Winter Vegetable Week: Kale Pesto Pizza
Scarlett and I have a regular pizza picnic night whenever my husband goes out of town. We throw a blanket down on the floor in the family room, put on a movie and place a pie between us. I used to get a whole wheat pizza from a local spot, but, a few years ago, I decided we’d have more fun making our own. If you’re not making your own dough, the process is super quick. I found a great frozen spelt dough at my local Whole Foods and I keep a few in the freezer at all times. Scarlett loves rolling the dough out and we often divide it up to make our own personal pizzas. She loves being in the driver’s seat of her dinner and I like getting to lather mine with goat cheese–a topping she hates. Almost immediately after coming up with this recipe for kale pesto, I stopped using a red sauce. I’ve always a fan of white pizza (preferably at 3am after a night out but that is an entirely different blog) so why not go green. However, green can be a hard sell for kids. I’m really not sure why. It’s not like most kids have ever had to do a shot of wheatgrass (the stuff tastes like a soggy lawn but it’s so good for you!), so why all the fuss? It can’t all be because of broccoli?! Or can it?
Even if you have die-hard red sauce devotees, I was initially able to sell the “green sauce” because Scarlett was already familiar with it from our quiche recipe. (Have you tried our quiche? It’s so good! SPC Kale Quiche) However, you can easily tell your family it’s green for Christmas. (Too soon?) St. Patrick’s Day? (Really too soon?) It’s all about marketing, folks. You just need the angle that works for your family.
Kale Pesto Pizza
3/4 bunch Kale, cleaned and tough stems removed
1/4 cup of chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add kale and coat with oil mixture. Cover and allow kale to wilt, until tough stems are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove kale from pan and place in food processor. Process until it becomes the texture of a fine pesto. Put aside.
1 frozen spelt or whole wheat pizza dough
1/4 cup corn meal
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh, shaved parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425
Place the cornmeal on a flat surface and flour your rolling pin. Roll out the dough until it’s about an inch thick. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and spread it around with a brush or your fingers. Spread the kale pesto or “green sauce” evenly across the surface of the dough. Using a tablespoon, place dollops of ricotta randomly on the pie. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place on a pizza stone or baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crust is crispy and cheese is bubbling.
Obviously, you can throw whatever you want on the pie. After all, it’s your pizza. However, you can’t beat the nutritional wallop this kale pesto delivers. I used to make a vegetable for the side of our pizza picnic nights but who needs to now. We just make sure we leave room for dessert. I mean, you can’t have a picnic without dessert.
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