Tag Archive for 'cavolo nero'

Kale and Mushroom Pizza

I am constantly looking for new recipes that would help me make a dent in the enormous abundance of kale in our backyard and one of my ideas was to use it on pizza. When a guy at the market, who makes pizzas in his trailer, offered me some of his fresh dough the other day, I couldn’t resist. His pizzas looked delicious and I figured his dough would be too. Although I do make my own dough, using half whole wheat or spelt and half white flour, I am not opposed to getting a break in the kitchen once in a while. Back at home, I picked about a kilos worth of Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale or Lacinto Kale) to use with some caramelized onions, garlic, sliced mushrooms, and a mixture of sheep’s milk feta and fresh mozzarella on my pizzas.

Cavolo Nero is widely used in Italy and you might have seen it in some Italian cook books or in one of Jamie Oliver’s shows. When sauteed, it doesn’t wilt like spinach or chard and needs slightly longer to be cooked. It’s excellent stir-fried with lots of garlic, but I also add it to freshly made juices and use the younger leaves in salads. When fresh, it is very tasty and mild, plus it is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. If you can’t get it at the farmer’s market or grocery store, try growing it on your own. It lasts forever and new leaves just keep coming up.

The pizzas turned out fantastic, even if my kids kept searching for the tomato sauce. And yes, the market-bought pizza dough was a winner and probably didn’t have the least bit whole wheat flour or spelt in it. But you only live once… However, if any of you would like to make your own pizza dough and are looking for a recipe that works well, let me know and I’ll be happy to post it for you.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 large balls (about 1 pound each) of fresh pizza dough, enough for 2 baking trays
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) Cavolo Nero, Chard or Spinach, washed, thick stems removed and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) strips
  • 1 punnet of mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced into rings
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 balls fresh mozzarella, grated or cut into small bits
  • 200g (7 oz) mild feta cheese, crumbled
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Bring pizza dough to room temperature by putting it in a bowl coated with olive oil. Let rise for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 225 C (450F).

Using a rolling pin, roll the 2 separate balls into 2 thin rectangles, fitting 2 baking trays. Alternatively, make 6 individual round pizzas.

Sprinkle baking tray with corn meal to prevent dough from sticking.

Lay rolled out dough on baking trays and cover with cling wrap. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large frying pan. Add onion rings and fry on low heat, stirring often, for 20 minutes or until onions are nicely browned and caramelized.

In a separate pan, heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add chopped garlic and fry until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  With the heat on medium, add cavolo nero or other greens and stir-fry for about 5 minutes or until greens are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread sauteed greens evenly on pizza doughs (remove cling wrap first). Top with sliced mushrooms and caramelized onions. Spread each pizza with mozarella and feta and drizzle with extra olive oil.

Place both baking trays in the oven using the middle and top shelf. Rotate and turn the trays 180 degrees half way through baking. The pizzas are done when the cheese has melted and and the crust is nice and golden (8-10 minutes).

Bueno Appetito!