Glazed Pear and Kale Pesto Pizza

September 15, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes 1 large pizza
Author Notes

This pizza was inspired by a selection from a farmers' market haul: kale, heirloom onions, and pears. The base is a kale and walnut pesto, tempered with creamy ricotta, topped with sliced onions and bosc pear glazed in a little balsamic vinegar. The pizza dough, which has some corn meal and whole wheat flour to give it heft for supporting these vegetal and sweet toppings, should be rolled very thin. The dough recipe makes enough to tithe some for two small kid-sized pizzas as well as make an adult sided pizza for two. —Fairmount_market

What You'll Need
  • pizza dough
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup medium ground corn meal
  • 1/4 cup coarse ground corn meal (polenta)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pizza toppings
  • 3-4 kale leaves
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 ripe but firm bosc pear
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces gorgonzola cheese
  1. At least two and a half hours ahead, prepare the pizza dough. In a large mixing bowl, mix the yeast and 1/4 cup warm water and allow to sit for a few minutes until it foams up. Mix in the remaining ingredients, alternating between the flour and water. You may need a little more or less of the water or flour, depending on ambient moisture. When combined, turn the dough onto a work surface (I like to use a large silicone mat for easy clean up) and knead for several minutes until the dough is satisfyingly elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, or if using, loosely wrap the dough in the silicone mat and transfer it right back into the dough mixing bowl. Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in bulk for a coupe of hours. You can also make this dough in the morning and let it rise in the refrigerator during the day and it will be ready at dinnertime.
  2. Prepare the kale pesto. Set a pot of salted water to boil. In a toaster oven or on the stovetop in a dry skillet, toast the walnut pieces until fragrant. Remove the kale leaves from the stems. When the water is boiling, blanch the kale leaves for one minute and then quickly transfer to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the walnuts into a coarse chop. Squeeze the kale dry and add to the food processor. Blend until well chopped. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, the ricotta, and a generous pinch of salt. Process until you have a fairly smooth, bright green paste. Reserve.
  3. Prepare the glazed onions and pears. Peal the onion and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Half and core the pear and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and pear slices in a single layer and allow to cook a few minutes until they start to brown on one side. Flip the pieces and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over them, as well as a pinch of salt and grind of black pepper. Cook briefly to let the vinegar cook down into a syrup, and then remove the slices to a plate, pouring over any remaining vinegar.
  4. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees and insert a pizza stone if you wish. Roll out the pizza dough into a thin sheet, approximately 15 inches in diameter (you can spare a quarter of the dough for a small auxiliary pizza is you like). Sprinkle a pizza peel or baking sheet with polenta and place the dough on top. Spread the kale pesto in a thin layer over the dough. Layer the glazed pears and onions over the kale pesto. Crumble the gorgonzola and sprinkle on top. If using a pizza stone, carefully slide the pizza from the peel onto the stone. Bake the pizza for about 16 minutes until the crust sounds hard when tapped and the ricotta in the kale pesto has cooked through and lightened in color. Serve at once.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • hardlikearmour
  • AntoniaJames
  • Fairmount_market
I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: fairmountmarket.blogspot.com. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.

4 Reviews

hardlikearmour September 16, 2011
This sounds delicious, and I love the crazy looking red onions you have!
Fairmount_market September 17, 2011
Thanks hardlikearmour! These onions are an Italian heirloom variety sold at our farmers' market. They are super sweet and flavorful.
AntoniaJames September 16, 2011
Kale pesto with walnuts and pears? Wow. This is amazing. Step 3 in the instructions, alone, has my mouth watering, seriously. Love the cornmeal (2 types, no less . . . the way I always do it) in the crust, too. Great, great recipe. ;o)
Fairmount_market September 17, 2011
Thanks AJ! Yes, I couldn't help myself with the two kinds of corn meal. They both seemed to want to be there for the contrasting texture.