bits and pieces

Monday, August 13, 2012

Walnut-Arugula Flat Bread with Cremini Mushrooms and Bleu Cheese: Git in mah bell-eh

Arugula, walnuts, blue cheese, pears, caramelized onions and mushrooms...
oh my indeed.
For anyone new to this blog, let me make one thing clear up front. My name is Aleana and I am a cheese-aholic. I will take any food item and try and make it a vehicle for cheese-y goodness. Dairy farmers of the world rejoice! Aleana has come.

While putting cheese on flat-bread is maybe the least creative thing in the world - this little number made an excellent dinner and lunch-the-next-day. There is something almost classic about pear, bleu cheese and mushrooms. I tried desperately to make this sort-of healthy, as I spent the week before at Osheaga consisting mainly on budweiser and the foggiest memories of poutine. Yes, it was amazing, thank you for asking. You should have been there. Really. I can't imagine anyone, anywhere in the world was having a better time.

That said, a week of hardcore Montreal is not always the healthiest thing - especially when your poor, prairie soul is so starved for it that you're desperate to absorb every little bit you can. Following this implosion of awesome, my body quite literally demanded vegetables. Poor body. Have some green-y bits.

My man-candy's body somehow demanded pizza, but (shockingly) (no really - SHOCKINGLY) I could not commit to THAT much cheese. I know. I've grown weak in my old age. But I merrily made a pseud-pizza which was fancy enough to impress my KFC visiting work colleagues the next day, and also give my body the little bit of green it so desperately craved. As well as being a good 2 meals, this could also double as a lovely appetizer between 6-8, or a 1 person TLC marathon-not-quite-ready-to-commit-to-full-pizza-nonpizza. Got a hot date who loves arugula? VICTORY! Alone and want to pretend you're at a mid-range fancy restaurant? TREAT YO SELF.

Without further ado:

1 sheet of puff pastry, rolled flat or 1 sheet of pizza dough, the recipe for which I will eventually get around to posting. 
2 cups diced cremini mushrooms
1 small onion, sliced
1 tsp of fennel seeds OR 1 bulb of fennel if you live in a non-fascist city which stocks fennel bulbs.
At least 1 cup of arugula
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 pear
1/3-1/2 cup bleuuuu frommage
salt and pepper
a splash of balsamic for caramelizing
pinch of garlic powder
some lemon zest (optional)

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic
squirt of lemon juice + mustard + maple syrup/honey/whatever

other things you will need:
pastry brush / you can get away without it
frying pan
stirrin' spoon

  1. Preheat your oven to 400. 
  2. In your frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add your onion with a sprinkle of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes until it's all wilty, see-thru and tasty. Adding your salt to your onion now causes it to sweat (gross!) which actually caramelizes it faster (yum!). Add your fennel seeds and cook for another minute or two and then add a splash of balsamic. 
  3. Allow to cook down for a minute or so and then add your mushrooooms. Fun fact: the less mushrooms you have in your pan, the better they'll cook. Sometimes I cook them in two batches because mushrooms, like me, don't like to be crowded. 
  4. While your little mushroomies cook, brush your pastry/dough with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt and lemon zest. 
  5. Top your pastry with mushrooms and blue cheese, a little salt and a whole lotta pepper,  and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden-y brown. 
  6. Remove from onion and allow to cook for 10 minutes or so. THIS IS REALLY HARD. DO NOT EAT IT. Make your dressing to distract yourself. Slice your pear. Don't do it before hand or it will get gross and brown. Bleh!
  7. Is it 10 minutes later yet? GOOD. Top your flat bread with arugula and pear. Drizzle with dressing.
  8. Chow down my pet, chow down.

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