July 25, 2013

Foodie Escapade: Homemade Garlic-Infused Kale and Sausage Whole Wheat Pizza

"Good food is a good gift from a good God." 

A friend asked for my recipe for this homemade, whole wheat pizza.  Originally, I planned to post it on Facebook. I then decided to simply post it here, and in that way, anyone who wants it can read and use it.

I created this recipe when I realized I did not have some of the ingredients I’d planned to use for a pizza. I wanted something savory, and remembered the frozen kale (a huge bag from Costco) in my freezer. I have had success with sauteing fresh or frozen kale in fresh garlic, butter, and oil and adding the kale to omelets, brown rice, or eating the kale as a side dish to sweet potatoes and sausage, or squash and sausage.

Here’s the recipe:

Make or purchase your choice of whole wheat pizza dough. I always make my pizza dough at home, and find very useful ways to spend my time while waiting for the dough to rise. My dough recipe comes from The Encyclopedia of Cooking (Parragon Books, 2010), but any recipe you like will do.

Chop and prep ingredients while the dough rises.

Saute 2 cups of fresh or frozen kale in a heavy skillet for five minutes or until soft, using:
 2 tablespoons of butter,
¼ cup of finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of cooking oil.

Set cooked kale aside. Allow kale to drain of the cooking liquid.

Cook enough sausage (pork or chicken) to cover the top of your pizza.

Chop sausage into bite sized pieces and set cooked sausage aside.

After rolling out fully risen dough, place the rolled out dough into a well seasoned cast iron skillet. Preheat oven to 450.

Build your pizza!:

For sauce, I use Pace Picante Hot Salsa (about 4-5 tablespoons). Add sauce to the dough, spreading it evenly. Ensure all of dough is covered with sauce.

Next, add any amount of shredded or grated cheese that suits your preference. I use cheddar. All sauce should be covered with cheese.

Next, add chopped sausage on top of cheese layer. You can add a little ( ¼ to ½ teaspoon) black pepper at this point if you enjoy the taste of it. Salt is already in the salsa.

Making sure the kale is fully drained of its cooking liquid, add kale on top of sausage layer. If you have too much kale, refrigerate it and add to rice, pasta, or egg dishes later on.

Place the skillet on the center rack of the 450 degree oven and let pizza in skillet bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Pizza is done when:
Cheese is melted and (lightly) browned.
Crust is slightly crunchy in appearance. It’s whole wheat, so you won’t see much color change in the crust.

Allow pizza to cool for 5 to 7 minutes in skillet. If your cast iron skillet has been properly seasoned, the pizza should easily lift out of the skillet with the help of a wide spatula.

I bake my pizzas in an 11.5 inch skillet, so one pizza is enough for 3 to 4 people to have two hearty slices. The recipe can be easily doubled for larger groups.

Options for additional toppings:
Onions, leeks, chives, cilantro, other cheeses, cooked corn kernels.


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