Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kale, Revisited...

My dear, dear friend Emma came over Friday night, toddler and baby in tow, with dinner. I'm so lucky to have friends in my life who not only cook me dinner, but even bring it to my house (my friend, Stubborn--from this post-- does this all the time, too). I love to cook, but it's really a treat to have a delicious dinner and great company come right to my door.

Emma arrived with two incredible homemade pizzas: butternut squash with goat cheese and fresh mozzarella, and kale with fresh mozzarella and ricotta (I think that was the cheese combination...). The kale, oh, the kale...when it baked on top of the pizza, it turned into these crunchy, crispy bites of deliciousness. All of my previously mentioned feelings about kale were out the window...all I could think with every bite was that I could so eat a bowl of this kale!

So, after having kale pizza on my mind all weekend, I used Friday's dinner as inspiration for tonight's. Pizza #1 was butternut squash with caramelized onions, goat cheese crumbles, green apple and mozzarella cheese. Pizza #2 was ricotta and mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, tomatoes, and kale. I attempted a homemade pizza crust that ended up more like a thick cracker, and these pizzas were still so good I could eat them every night this week. I can't wait to try it again with a decent crust.

There's no formal recipe, but here's what I did.

Prep work:
1. Slice a small onion into thin strips, put into a skillet on med. heat with about 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tsp. brown sugar. Cook, stirring often, until caramelized.
2. Cook a butternut squash, whole, in the oven, for about 45 minutes at 350°. Let it cool, peel the skin off and cut around the end with the seeds. Puree. (I always just cook my squash whenever I have the oven on for anything else; just stick it in the fridge until I need it.) Leftover puree freezes well.

Roll crusts out to fit 9x13 cookie sheets (greased) and top as follows:

Pizza #1: Spread pureed butternut squash in a thin layer across entire crust. Sprinkle with caramelized onions (about 1/3 c.) and crumbled goat cheese (1/4 c.), and one diced apple. Top with desired amount of grated mozzarella cheese.

Pizza #2: Sprinkle crust with 1/4 c. mozzarella cheese. Add caramelized onions (1/2 c.), half of a diced tomato, randomly dropped teaspoons of ricotta cheese, another sprinkling of 1/4 c. mozzarella, and a few leaves of torn up kale all over the top.

Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes.

The kale, again, was the highlight of this pizza for me. I wanted to pick it all off, but I exercised some self-restraint, only for the sake of the leftovers. A quick internet search after dinner led me to this recipe for Baked Kale Chips...whoa. Stay tuned, because I am so making these this week. :)

The only toddler-friendly note I should add is that the idea of sauceless pizza didn't go over great with Lainey. A small bowl of marinara on the side was all she needed to eat this one right up. Oh, and she thought "Apple Pizza" was a pretty cool thing to have for dinner, too (versus the initial refusal when she thought it was squash pizza). It's all about presentation!

1 comment:

  1. Leslie, I made the butternut squash pizza (minus the cheese due to allergy) so I added potato. Delish- thanks for sharing this recipe!