Friday, October 02, 2009
KALE, ROASTED GARLIC, AND FOUR-CHEESE PIZZA
Yes, another pizza recipe. I haven’t met one yet that I didn’t like. That can be reassuring, especially when one needs something new to post to one’s food blog and one’s little experiment with making one’s own pita bread was an EPIC FAIL. (Well, OK, it was edible and tasted good, but it was totally pocketless—it’s supposed to puff up in the oven and then deflate when you take it out, thus creating the pocket. Instead I got flatbread, the making of which devolved into an epic dough-wrestling match that tried my patience and my confidence. I may or may not make a second attempt.)
I was pretty high on roasted garlic after last week, and I had some leftover asiago still in the fridge, so this recipe from Eggs on Sunday (again!) was a slam dunk. I suffered a moment of fear while preparing the kale—being so obsessed with roasting it, I suddenly realized I’d never sautéed it before and didn’t know if I would like it—but the kale actually turned out to be what I loved most about this pizza, which is high praise indeed when you’ve also got roasted garlic and four cheeses to contend with. Even though I’d sautéed it and partially buried it in cheese, its time in the oven rendered it familiarly browned and crispy on the edges: it was like a roasted-kale pizza, guys! Actually, even better: it was like roasted kale on delicious garlic-cheese bread. Because I had a little ricotta sitting lonely in the fridge and have realized that I love ricotta on non-tomato-sauce pizzas (it adds just the right amount of moistness without being overcreamy), I subbed that for the provolone in the original recipe. And it was excellent (while I’m at it, I might try sneaking a little ricotta onto that mushroom-garlic-asiago pizza next time around). Add this to the list of recipes that will get kids (and A, and me) to happily eat their kale.
1 pound pizza dough
1 head of garlic
1 bunch kale
3 cups of grated cheese (I used a mix of ricotta, fontina, asiago, and mozzarella)
1. To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the top ¼ inch off the head of garlic, so just the very tops of the cloves are exposed. Drizzle a little olive oil over the head of garlic, wrap it loosely in foil, and place the foil package in the oven for about 1 hour, until the cloves are soft. Squeeze the soft cloves out and roughly chop them. (Roasted garlic can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for several days.)
2. When you’re ready to bake the pizza, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Stretch out your ball of pizza dough and lay it out on a pizza peel or baking sheet that’s been generously dusted with cornmeal.
3. Wash the kale and trim away the tough center stems. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the kale until wilted. Remove kale from pan and chop it.
4. Top the crust with half the grated cheese, then the roasted garlic and the sauteed kale. Top with another layer of cheese.
5. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and just starting to brown, and the crust is golden brown.
Time: 1½ hours
Leftover potential: Good