Spicy Spinach pizza

Janice Joy Miller

By
@earth2joy

Some really awesome recipes are total accidents - like this one. There I was at home having a pity party at the tail end of an extraordinarily drawn out case of strep throat - feeling better, but sniffly - with a huge mess in the kitchen and broken down boxes piled in the living room from unpacking. The 3/4 bottle of Malbec sitting pretty on the counter was desperate for a mate for dinner, and I was kind of hungry and very tired. Time for pizza and a movie! Being just a big kid at heart, Puss In Boots was on the slate.


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Comments:

Serves:

2 to 8

Prep:

15 Min

Cook:

45 Min

Method:

Bake

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Notes from the Test Kitchen:
This pizza is one happy accident! A great twist on pizza. I had never heard of Kasseri cheese before so I was interested to try it. Glad I did! It has great flavor.

Ingredients

1
thin & crispy prepared pizza crust
olive oil for brushing and drizzling
3/4 bunch
fresh spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
1 c
fresh sweet basil, coarsely chopped
1/2 c
fresh Italian oregano, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp
finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1/2 c
fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/3 c
white onion, finely chopped
1/2 large
red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium
fresh tomatoes about the size of a tennis ball
3 Tbsp
pesto paste
8
anchovies in olive oil
4 oz
Kasseri cheese (sheep & cow milk cheese, mild, a bit like cheddar) sliced or grated
salt & fresh pepper to taste

Directions Step-By-Step

1
Brush the prepared pizza crust with olive oil, making sure to cover it completely. I used one that's already rolled out. Place it on a well oiled pizza stone (don't make my mistake of not oiling the stone!!)
2
Pat the leafy vegetables completely dry after washing them. Chop everything coarsely, except the jalapeno and onions - you want those finely chopped. Put all the vegetables in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, add pesto paste, salt & pepper, and toss well.
3
Pile the vegetables onto the pizza crust (residual juice and all) and put in the oven. Turn the oven to 325. Don't pre-heat the oven. The reason is that with so many vegetables, you want them to dehydrate a little while not letting the pizza crust get overdone.
4
Peek in on it about every 15 minutes, and spread out the vegetables toward the edges of the crust as they wilt. Scoot dry bits from the edges toward the middle. Again, the idea is to let the vegetables dehydrate while cooking.
5
When the veggies look cooked and have lost some volume (about 30 minutes), spread them out toward the edges again, and lay whole or chopped anchovy fillets and cheese on top. Turn the oven up to 375 and bake until the cheese is melted and golden - maybe 10-15 minutes or so.
6
Remove from oven, cut into slices and serve.

Note: some people think they don't like anchovies - but it's the anchovies that make this really taste great. The briny saltiness with the cheese and vegetables is surprisingly good. If you think you don't like anchovies, try using high quality fresh anchovies from a gourmet market. I used a jar of anchovies in olive oil. You can also chop the anchovies if you don't want the taste of bigger chunks. I like anchovies, so enjoy getting a big piece in a bite.

Another note on pizza crust - a thin crispy crust works best for this pizza because of the volume and softness of the vegetables and the lack of a lot of cheese. A softer, or regular crust might get mushy.

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Italian
Other Tag: Healthy