Fig, Arugula and Goat Cheese Pizza with Balsamic Caramelized Onions

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This time last year: Iced Sugar Cookies (2012) & How To: Cut and Deseed a Pomegranate (2013)

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I grew up eating fig newtons. That’s about as close as I got to figs.

A box would show up in the pantry if we were lucky, or if my grandmother was coming into town, and my brother and I would sneak one every chance we could!
Fig newtons were not a staple, but they sure were delicious.

I went backpacking through Peru last summer. It was six weeks of the most life I have ever lived, day after day after day. I hiked, I helped build homes, I learned about ancient Incan medicine, I danced in cobblestone bars, I ate avocados fresh from the market like they were going out of style, and I tried, but failed, to learn the names of countless beautiful fruits I had never seen before.

One of those days I was sitting with my group of fellow backpackers, at a beautiful patio table in the courtyard of our hostel in Cusco, and someone brought out an enormous plastic blue bowl full of fruit. They had cut these exotic creations, cleaned them, and here they was- sitting like a pile of jewels, right in front of us.
I ate each piece slowly, trying to imprint those flavors, that beautiful creation, into my memory. It was in this slow and respectful indulgence, that I found myself face to face with my first fig.

It sounds silly, but I think I actually gasped at how beautiful that first fig was! The inside of a fig, in case you have not had this privilege yet, looks like a stained glass window! It has hundreds of tiny little seeds, and a vibrant pink color. There is no other word, but stunning. I will never forget it. The other thing that will not allow me to forget this moment, is the feeling that I should have seen a real fig prior to this moment in my life! We have figs in the states as well, why were fig newtons my primary exposure? I remember laughing at myself as I asked the Spanish name of this familiar fruit, and bit into it with delight.

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This pizza does not have fresh figs (however if you have access to them, you should absolutely include them!), however it does have fig jam. Maybe I was feeling nostalgic, or maybe I was feeling creative, or bold, or adventurous. Whatever the reason, my new all-time favorite pizza recipe ever, has roots in a little big of nostalgia, a little bit of adventure, and nothing but delicious ingredients.

> So- dig in! It’s good to live life fully.

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Ingredients:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar (Fruit flavored if you have it! I used a cherry balsamic vinegar!)
  • 1 Naan pizza crust
  • 3 Tablespoons fig jelly/ preserves
  • 1/2 cup Arugula leaves (about 1 handful- more or less to preference!)
  • 1/2 pear, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 cup cranberry goat cheese
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, to preference
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a small pan over medium heat.
  3. Once hot, add the onion slices and sauté until soft and light brown.
  4. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, cooking for an additional 30 seconds, and then remove from the heat.
  5. Spread the fig jelly in an even layer over the pizza crust, and top with a layer of arugula.
  6. Arrange the pear slices and caramelized onion over the arugula, and then cover with goat cheese and shredded parmesan to your preference!
  7. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust toasted!
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!
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Notes and Tips!:
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen as well! (recipe links found below):

 

Harvest Salad with Fruit, Herbs, and Goat Cheese

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This time last year: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (2014)

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Never have I ever truly craved a salad. I wish that was my life, but sadly, it is not. Chocolate, bread, coffee? Yes. I crave those every day. Salad? Mmmmm not so much.

However, a few weeks ago my dear friend Rachel invited me over to her house for lunch, and we whipped this salad together. The combination of goat cheese, fresh herbs, fruit, and colorful vegetables made for one of the most refreshing meals I’ve had all season! Thus for the first time, I was truly craving salad!

As the last glimpses of summer slip away, I had to dig up this recipe and enjoy the incredible combination of fruit and vegetables! No surprise- it was just as good as I had remembered it, and I am going to be enjoying it all week long!

If you’re not a huge salad person, give this a try. If you’re a huge salad person, you’re welcome for just changing your life.

Life should be colorful. Life should be healthy. Food should taste like this.

Dig in 🙂

Love, A Rented Kitchen

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Salad Ingredients:

  • 4-8 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil and parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 ears grilled corn, kernels removed from the cob (or one can of corn- no sodium added)
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • ¾ cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 peach, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup mixed toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), pecans, walnuts, and/or pistachios
  • 1 avocado, pitted + chopped
  • 4-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ -1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, basil, parsley, thyme, corn, tomatoes, red pepper, blackberries, peach, jalapeno, and nuts.
  2. In a separate mason jar or small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients until fully combined.
  3. Top the salad off with avocado and goat cheese, toss once more, and serve with dressing on the side or drizzled over top. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Want to add more protein? Try warming up 16 ounces of chickpeas and throwing those into the mix! They are an excellent healthy source of protein!
  • Source: Half Baked Harvest
  • Like this salad? Try these other healthy and seasonal dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links below photos):

Roasted Cauliflower, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche with Quinoa Crust

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This time last year: Therapy Cookies (AKA Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Sea Salt Bites) (2013)

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It may not be surprising to you, but one of the most common reasons people find my blog, is in a pursuit for gluten free recipes! There are a lot of recipes that I make intentionally vegetarian, but unintentionally gluten free, which is a win-win for everyone! However, because I have noticed the trend for increased gluten free searches, I have tried to start making more intentionally gluten free recipes, seeking out ways I can cut out flour when possible.

For example, this last year I shared a Berry Quinoa Salad with Honey Citrus Dressing, Flourless Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes, and a Gluten-Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust! All gluten free, and all incredibly delicious!

When I stumbled upon this recipe I thought it would be a perfect recipe to try for my gluten free quiche friends, and I was right! At first I was worried that a quinoa crust would crumble and fall apart as soon as you cut it, however the crust held together amazingly well! We had no trouble cutting or serving the quiche, and the quinoa packed in tons of additional protein and nutrients, a value you do not get with a simple flour crust.

In other words- you should try this recipe, because it’s awesome, incredibly delicious, healthy, gluten free, and it has goat cheese! What more could you want?

And if you are in the market for other gluten free recipes, make sure you check out the Gluten Free section under my recipe page! There is a whole lot of love and flavor to go around!

Come back soon!

Love, a rented kitchen

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Crust Ingredients:

  • ½ cup quinoa (I used red, but any variety will do!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan, grated

Quiche Ingredients:

  • ½ medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ cup milk or heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
  2. In a medium sized pot, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to sit, covered, for an additional five minutes.
  3. While the quinoa cooks, toss the cauliflower and mushrooms with the olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. Arrange in one layer on a baking sheet and cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Once lightly brown and slightly caramelized, remove from the heat and reduce the oven to 375˚F.
  4. Combine the cooked quinoa, one egg, and grated Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly and press into a pie pan. Cook at 375˚F for ten minutes.
  5. Mix the cauliflower, mushrooms, eggs, milk, thyme, goat cheese, salt, and pepper, and pour into the cooked piecrust. Bake an additional 30-35 minutes at 375˚F, until the center of the quiche is set and the top is lightly browned.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • The quiche tends to cut better when the quinoa crust is cool, thus, try making this recipe in advance, allowing the quiche to cool, and then cutting, heating, and serving.
  • Source: Closet Cooking
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below)

Green Apple, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Quiche with Vegetarian Sausage

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Every year finals roll around and I no longer have time to sleep, let alone eat or grocery shop.  The result is an under-nourished 21 year-old, riding on unhealthy doses of sugar and caffeine.  Not my best self.

As a college student we have finals twice and year, and twice a year this pattern and version of myself are revealed. I’m not proud of it.

It took me until my senior year (go figure), but I finally was able to think ahead and beat the self-care black hole that finals tries to suck you into! This year, the week before my finals started, I made two of these delicious quiches, and was able to pull them out and enjoy a healthy meal everyday throughout finals week.

And let me tell you what, there is definitely such a thing as comfort food. When you are running on zero sleep, a nice warm homemade slice of quiche is infinitely better for you than your fifth cup of coffee and another cliff bar. Imagine that!

Despite my brain being in finals mode, and thus usually not functioning very well at all, this quiche turned out wonderfully delicious.  The green apples bake to a soft punch of zest, the vegetarian sausage adds a nice touch of maple and smoked flavor, and who doesn’t love goat cheese?! (seriously, if you don’t love goat cheese, you should probably seek help.)

Try this delicious quiche for your holiday brunch, breakfast for dinner, or finals week. You can’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 thin quiche crusts, or one deep-dish quiche crust (store bought or homemade!)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 8-10 eggs (or 2 cups)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese*
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 vegetarian sausage links, cut into small bite-sized pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat.
  3. Once hot add the yellow onion and sauté for 20 minutes on low, to caramelize. (I like to add a few Tablespoons of water to the pan to help steam the onions about halfway through). Stir frequently.
  4. Meanwhile, using an eggbeater beat the eggs in a large bowl.
  5. Add the milk, salt, and pepper to the eggs and mix well.
  6. Add the cheddar cheese and goat cheese to the egg mixture, mix well.
  7. Using a fork, poke dozens of small holes in the pie crust side and bottom to help with the cooking process.
  8. Arrange a layer of thin apple sliced along the bottom of the piecrust, and then spread a layer of sausage and caramelized onions evenly over the apples.
  9. Pour the egg mixture over the onions, apples, and sausage, until almost even with the top of the pie pan.
  10. Gently arrange a few apples slices on top and bake at 425˚ for 10 minutes, then at 350˚ for 50 minutes (or until the egg is set and the crust is lightly browned. Depending on how deep a crust you use, this time may be less!)
  11. Slice and serve!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • You can purchase pre-crumbled goat cheese in the store, or chose to crumble it yourself at home.  However if you chose to crumble it at home, the goat cheese does not crumble once in the egg mixture, so make sure you crumble it and then add it to the eggs.
  • Click here for a true tutorial on how to caramelize onions!
  • Optional: Serve with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts on top!
  • If using a homemade crust, don’t forget that you will need to cook that crust for 10 minutes before adding the egg mixture! If using a frozen crust, you can simply fill the crust and bake all in one take.
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen!’ (recipe links below):

Marinated and Roasted Eggplant with Smoked Almonds & Goat Cheese


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For those of you following this blog, it should be no surprise to you that goat cheese is my weakness. (Proof: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Goat Cheese, and Cranberries over Barley; Sweet Potato Pizza with Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese, and Kale; Balsamic Mushroom and Fruit Summer Salad– the list goes on!)

When I stumbled upon this recipe on pinterest, and saw a photo of the warm goat cheese atop a large pile of baked eggplant, I literally had to stop myself from drooling. TMI?

I knew this recipe was going to be good the moment I saw the goat cheese, however what I did not anticipate was the amazing marinade combination that truly knocks this dish out of the park.  Trust me when I say this, sooo good. I think for two days straight the only thing I ate for lunch was an enormous bowl of eggplant, and I loved it.

If you’re looking for something delicious, simple, and incredibly flavorful, look no further. Your whole house will smell amazing, your friends will be begging for the recipe, and you will feel good about what you’re eating- a win, win, win!

Stay tuned for more end-of-summer recipes coming your way, and don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss a thing!

Happy hump day.

Love, a rented kitchen.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants, about 2 pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup smoked almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled and divided
  • ¼ cup finely chopped scallions

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the eggplant and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, and cumin.
  4. Use a dishcloth to dab away any water that has beaded up on the eggplant, and then drizzle with the marinade. Toss until the eggplant is thoroughly and evenly coated, and then stir in the garlic.
  5.  Spread the eggplant out on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 40, stirring every 15 minutes or so, or until very tender and lightly browned.  Watch the eggplant closely after 30 minutes to ensure it does not burn!
  6. Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice and soy sauce (save a dish and use the same marinade bowl used before!). Once cooked, return the eggplant to a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice mixture.
  7. Stir in the parsley leaves, smoked almonds, and most of the goat cheese.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the remaining goat cheese and scallions. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 4
  • Source: The Kitchn
  • To make vegan, omit the goat cheese and swap out agave for honey as desired!
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious options from ‘a rented kitchen!’ Click the links below for the recipes.