Wednesday, June 23, 2010

3 Cheese and Kale Pizza

So, funny story.  Back when I was younger (aka the majority of my 20's) I was convinced that I didn't like pizza.  I know!  Crazy!  Who in their right mind doesn't like pizza?!?!?  I always found it super-filling, yet strangely un-satisfying.  I don't know about you, but when I feel like my stomach going to explode, I want to be completely satiated, not just full.

I blame this on Pizza Hut (high-school years) and Papa John's (late-night drunk college years).

Anyway, my best friend and roommate in graduate school worked very hard to change all of that.  She grew up in Chicago and ate pizza at least 5 times a week.  I wish I was exaggerating.  She thought I was crazy when I'd order a salad at our local pizza joint.  I now realize how correct she actually was... I was completely batshit.

This is the "Greens" time of the year for the CSA crowd so I'll do my best to make it fun and exciting.  Today, I decided to make it a star ingredient in a vegetarian pizza. I got a monster-bunch of kale this week, so I cleaned it, chopped it up, and threw it in a skillet with some olive oil, and let it cook down for about 10min.
After that was done, I caramelized some onions in the same pan, wiping out the kale juice and adding 1 tbsp butter and some more olive oil.  Caramelizing onions is a bitch but they are just so damn tasty.  Low heat, don't stir too often, be patient.  I, unfortunately, wasn't patient enough and mine were soft but still yellow-ish instead of dark brown.  Oh well. 
 
In the meantime, it's dough-time!  This is the first pizza dough I've ever made.  I used Mario Batali's recipe, which you can find here. It turned out really good, but I might try some variations on this just to experiment.


*dough rising.... rising..... RISING....RISING!  There was a lot of yeast in Mario's recipe so I'm not surprised....

I preheated my *new* pizza stone in the oven set at 500F while I assembled my pizza.  I rolled out the dough on a cornmeal-coated parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Topped it with a drizzle of olive oil, some fontina cheese, some of my homemade ricotta, the caramelized onions, and the cooked kale.  I finished it off with a sprinkle of fresh grated Parmesan cheese and threw it in the oven.
 
 *before*

I let it cook for about 15minutes or until the crust looked golden brown and the cheese was gooey and bubbling.  Here it is fresh out of the oven:

I literally went running into the living room where Boyfriend was doing work, jumped around like a little girl, and shrieked about how perfect this pizza turned out.  I believe I may have called it my "masterpiece".  I told (shrieked at) him to get excited because this pizza was going to "blow his mind".  He stared at me like I had just blown a gasket and the Laura-train was now officially headed straight to Batshit-Crazy Town.

What?  So I get excited about cooking... that's why I have a blog, remember? :)

Before slicing and devouring, I drizzled some truffle oil over the top, just to really go overboard with it.











So cheesy, so flavorful, so SATISFYING! :) I win.

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