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Author Notes: One summer in a fevered pique of cooking local, I signed up my husband and I for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share. Enthusiastic for the produce to come I vowed to throw out nothing. Also, we had spent $550 up front to join. In the beginning, it was a manageable quantity, 5-7 lbs a week. By the height of the summer we were overwhelmed by the 15-20 lbs of produce we were receiving weekly. I stuck by my promises, I would cook it all.
Then we got mustard greens. I had no interest in braising them to within an inch of their life; seemed against the point signing up for a weekly fresh produce commitment. I was at a loss until I decided to make them into a pesto. Threw the raw greens in the food processor, squeezed a bunch of honey, parmesan cheese and toasted walnuts. Added in olive oil while letting it whirl away, pureeing while I crossed my fingers. The raw pesto was, ahem, harsh but I was a woman on a mission. I was going to make it work and I have a husband who will eat anything. (Always a good match for an experimental home cook.) Ladies, you have that piece of unsolicited advice for free. You're welcome.
I threw that harsh pesto on a pizza, smothered it in mozzarella so as to hide the crime underneath, and prayed. When I took out the pizza, that pesto had transformed form a harshly bitter sauce to a spicy sweet paste under a cheesy topping. An accidental hit.
I've included a recipe for the pizza dough though no one will judge you for using uncooked pizza dough you bought from the supermarket if it's easier for you because no one will know. —Jessica
Mustard Green and Honey Pesto Pizza
ounces Parmesan Cheese
3/4 - 1
cups Olive Oil
Pizza Dough (Recipe below)
pound Fresh mozzarella ball
- Remove leaves from fibrous stems of mustard greens. Thoroughly wash.
- Heat walnuts in dry skillet. Toast until you can smell the oils.
- Place mustard green leaves, walnuts, parmesan cheese and honey into food processor. With food processor running, pour olive oil slowly into the mixture until just incorporated. Depending on the moistness of the greens this could be 3/4 cup to 1 cup of olive oil. You want the consistency to be an easily spreadable paste rather than a runny sauce. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning to taste. You shouldn't need much. Keep in mind, this sauce will concentrate in flavor as it bakes.
- Spread pesto on pizza dough in one even layer. Cut mozzarella ball into even slices and arrange evenly over top of pesto-laden pizza.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crust is browned and cheesy is bubbly. Serve warm.
Basic Pizza Dough
cup Lukewarm Water
cups All-Purpose Flour
tablespoons Olive oil
- Dissolve dry yeast in the lukewarm water. Allow it to proof (Approximately 15 minutes)
- Add proofed yeast mixture to flour, olive oil, and salt. Knead either by hand or in a stand mixer until you've made a smooth dough that pulls cleanly from work surface or bowl. About 10-15 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in stand mixer.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot of your kitchen with no draft. After 90 minutes to two hours the dough will have doubled in size and will be ready for use.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Mustard