You can make this pizza using store-bought pizza dough, or make a batch of pizza dough at home ahead of time. (I hope to have a pizza dough tutorial up soon, I have a dear friend who is a "master pizza-man"- I have learned quite a few lessons from him.)
Some tips to making pizzas at home:
- Go ahead and get yourself a pizza stone and a pizza peel. I found mine for about $15 each. They are a worthwhile investment for making pizzas, baguettes, or other crusty artisanal breads at home.
- Use a hot oven. To get that authentic pizzeria crust, I crank my oven to 450-475. Make sure to place your pizza stone while the oven is cold to prevent cracking. Don't remove it from the oven until completely cooled. (I leave mine in overnight just to be safe.)
- Prepare your dough ahead of time: Most pizza dough recipes can be made up to 2 days in advance and left to slowly rise in your refrigerator. It will result in a more tender, flavorful crust.
- Mise en place! Just a fancy word for get organized. Set out your sauce, cheese and toppings so you can have a pizza factory. When we have pizza nights, I like to make three or four pizzas and let my family join in on the fun of assembling them. I put vegetable toppings on one large plate and meat toppings on another, that way you can mix or match and find new flavor combinations.
- Balance is key: Don't overload your pizza with toppings. It will take longer to cook, resulting in a soggy crust.
- Think outside the box. Feel free to "chef" it up at home! Some of my favorite pizzas have been complete originals when it comes to topping them.
Spinach, Kale, and Garlic Pizza
Makes one 12" pizza
- Pizza dough, homemade is best
- Fresh mozzarella cheese-sliced and pressed between paper towels
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 2-3 cups baby spinach/baby kale mix (or equal parts of each)
- Parmesan cheese
- Basil-Kale Pesto, see below, or substitute in your favorite pesto
- eggs, optional
- Heat your oven. Make sure that it is really hot so you don't lose a lot of your heat when transferring your pizza into the oven.
- Stretch your dough into a disk, leaving a bit of a border around the outside. I always hand stretch it, so if it isn't a perfect circle, don't worry!
- Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the sliced garlic, let sweat for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add your spinach and kale, and let wilt down. Remove from heat.
- Spread a layer of pesto on the dough, then top with the sliced mozzarella.
- Squeeze out any moisture out of the spinach/kale/garlic, then evenly top your pizza.
- Grate a bit of parmesan over top, then bake until the crust is browned (10-15 minutes)
- Top with soft-cooked eggs and a bit more fresh parmesan, and enjoy!
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1 cup kale, ribs removed
- Olive oil
You can make a huge batch of this at the end of summer, and store in your freezer in zip-top bags to have home-made pesto year round.
- Mince the garlic in the food processor with a pinch of salt.
- Add the lemon zest and pine nuts, basil and kale; pulse until ground into a paste.
- While the machine is running, drizzle olive oil in until desired consistency.
- Season to taste with salt.