Cooking Club: Pizza Night (plus Arugula Salad with Oranges and Dates)
A few of my girl friends who love eating whole, real foods got together recently for a cooking club of sorts. We had our second meeting this past Sunday, and since we had decided on the theme of pizza, we thought it a perfect opportunity to invite the husbands and kids and get to know each other a little better.
I swore I would take photos. But then I got there and I saw the gorgeous food and started chatting with my friends…and, well, I forgot. So you’ll have to use your imagination.
Molly made pesto and used almonds and walnuts instead of pine nuts. Brilliant! Then she topped the pizza with chicken sausage, those tiny red peppers and some cheese.
She also made a ceasar salad, which was spicy from the fresh garlic. I think I could have eaten this all night.
Christa made this gorgeous onion and red pepper pizza with mozzerella, feta, and romano (am I missing a cheese?). I loved the red pepper and feta combo going on here. And I love lots of veggies on my pizza.
She also had a pizza bar set up for the kids to roll out their own mini pizza and build their own. So fun!
She also made a dessert pizza with local organic apples that I am still thinking about.
My husband David took over the pizza making on our end and he made a margherita pizza that was garlicky and fabulous. He let the sliced tomatoes marinate in garlic and olive oil, then topped them with mozzerella (fresh) and chopped, fresh basil.
We also brought my favorite winter salad: Arugula Salad with Oranges and Dates. I came across this recipe in Forking Fantastic, a cookbook that has changed my life in terms of dinner parties – and food parties in general. It’s also a hilarious read if you don’t mind cussing. (p.s. when I made the link for the cookbook, I noticed it’s only $8 on Amazon.com right now – seriously, go buy it!)
This recipe is so easy. I’ve been dying to make a video of it to show you how easy it is, but the videos are getting more difficult as my baby grows into a toddler and my toddler becomes a true toddler. Ehem.
Instead of a video, I give you the recipe:
Arugula Salad with Oranges and Dates
From Forking Fantastic
2 bunches arugula (I used one plastic box from the store of the baby arugula)
4 good-quality eating oranges or tangerines
8 dates as large & moist as possible
Walnut or olive oil
Salt & pepper
Rinse arugula with cold water several times, dry it thoroughly and place in a salad bowl. Slice the top and bottom off each orange, then carefully slice the rind off and set it aside (I show this in a video here if you want to see it done). Cut the fruit into thin rounds, removing any large seeds gently with the tip of your knife. Lay the orange rounds on top of the arugula, then scrape any juice on the cutting board into the salad bowl. Squeeze what juice you can out of the orange rind. Pit your dates, slice them into long slivers and scatter them over the oranges. Drizzle a bit of oil over, then sprinkle on salt and pepper. Toss very gently – just enough to distribute the juice and oil over everything – and serve. (Serves 8)
**Side note: the first time I made this, I decided to buy the walnut oil and give it a try – I love it! And I’ve also used it in other recipes, too.
Go forth and eat well!