Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chef Susan: Mediterranean Monday (on a Tuesday)

(First, refresh your memory.)

According to our supper themes throughout the week, tonight should have been Take-Out Tuesday.  However, we did not do Mediterranean Monday last night because of the leftovers that we had to eat from Ice Cream Sunday.  Therefore, we moved Mediterranean Monday to tonight and will eat our Take-Out Tuesday menu another time so as to get back on track with Watery Wednesday tomorrow.  (Got all that?)

Anyhoo, here's what we ate tonight:

Click the photo for enlarged beauty and temptation.

That's a bowl of spicy lentil soup.  The lentils were boiled in water with a Serrano chili pepper, chopped tomato, grated fresh ginger, chopped fresh garlic, ground turmeric, and kosher salt.  Chopped fresh cilantro was stirred in at the last minute and was also sprinkled over the Greek yogurt that topped each bowl of soup. It was all very delicious.  I had expected that the chili and ginger would give the soup a noticeable "kick," so I was surprised to taste mostly the cilantro against an otherwise gentle, savory, comforting backdrop that tasted to me like chicken broth but must have been the combination of all the flavors.  The lentils were substantial and hearty, and the soup was very satisfying.

Next to the soup is a pita pizza.  Each pita is topped with olive oil, saut√©ed red onion rounds, tomato, Kalamata olives, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese.  Susan put the pizzas under the broiler to melt the cheese and then topped them with baby arugula tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and the juice of the tomatoes.  We all ooh-ed and aah-ed after taking a bite of our pita pizzas: so salty from the olives but fresh from the tomatoes and arugula and creamy from the melted cheese and crispy from having the pitas in the oven . . . so good!  They were a good match for the soup.

By the way, if you don't subscribe to Food Network Magazine, you might enjoy instead looking for recipes on the sites of some the TV network's most enjoyable shows.  I recommend these:

Ten-Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian
Aarti Party with Aarti Sequeira
The Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten

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