A few weeks ago I posted an egg and swiss chard recipe for everyone, and ended the post with a promise to come back with more swiss chard recipes.
During my first recipe search I came across an entire New York Times feature on the benefits of swiss chard and was immediately drawn to their pizza recipe. At the beginning of my graduate school career, two years ago, I discovered Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough, and started creating dozens of new pizza topping combinations – some better than others. Soon I needed to up the challenge though, and started making my own basic whole wheat dough pizza dough recipe, which you can find below. But don’t worry, if you don’t have the energy for your own pizza dough – there are plenty of pre-made dough options out there. To keep the recipe on the healthier side, try to stick with whole wheat dough. What is your favorite “healthy” pizza topping combination? Let us know in the comments.
Swiss Chard and Ricotta Pizza with Caramelized Onions
Adapted from New York Times, Recipes for Health http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/health/nutrition/29recipehealth.html
2 medium Vidalia onions
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves (dried or fresh)
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
½ lb (4-5 cups), roughly chopped (large pieces) Swiss Chard*
¾ cup part skim ricotta
¾ cup shredded mozzarella/parmesan/Italian cheese blend
yolk of 1 egg
whole wheat pizza dough, recipe below
*I eyed this part of the ingredient list, as I was cutting the Rainbow Swiss Chard fresh from the garden.
1) Preheat your oven 425 degrees and place a large sauce pan of water over high heat to bring to a boil. Also put aside a bowl of ice water, this will be used later to cool the swiss chard. While waiting for the water to boil…
2) Cut the onions in half length-wise (so that when you slice them you do not have full rings) and slice them thinly. Mince the garlic and set aside. Drizzle olive oil in a medium pan (one and a half turns around the pan should be plenty) and heat over medium heat, add onions and cook, stirring often, until they are just beginning to turn golden. Add garlic and thyme leaves. Turn the heat down, cover the onions and cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring often. The onions are done when they are golden brown, soft, and very sweet. Remove from heat when done.
3) At this point, remove the largest stems from your swiss chard leaves and cut into large pieces (they need to be small enough to fit in your pot of hot water, but not finely chopped or diced). Once the water has come to a boil, salt it heavily, and add the swiss chard. Blanch for 1 to 2 minutes (the larger your original swiss chard leaves, the longer you will want to blanch it).
4) Drain your swiss chard leaves and transfer immediately to the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and squeeze out the excess water. Chop the blanched chard medium-fine.
5) Combine ricotta, egg yolk, shredded cheese, and chopped swiss chard in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
6) Dust a cookie sheet or pizza stone with cornmeal and place your prepared pizza dough on top (I prefer rectangle shaped pizza because I can never actually make my pizza actually round.)
7) Spread swiss chard/ricotta mixture evenly over pizza dough, leaving about an inch border, and top with caramelized onions.
8) Place in the preheated oven and bake for 16-18 minutes, until crust begins to brown.
I loved the final product here, could be because I absolutely love anything with caramelized onions. Two slices filled me up and with little cheese, lots of veggies, and whole wheat, it was a great way to indulge without really indulging too much.
Basic Whole Wheat Pizza Dough 1 teaspoon honey 1 ½ cups warm water (110-115 degrees) 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (or about 1 packet plus half of a second packet) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon Kosher salt 2 cups whole wheat flour 1 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1) In large bowl combine honey and warm water until honey is completely “melted” into the water. Sprinkle yeast over the top of the water and let proof - sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes until the mixture is foamy. 2) Add olive oil, salt to the mixture, stir to combine. 3) Add all of the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and mix until combined. 4) Tip the dough onto a bread board/counter/ cutting board and sprinkle the last ½ cup flour over it. Knead the dough until all of the flour is absorbed and the dough is smooth. 5) Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise at room temperature for about an hour. The dough is done rising when it is doubled in size. 6) Divide dough in half for 2 pizza crusts and knead each half lightly into a tight ball (no more than 5 minutes).* Let rise, on the counter or in separate oiled bowls, for 45 minutes, when it is once again double in size. 7) Roll dough using a rolling pin until it doesn't seem to stretch anymore. Using your hands carefully stretch the dough further, working to maintain an even thickness throughout. *If you plan on only making one pizza, the other half can be frozen for up to 4 months in an well sealed Ziploc bag. Be sure to spray the inside of the bag for easy removal later. When you are ready to use again, defrost overnight in the refridgerator, and let sit on the counter for 45 minutes to an hour, bringing it to room temperature, before baking