Chop ‘n’ char

Wellllll, I spent the afternoon cleaning and organizing the fridge with/for my mom. The process resulted in turning up a bunch of wrinkly, old, dried, spotted vegetables that absolutely needed to find their way into our lunch. Some also had to go straight to the compost, unfortunately! What I could save included red pepper, yellow squash, garden asparagus, garden green onions, and the inside of a white onion:

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I really should have taken a pre-chop picture because you can’t tell the sorry state of the veggies in this one. Just imagine lots of wrinkles.

Obviously, this plate needed to turn into a pizza. The onions went into a pan with olive oil and a sprinkle (teeny) of sugar in the raw for caramelization; the veggies roasted at 450 for 25 minutes with olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. For the pizza base, I toasted two stale Damascus Bakeries “Roll-Ups” on a cookie sheet at 450 for about 10 minutes until they were crispy. When we were finally ready for lunch, I spread a thin layer of tomato paste on the roll-ups and topped them with the roasted veggies, caramelized onions, and feta cheese. I put the topped pizzas in the oven for 10 minutes at 450 until the cheese got lightly browned and they were heated through. Here’s one of the finished pizzas:

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I still wasn’t that hungry after my huge breakfast, but mom and John were ready to eat! I trimmed a little bit off the end of each pizza for me and sliced the rest up for them:

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Here are my end pieces (topped with extra feta, of course):

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The rest of the afternoon involved more cooking and some napping. Somehow, every time I come home to visit, I never leave the kitchen. I wrapped parsnips, carrots, and a golden beet in foil for John to grill (with steak!) in the outdoor stone grill. Using this grill always makes it feel like summer! Here’s the view from inside:

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I wish NYC apartments came with that sort of green!

While John was cooking, I whipped up a big ol’ bowl of kale chips for the table:

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Here’s my electric plate with charred veggies and super super super well-done steak, the way I like it:

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It was the perfect, perfect, perfect summer meal, even though it was cool and rainy outside. Plus, you know how much satisfaction I get from saving food that is on its way out (and this isn’t half of what we did!). However, I’m also exhausted — I’ve been on my feet peeling and chopping all day long. Takes a lot out of a girl!

To char or not to char?

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23 thoughts on “Chop ‘n’ char

  1. Jessica (jesslikesithot) says:

    That is such a gorgeous view Sarah!!! A summer’s meal is best on a hot, sunny day….but it can also be just gloriousss on a warm, RAINY day!! You have been cooking up a storm lady, and I just wish I was over there with ya to eat up all that good stuff! The pizza looks great too, and so do the grilled veggies! Basically….everything does. 🙂

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  2. Hallie says:

    I love the char…even if it supposedly gives you cancer 😉 those carrots look AMAZING!

    I used to be a well-done steak girl too and I’ve worked my way up to medium. Honestly girl, it’s SO much tastier that way…especially if you cook leaner cuts of steak. But for years and years I go for well-done, so I’m with ya there too.

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  3. Christina says:

    I love the char too! And that outdoor stone grill looks pretty awesome. You must be able to do some pretty hardcore grillin’! I’ve been stuck with a little George Foreman because we ran out of gas for our grill 😦

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  4. Lele says:

    Hahahaha, the first thing I do when I go home on a break from college is clean out the crisper and make something super vegetabley! It’s good that absent minded mothers have crazy thrifty daughters.

    That pizza looks way better than anything I’ve ever made, though!

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  5. Ashley says:

    What a great way to use up old (and wrinkly) veggies – really pretty pizzas! The kale chips look interesting too!

    I hope you got a good rest after being on your feet all day. You deserve it!

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  6. MaryBe says:

    We have a stone fireplace/grill a lot like yours! We have never really used it for cooking but we make fires in it and toast marshmallows
    And charred, def.
    Hey did you ever find anyone for your ‘tent’?

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  7. Anne K. says:

    Ugh, I hate cleaning out the fridge (at my parents house, at least)! I keep my own apartment fridge pretty clean, because I don’t need to feed as many people, and therefore don’t have as much to buy. But my family doesn’t clean it enough, and we always seem to find some gross rotten things.

    That pizza looks delicious! What a great way to use those rescued veggies. That grill is awesome, and those veggies look delicious. I love charred veggies, but my dad won’t let us get a grill because he says it gives you cancer. Geez, everything is supposed to give you cancer these days!

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  8. snackface says:

    Char for sure! I love burnt anything, actually.

    I am LOVING your home posts, by the way. I’m still at home at the moment, but everyone else is at work, so your posts are rather comforting!

    Have a great Sunday 🙂

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  9. fitforfree says:

    I can’t remember if I already commented here and I’m too lazy to check, so I’ll just say it (again?): I LOVE THE CHAR!!!! Especially on sweet potato fries . . . veggie burgers . . . roasted peppers . . . yum!

    I really think we should figure out a way to safely bbq on a fire escape . . . or at least make use of the grills in prospect park someday!

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  10. Lara (Thinspired) says:

    Way to make use of your aging veggies! I can’t stand to waste so it’s always a race against the clock with produce in my fridge, too! Your pizza looks great, as does dinner…summer is here!!

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  11. Melissa @ For the Love of Health says:

    Hey Sarah! I am glad your long weekend is going well! I adore the photo of the plate of veggies! I have a serious love affair with fruits and veggies! What an amazing looking pizza too!

    Open grill? Awesome! The char looks great! I think I choose half-char hehehe

    Have a great evening!!

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  12. katecooks says:

    what an awesomely cool grill!!!! i love charring some veggies. that totally says summer to me 🙂 glad you could save some of yours for the pizza. it looks AMAZING!

    Like

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