A Cheesy, Savory Pizza You'll Have on Repeat

January 22, 2018
Photo by Posie Harwood

I look forward to pizza night any time of year, but especially in the winter. Homemade pizza is the ultimate comfort food: cheesy, warm, crispy, chewy, and crunchy. Once you master a great crust recipe, you can treat pizza as a vehicle to whatever food you're craving. In the mood for Thai? Spread your dough with a spicy peanut sauce and top it with crispy tofu. Feel like red meat? Go for a combination of thinly sliced steak, peppers, and cheese for a cheesesteak-inspired dinner. You could carb-load by piling on layers of shaved potatoes with rosemary, or you could have breakfast for dinner and crack an egg on top.

Photo by Posie Harwood

Lately, I've been wanting greens. Tons of leafy vegetables and lots of salad to lighten up the dark days. At the same time, when winter really settles in, I also like comforting, nourishing food to get me through these cold weeks. The perfect solution is pizza, heavy on the greens. Today's recipe doubles down on the vegetables, using kale in two ways.

Photo by Posie Harwood

Not only does this give you an extra dose of greens, but it's a good way to use up an entire bunch of kale rather than leaving you with some left over from a large bunch. First, you'll make a quick pesto with kale, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan, pine nuts, and a bit of nutritional yeast. The nutritional yeast (one of my very favorite flavor boosters in the kitchen) adds a savory, cheesy flavor that amplifies the taste of the Parmesan.

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You'll spread this on your dough. (The dough recipe I use here is a simple and excellent whole wheat crust, but you can easily ask your local pizzeria to sell you a ball of dough if you're not so inclined to make your own.) Then you'll add more kale, just torn up and tossed over the top of the dough along with fresh mozzarella and red pepper flakes.

Photo by Posie Harwood

If this isn't quite hearty enough for you, or if you have someone in your household who wants meat for dinner, you can add some bacon or sausage or shredded poached chicken. I prefer the simplicity of the pizza as is. It's the sort of comfort food I can really get behind: packed with good-for-you things like whole grains and nutritional yeast and leafy greens, but still...well...pizza.

What weekday pizzas will you be whipping up this week? Share your inspiration with us below!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.