I have been growing a beautiful little patch of chard in my garden this year, and with my first harvest coming in, have been looking forward to turning it into a delicious dish. I wanted something flavorful and beautiful, but a little different than what I have been cooking recently. This weekend, I went to a dinner at my lovely friends Vanessa and Romain’s house and they decided to have a pizza party, and the answer came to me, I would use my chard on a pizza with some delicious ricotta and a bit of spice!
I decided to invite my parents over for a bit of a pizza party myself! Chard always goes down well with fried pork of some kind, be it bacon, ham or the sweet Italian sausage I found at the market this weekend. It worked wonderfully with a trio of cheeses: provolone, ricotta, and Parmesan. I am sure you can switch provolone for some other mild cheeses like Fontina or Gruyere.
Below, I offer my recipe for pizza dough. I prefer to make the dough for two pies at a time and leave half in the freezer, it is easier if you are using packets of yeast, but can easily be divided in half!
I served this pizza alongside with some Fresh Pea Soup and a dessert of Lemon Pudding topped with Lemon Curd (stay tuned for the recipes tomorrow and Thursday.
I love hosting my parents, we always have such a great time every time we catch up. My dad loved the pizza and was happy to sample some of the Scotch I brought back from my trip to London.
Homegrown Chard, Sausage and Ricotta Pizza
pizza dough (enough for two pies, divide in half for one pie):
3 1/2 – 4 cups flour
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 tbsp. olive oil plus extra to oil the dough
3 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 links Italian sausage, casings removed (about 3/4 – 1 pound)
1 bunch of Swiss chard, roughly chopped leaves, stems chopped into 1 inch pieces or so, separated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup grated provolone cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
- dough: Combine all but the extra oil in a stand mixer until dough comes together, about 2-3 minutes on low speed.
Knead for 2 minutes on a floured surface until even ball forms.
- Grease bowl with extra oil. cover, and rest for 1 hour until double in size. You can prepare this more than an hour in advance if needed. I have left the dough on a counter for 4 hours without adverse affects.
- Divide into two for a 12×18 inch dough.
- filling: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cook sausage with 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a deep frying pan. Break up and cook until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add chard stems. Cook for 2 minutes until cooked through and softened a bit.
- Add leaves, mix to coat in oil, cook to wilt for about 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Roll out dough on lightly oiled cookie sheet to a 12×18 inch rectangle.
Brush the dough with 2 tbsp. oil, season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with half of the crushed red pepper, half the Parmesan, and half of the rosemary.
- Spread the sausage mixture over the pizza, leaving about a half inch border.
Spread ricotta in dollops all over the surface and sprinkle provolone on top.
Top with the remaining red pepper, Parmesan, and rosemary.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the edges. Rest for a few minutes before serving.
Total cooking time: 40 minutes
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