Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kale and Arugula Pizza

Something to Hold Onto by The Wailin' Jennys
These sad girlies sing about walking past a love's home, hoping that the love will extend something - anything - to give them a reason to stay.  They want something that they can take by the hands - something tangible - something real - a token of promised affections.  I say,  "Buddy, I can help you out here!"  Just set one of these here pizzas on the table - you know, in plain sight from the window they're walking past - and let this dish reel one of those girlies in, speaking volumes of love.  And, believe me, she will have plenty to hold onto!  I've tried eating this with a fork.  Nope.  It's a hands-on affair - letting your fingers delicately pick up the strays that fall away and sweeping them straight up to your mouth.  You won't want to miss a morsel!  

So today is the day where you're going to be wishing you had 
made up those Olive, Garlic, and Wheat Rounds from last week!
You know, like I told you to!

Today we're going to take one of those rounds and make this delicious pizza!
I've had salad pizzas at restaurants like California Pizza Kitchen 
and have been wanting to make my own.
But I find you have to have a base with some oomph to start out with.
Just piling a regular salad on top of a regular dough doesn't seem to cut it.

I took my ramped up pizza dough and made it even tastier by spreading some pesto around the top.
Then I added some sliced roma tomatoes - fresh from my garden - and some black olives, grated parmesan, and thinly sliced red onion.  I cranked some black pepper over it and gave it a light dusting of kosher salt and baked it hot and fast.

For the salad I included my two favs, romaine and arugula, 
but added one of my newer friends in the veggie world, Mr. Kale!
I talked about kale and it's unique qualities in 
my Potato, Kale, and Bacon Pie post last December.
Kale does require some extra care but not enough to 
make you miss out on its value and flavor!
Sitting on top of this warm pizza, Kale is King!
It is in it's glory!
It's the backbone that keeps this salad from totally giving in to the heat.
As a matter of fact, it's that escaping heat from the crust that enhances the kale.

I sprinkled some roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds over top of
 the salad and shaved some more fresh parm for a garnish.
This is a hands-on feast -
for the eyes and tummy!

Kale and Arugula Pizza
serves 4
4 Olive, Garlic, and Wheat Rounds, or pita bread or small store-bought pizza crusts
1/4 c. pesto
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 roma tomatoes, sliced crosswise
1/2 c. sliced black olives
1/4 red onion, sliced into julienne strips
3 oz. parmesan cheese
5 stems kale
1 head romaine, sliced into 1/2" ribbons
1 large handful baby arugula
2 T. roasted sunflower seeds
2 T. roasted pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas
2 T. of your favorite vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the large fibrous stem from the center of each kale leaf by holding firmly to the stem at the base of the leaf with one hand and quickly pulling the leaf away with the other hand.  Or, if you prefer, you can cut it away with a sharp knife.  Discard the stem and slice the remaining leaf into 1/4" thin ribbons, crosswise.  Place the kale ribbons into a bowl and dress with the vinaigrette.  Take your hand and gently massage and toss the kale until well-coated with the dressing.  Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 450.

Mix together the pesto and olive oil and divide equally among the bread rounds, spreading out to cover the tops.  Grate 2 ounces of the parmesan over the tops and then top with the sliced tomatoes, black olives, and red onions.  Give a quick dust of kosher salt and black pepper.
Place each round on a baking stone or a sheet tray and bake for 5 - 8 minutes - until the crust has some golden brown on it.
Add the remaining romaine and arugula to the bowl with the kale and toss them all together, coating all the greens with the dressing.  Add a pinch of kosher salt and toss again.
Using tongs or your hands, distribute the salad evenly among the pizza tops.  Sprinkle with the roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds.  Add a few shavings of parmesan to top and serve!

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