The Mailbox: Reader requests

Oh, that gumbo

I’m nostalgic for Celestin’s vegetarian gumbo. Did anyone get the recipe from Patrick Celestin before the restaurant closed a few years ago? Thank you.

– Pam Giarrizzo, Sacramento


Mediterranean hummus pizza

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 14 minutes

Serves 6

Bob Shebesta of Folsom enjoyed the vegetarian pizza served at Bella Bru in Carmichael. It had a thin crust and was topped with artichokes, kalamata olives, tomatoes and feta cheese. They no longer offer this combination. Shebesta was hoping for the recipe or one similar.

This recipe comes from Pampered Chef Season’s Best Recipe Collection, Fall/Winter 2007 and sounds like a close match for Shebesta.



1 package (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, pressed


2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced

One 2-inch piece seedless cucumber, sliced, cut slices into quarters

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

One 7-ounce container plain or flavored hummus spread

2 jars (6 to 7.5 ounces each) quartered marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1/3 cup (2 ounces) Mediterranean-seasoned feta cheese crumbles


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll dough onto bottom of lightly greased baking pan (Pampered Chef’s stoneware large bar pan, 15 1/2 inches by 10 inches, or similarly sized pan). Gently stretch and press dough to cover bottom of bar pan. Combine oil and garlic in a bowl; brush evenly over dough. Bake crust 12 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare toppings. Remove bar pan from oven to a cooling rack. spread hummus evenly over crust. Arrange tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives and artichokes over hummus. Sprinkle with cheese. Cut pizza into squares and serve.

Per serving: 320 cal.; 10 g pro.; 41 g carb.; 14 g fat (2 sat.); 0 mg chol.; 950 mg sod.; 5 g fiber; 39 percent calories from fat.