Kale is often something of a one-note vegetable, delivering a heft of brassica that is awesome in its own right, but can be a lot to stomach on a regular basis. My solution to friendlier kale is to pair it with strong ingredients that don't necessarily overpower it, but join forces to steer it in an interesting new direction. In this case, kale is sauteed up with some olive oil and garlic, and then laid down on top of an uncooked pizza crust (I find that a whole wheat dough is particularly good at standing up to the strong flavor of kale). It's then topped with walnuts to give a nutty depth, funky blue cheese to spark it up, and a handful of thinly-sliced onions that will soften invitingly. All of these strong and pungent flavors hold their own, and combine with kale to make a beautifully balanced pie. —deensiebat
- Serves 4
balls pizza dough (~10 ounces each, preferably whole wheat)
olive oil, plus more for drizzling
cloves garlic, minced
kale, if it's really large, or two smaller bunches (I like Red Russian), washed and dried and roughly chopped
flour or semolina, for dusting
roughly chopped walnut halves (do not toast, as they'll brown in the oven)
crumbled blue cheese, depending upon your taste
red or yellow onion, sliced into thin half-moons
- Preheat your oven, with a pizza stone if you have, to 500 degrees for an hour. If your pizza dough has been refrigerated, let it sit, covered, at room temperature for about the same amount of time.
- While the oven is preheating and the dough is warming, prepare the kale. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until starting to brown. Add the kale along with a pinch of salt, and saute until softened, covering the pot between stirring to help the kale wilt. When it's almost done, squeeze the wedge of lemon over the top and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Place one ball of the pizza dough on a lightly-floured counter top, and press outward into a thick disk (leaving a 1" unpressed area along the edge as the crust). Pick up the disk and let it drape over the backs of your hands, letting gravity help you stretch it into a 12-14" circle. If the dough resists, let it relax for a few minutes, then try again. Place the stretched dough on a peel (or overturned cookie sheet or cutting board) that's lightly dusted with semolina or other type of flour.
- Take half the sauteed kale, and sprinkle evenly over the dough. Scatter half the walnuts, half the blue cheese, and half the onions on top. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Slide the pizza onto the preheated stone in your oven, reduce the heat to 450, and bake ~7-10 minutes, until the crust browns. Remove the pizza from the oven, let cool for a moment, and slice into wedges (or, for appetizer servings, cut into squares) and serve.