Green Goodness Pizza
My pizza cravings never seem to stop. There is something wonderful about pizza that makes it good for almost any occasion, and I can never stop eating it once I start. I had been having pizza cravings the past few days, and decided pizza making was going to happen on Thursday after work. But then after work I went to the beach (hello gorgeous weather!). And then I came home and fell asleep. And THEN I decided to make pizza. So I pulled out a gluten-free pizza crust mix, and the only one I had was a Bob’s Red Mill mix (I’ve used the Arrowhead Mills mix in the past and love it).
I opened the bag and started to make it, and then realized that the recipe called for 2 eggs and I only had 1 in my fridge. I was also on the phone with my mom at that time, and her advice was to cut the mix in half and make half the batch. I think that I laughed when she said that. Whoops. Silly mom, that would mean splitting the mix in half, and the yeast packet, and it just seemed like too much work. So I sat for a while debating what to do, and finally decided to walk to the store to buy eggs.
By the time I got to my house and started making pizza dough, it was about 8pm. I had gotten off work at 2pm and had not anticipated such a late start on my pizza making festivities, but decided to keep going anyway. I turned on some good music, poured a glass of wine, and got to work!
I decided to make a pizza full of green goodness. My dear friend Jo taught me to love my greens, and although she was a strong advocate for kale consumption, she would approve of any greens that I ate. Now I always keep greens in my fridge. On this particular day I had chard and spinach in the fridge so I decided to make a chard and spinach pesto for my pizza, and then add broccoli and artichoke hearts on top.
I don’t really have any recipes for you today, only methods. So, here’s how I made my pesto:
I put a couple big handfuls of chard in a steamer basket and wilted it for a couple minutes, then added a big handful of spinach and continued steaming it until everything was wilted.
I put a small handful of walnuts and a couple peeled cloves of garlic in my food processor (actually I used my Cuisinart Mini Chop, because it is SO handy when you don’t need a large food processor, and it is a million times easier to clean). I processed it until it was finely chopped. Then I squeezed the water out of the wilted greens and added them to the nuts. I also added a small handful of grated parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a hearty splash of olive oil. I blended it until it was a nice smooth paste, adding more splashes of oil as needed. I didn’t make the sauce as liquidy as pesto usually is, because I wanted a paste to spread on my pizza as the base. Less oil, more greens!
By this time, the dough had risen enough so I pressed it into the pan and got it baking (the Bob’s Red Mill mix tells you to bake the crust partially before adding your toppings). I then chopped up my other veggies: broccoli (which I also steamed to make sure it was fully cooked on the pizza), artichoke hearts, and a few red stems from my chard leaves. I also cut some slices of fresh mozzarella.
When the crust was ready, I loaded up the pizza..
… added some parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, and into the oven it went. And when it came out…
it was gorgeous!! And soooo green and yummy! The cheese covers it from view, but that thick layer of green pesto was de-lish!
By the time I sat down to eat, it was about 10pm. Not exactly the time I planned on eating (I was pretty sleepy by then, and so were the sunflowers on my table), but well worth the labor and the wait.
I know I didn’t give you a real recipe in this post, BUT good cooking is usually slightly improvisational anyway. Try making some awesome pesto with any dark greens you have in your fridge and slather a thick layer on your next pizza crust. The bitterness of the greens actually tastes wonderful on pizza. And, the Bob’s Red Mill crust was pretty decent! I think I still like the Arrowhead Mills mix a little better, but I definitely did enjoy this crust as well. Don’t let gluten stop you from indulging in pizza frenzies every now and then– it’s easy to make without gluten, and so worth it.
So, have you had your greens today??