Tag Archives: kale chips

Flora’s seasonal recipe: pizza du jour feat. the Brassica family

15 Mar

photo-16I don’t know many people that don’t like pizza!

Sunday’s are usually a perfect day for a pizza party, and Sunday pizza making has become somewhat of a tradition.

I love buying dough and fresh mozzarella from my local pizzeria. The owner has come to expect me to walk through his doors, and I look forward to our catch up conversations.

Pizza Sunday’s are pretty great, because we can never finish a whole pizza in one sitting, so there are always leftovers for Monday’s lunch.

Monday’s are that much better because of it!

The dough usually takes on some really odd vegetable combinations, all dependent on what lives in my fridge. Last Sunday I made a Brassica pizza, featuring some curly leaf kale, broccoli and some other non-Brassica’s, for a multi-cultural veggie pizza experience.

Here’s what I came up with:

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough, stretched
  • 1/2 ball of fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • 5-6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced
  • 3-4 stems of kale, chopped
  • 5-6 broccoli florets, cut in half
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Directions:

1. Prep the dough: Preheat your oven to 400F (gas stove) 450F (electric stove). I like to cut the dough in half (totally optional), since I have a cast iron skillet that I like to use, and a smaller piece of dough fits much better. You are welcome to use a pizza stone, or any other baking sheet that you like. If using cast iron or a baking sheet, add a dab of olive oil and spread across the surface. Stretch the dough out with your fist so it expands and gets thinner. Fit the dough to your baking surface.

2. Prep your ingredients: Rinse and slice your mushrooms, slice your onion, rinse your kale and broccoli, chopping appropriately. In a bowl add a drizzle of olive oil to your kale, and a small pinch of salt. Massage the olive oil in, then set aside.

3. Assemble the pizza: Shred your mozzarella first, sprinkle some sea salt and grinds of pepper. Add on your onions, mushrooms and top with your broccoli. Save your kale for 10-12 minutes before the pizza is done cooking, to create a kale chip topping.

4. Cook the pizza: Cook for 20-25 minutes total, depending on your oven’s strength. Midway take a peak, see how it’s doing, hang around the kitchen. Shake the pan a bit so the dough loosens and doesn’t stick. 10-12 minutes before the pizza is cooked, add on your kale. Remove pizza once dough is cooked through, and kale is crispy.

Happy veggie pizza eating!

Kale – in April’s glow

6 Apr

There is no getting around it -green leafy vegetables are amazing. They support our liver and gallbladder that work tirelessly to rid our body of toxins, they are good blood builders and are excellent for making strong bones and lungs. What I most love, is that green leaves are made green by the magic that is photosynthesis. Chlorophyll – that which makes plants green, absorbs sunlight and transforms carbon dioxide and water into energy – carbohydrates – that nourish our bodies.

We have chosen to showcase kale in its many delicious forms at Butter Beans this month. Unlike many other leafy vegetables, kale can be grown in the winter. It is actually sweeter when it grows in the cold, and more bitter when it is warm. Kale is full of vitamin K that is important for strong bones, vitamin A needed for strong tissues and eyesight, vitamin C, important for all cell activity, and a plethora of other important vitamins and minerals. Kale is the quite simply one of the most nutrient dense foods around, and worth finding ways to love.

During World War II in the UK, the cultivation of kale was encouraged through the Dig for Victory campaign – the government encouraged people to grow their own food. Kale was easy to grow and provided important nutrients to supplement those missing from a normal diet due to rationing at that time.

You can tell classic kale apart because of its curly edges seen here. Lacinato or dinosaur kale, has deep blue-ish green leaves that look a bit like a broadly pebbled road. And purple kale – looks mostly like it’s curly counterpart but goodness, the purple is beautiful.

There are plenty of ways, even for the least adventurous of us, to benefit from this nutrient dense power plant. Slice it very thin and sauté with garlic, to bring out the best of the flavor. Puree into tomato sauce for pasta, or steam and put on a pizza. If you are not accustomed to these dark bitter greens (the more bitter, the better for your heart!) try cooking them with something sweet – like corn or raisins or cranberries. Kale goes well with meat, fish, in omelets, in stir-fries, and wonderfully with white beans in soup.

My daughter, at every birthday begs me to make kale chips. And even her friends that won’t eat green things, devour them instantly.

How to make them: Dip your fingers in olive oil, and lightly coat the clean leaves as you break them off into large chip sized pieces. Put on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt before putting into a hot oven at 350 degrees. After five minutes, flip them over and bake another 2-5 minutes. Stay close! Kale chips are delicious but burn quickly.

Be on the lookout for more kale recipes throughout this month.