Its adorable to see the girls bonding with their little cousin here at my brother’s house. Even their chemistry is hard to miss. The butterfly being the oldest is the usual nurturing and mothering. Trying to keep the younger ones in line, keeping them from killing each other, sometimes from their boundless gush of love for each other and sometimes the rivalry. Imparts some life lessons to the “babies” and sometimes just watching them swell, with a swollen chest. The younger two on the other hand are being exactly what two siblings become when they are not that far apart. All the co-plays till the wee hours, all the tattle tailing and complaining, all the long hugs and smothering kisses and always stuck to each other to the hip. I am just loving taking a backseat here and enjoying all these precious moments! How’re you doing? Hope well!
To make it even better for you I am hosting another dear dear friend of mine. Liren Baker from Kitchen Confidante. I am more than sure you already know all about her. But if you do not then you really are missing out. Liren is one of the first fellow food bloggers I had the privilege of knowing as we both started food blogging around the same time. I have always been a huge fan of her blog and her work but became an even bigger fan when I started living closer to where she does and got to know her personally. Just like her food blog, she is a gem of a person who just brightens up your day with realness! I can’t wait to share what Li®en made for us today.
Like any good love story, when it comes to falling in love with food, you never forget your first. For me, my first taste of saag paneer (or palak paneer) wasn’t until my mid-twenties, at an amazing Indian restaurant that was two blocks away from my Manhattan office.
I found every excuse I could to eat there.
I’ll always remember the soft, squeaky paneer — a cheese unlike any other I had tasted, simmering in the tender spinach I would scoop up with bits of naan. It was heavenly, and I was smitten.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t been able to replicate that saag paneer exactly, but I can make it at home, almost close enough. Transforming my favorite spinach dish into a pizza is like two of my favorite New York food memories put together: saag paneer with white pizza! Naan bread is simply topped with ricotta and mozzarella, then given generous dollops of saag paneer before it bakes in the oven. It’s my new taste of heaven, without having to pick up a fork.
Makes 2 pizzas, serves 6-8
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cardamom pod
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
10 ounces fresh spinach, washed and chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 Thai chile diced
6 to 8 ounces paneer, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup cream or milk
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Naan flatbreads
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Toast the cardamom and cloves until fragrant. Add the onion, garlic ginger and sauté until the onions are softened. Add the spinach in batches, allowing it cook down and make more room in the pan. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Add the paneer and cream and lower heat. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Lightly brush the naans with olive oil. Spread ricotta cheese on the naan leaving a 1/2 inch border. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Top with saag paneer. Bake for about 7-10 minutes or until crispy. Serve immediately.