Spinach and Kale Pizza
Another week, another challenge from r/52weeksofcooking. This week the theme was Mother Sauces, something I explored a few years ago thanks to a Top Chef episode. I have done numerous tomato sauce based recipes, and a few veloute sauces as well but for the most part I avoid the creamier sauces. Cream is very high on the list of things my doctor has told me to avoid – so with that in mind I set out to make this as healthy as I could. One of things that helped me on that quest was learning that bechamel does not actually require cream! Instead of doing a standard pasta I decided to do pizza, making a whole wheat sourdough crust and tossing on as much spinach, chard, and kale as possible. I was a little bit nervous working with the dough, but it was surprising easy to roll once I figured out the right flour:starter ratio – so no dough went flying across the kitchen this time!
3/4 cup starter
1 cup 2 tbsp water
2 tbsp EVOO
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 tbsp EVOO
1 red onion, diced
1 cup baby spinach, rinsed and torn
1/2 cup swiss chard, rinsed and torn
3/4 cup kale, rinsed and torn
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
- For the dough - I used my bread machine taking full advantage of the timer and pizza dough setting. Once done, roll out on to pizza sheet cover with a towel and allow to rise for 30minutes. Set aside
- For the onions, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring regularly, for 25-30 minutes or until onions have caramelized. Set aside to slightly cool
- For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted slowly whisk in the flour before slowing adding the milk, stirring the entire time. Bring to a simmer then add the nutmeg and cook for 10minutes. Cover and set aside to cool.
- To assemble the pizza: spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce (storing the rest for the future) onto the dough, spreading around. Add the onions, followed by the spinach, kale, and swiss chard. Top with the shredded cheese.
- Place pizza in oven and set to 400 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes, crust will be golden and the cheese will be starting to brown.
the sauce freezes very well - I poured it in to ice cube trays and once frozen popped the cubes into freezer bags.
This isn’t the healthiest pizza out there – and I’m sure it’s not the healthiest version of bechamel floating around – but it’s a healthier option compared to what most pizzas are. Another advantage of doing a white sauce is it’s much easier to reduce the amount of cheese required, assuming people aren’t looking over your shoulder attempting to add more.