

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