Deep Dish Skillet Pizza with Artichokes and Kale



Deep Dish Skillet Pizza with Artichokes and Kale

1 Tablespoon olive oil

one small bunch kale leaves coarsely chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 c. ricotta

1 1/2 oz. Parmesan, grated (about 1/3 c.)

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 Tablespoon corn meal

1 lb. store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature (I used Artisan pizza dough, from the freezer section at HEB)

6 oz. Mozarella cheese grated (1 1/2 cu1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

14 oz. marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely choppedred

Fresh basil leaves

Heat oven to 450 degrees.Heat oil in a 10″ skillet over medium heat. Add kale and garlic and cook until wilted and liquid has evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a plate and set aside. Cool skillet slightly and wipe clean.

Stir together ricotta, Parmesan, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle skillet with cornmeal. Stretch dough into a 12″ round. Carefully press dough into the bottom and up the sides of the skillet.

Top dough with ricotta mixture, spinach, grated Mozarella, and artichokes. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with basil and cut into wedges.

Kale, Beet, and Apple Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

kalebeetapplesaladAfter seeing a beautiful salad recipe posted by my friend Debra this week, I adapted ingredients we had to make one that looks much like hers and used the same delicious vinaigrette with a bit of extra curry. The result is colorful and tasty –  a work of art  with layers of flavor!  Since we have an abundant crop of kale in our garden, we will have this often in our winter menus. This salad rates very high on the nutrition scale as well. I used pickled beets but you can add roasted or steamed fresh beets instead.

Kale, Beet, and Apple Salad

4 cups ruffled kale, shredded.

2 cups coarsely chopped peeled apples

2 cups pickled beet pieces

Curry Vinaigrette, recipe below.

Wash and pat the kale leaves dry before stripping from center stems.  Roll leaves and slice crosswise to shred.  Add chopped kale to a large bowl.  Add apples.  Drain beets and add, tossing with Curry Vinaigrette at least 4 hours before serving. Store covered in refrigerator.  Toss gently when ready to serve.

Curry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

2 Tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon (or more to taste) hot curry powder.  Use mild if your family prefers.

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger

Whisk all ingredients together before pouring over salad.

Zuppa Toscano


September is here, school has started, fall colors are showing up all over, and although our temperatures certainly don’t reflect it yet, I begin to think of Pumpkin Spice coffee, refresh my supply of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and pull out our favorite soup recipes. The first time I had this soup, it was at a local Olive Garden, and in my opinion it remains as one of the best items on their menu.  There are many recipes for it to be found online and in various cookbooks, including one that claims to be the Olive Garden copycat recipe. which uses chicken bullion cubes and water.  I prefer my version, using herb seasoned chicken broth, and Tuscan Kale from our garden.

Zuppa Toscano

1 pound Italian Sausage (we like spicy, but use mild if you prefer)

4-6 Russet Potatoes chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed before mincing

4 cups Chicken Broth

2 cups Tuscan Kale or ruffled kale, leaves stripped from tough center stem, then stacked and rough cut. If you like smaller pieces of the green, stack the leaves, roll them together and shred into thin strips

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Crumble sausage and brown in large soup pot or Dutch oven. Cook and stir until browned. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook until onion softens. Add chopped potatoes and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Pour in chicken broth and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Add kale and cook several minutes. Tuscan Kale has a thicker leaf, but if you use the ruffled kale generally found in supermarkets, cook for only a minute or so. Slowly add cream and cook until heated through. Serve with breadsticks or a loaf of peasant bread such as Ciabatto.

If you would like to make this using your slow cooker, here are the modified directions:

Brown sausage and add chicken broth, garlic, potatoes, red pepper, and onion in slow cooker.

Add chicken broth,covering the vegetables and meat.  Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.

Before serving, add kale to the pot, stir, cover, and cook on high for 30 minutes.  Add cream and continue heating for a few minutes until heated through.  Serve and enjoy!

Sauteed Mixed Greens


The two kinds of kale, collards, and Swiss chard in this dish all came from our garden! We have a very small vegetable plot, with only 2 or 3 plants of each of the leafy greens, but that provides plenty for us.  Also, greens in this area winter nicely so these were from last fall’s garden.  Greens are cut and come back as long as you leave the roots in the ground, meaning they will happily grow new leaves to be harvested soon.

Mixed Greens

1 large bunch collard greens

1 large bunch kale, Tuscan or curly kale, or mixed

one bunch of Swiss Chard

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 -8 cloves garlic peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 Tablespoons Meyer lemon juice, or to taste* see cook’s note

a few dashes Tabasco sauce

Rinse collard greens and kale well, drain and strip off tough stems, separating collard leaves and kale leaves since you cook collards first. Rolling several leaves together at the same time, cut leaves into 1/4-inch strips. You should have about 8 packed cups.

Heat the olive oil in large skillet or wok, add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add half of the collard greens and cook, tossing and turning, for about 30 seconds, then the remainder of collards.  Add  kale and cook stirring, for about, 1 minute, until it begins to often. Add the Chard and cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes, until all  greens are tender. The point is to begin the cooking with the toughest leaves, adding the more tender leaves last.
Season with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and a few drops of hot pepper sauce.
Serves 4.

*Please note:  I either use fresh Meyer lemons or frozen Meyer lemon juice, which is sweeter than regular lemons since Meyers are a cross between orange and lemon. If you use regular lemons, you will probably want to half the lemon juice.

Sauteed Kale and Apples

009Kale is touted as a superfood and is featured in so many good recipes that it is hard to pick what I want try next. That is probably the reason I skipped the recipes, pulled out my faithful iron skillet, and made this simple, delicious, and very nutritious dish.  It can be used as a side for any grilled, baked, or roasted meat,  is good with a rotisserie chicken for a quick supper, and looks wonderful on the plate with baked fish.

Sauteed Kale and Apples

Kale, gathered from the garden or 1 bunch purchased

1 large apple (my favorite variety is Pink Lady)

a swirl of olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Balsamic vinegar

.Wash and slice apple.  I leave the peeling on. Wash the kale, pat it dry, and strip stems.  Lay the leaves down, stacking several to shred or julienne.  Heat a generous swirl of olive oil in an iron skillet, add the kale and sautee just until wilted.  Toss in apple slices and heat briefly.  Season with salt and pepper.

Wash and slice apple.  I leave the peeling on. Wash the kale, pat it dry, and strip stems.  Lay the leaves down, stacking several to shred or julienne.  Heat a generous swirl of olive oil in an iron skillet, add the kale and sautee just until wilted.  Toss in apple slices and heat briefly.  Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.  For a variation of flavor, substitute balsamic vinegar with a Tablespoon of maple syrup.  Serve immediately.

Kale with Raisins and Orange Peel

002I used Ruffled Kale for the dish shown in the above photo, but this recipe works equally well with Swiss Chard or collard greens.  These are all nutrient rich foods which we need to include and adding tang and sweetness with oranges and raisins offers a smorgasbord of rich flavor.  Topping with toasted pine nuts adds texture and more temptation for the taste buds!  Other variations include using dried cranberries (think Christmas!)  instead of raisins, and topping with toasted pecans or walnuts.  This dish goes well with roasted chicken or pork tenderloin.

I adapted this recipe from one of the most beautiful cookbooks in my kitchen:  The Tuscan Sun Cookbook by Frances and Edward Mayes.  It features photographs by Steven Rothfeld that make you want to cook every recipe in the book!

Kale with Raisins and Orange Peel

1/2 cup raisins

2 Tablespoons orange liqueur (may substitute orange juice)

1 large bunch of kale

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon dried orange peel.  I use Penzey’s.  You may use instead the peel of  a fresh orange, cut into small strips.

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts.

Soak raisins for 15 minutes in orange liqueur or orange juice.  Wash kale leaves, then cut or strip the tough stem ends.  Slice leaves coarsely.  Heat olive oil and stir in chopped onions.  Cook until onions begin to turn translucent, then add kale and cook, tossing together until leaves are tender and wilted.  Add orange peel, raisins, including liquid, and cook covered for 2 or 3 minutes.  Top with pine nuts and serve.

Serves 4

Portuguese Kale Soup


There are many versions of this soup, most containing the same basic ingredients:  spicy sausage, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, red kidney beans,  and of course, kale.  Chorizo is often used, but I like to use hot Italian sausage for an added layer of flavor, and I omit the red beans in this recipe. I love hearty, spicy soups this time of year.  The aroma of this one bubbling in a pot on the stove is one of those things that make you breathe deeply and  feel glad to be at home.  I adapted my version from one found in one of my favorite cookbooks:  The Guild Collection, Recipes from Art Lovers, published by the The Guild of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.

Portuguese Kale Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil

3/4 pound Italian sausage (we like to use Hot)

1 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 pound small red potatoes, diced

14 ounces chopped tomatoes

1 (10 ounce)  can Rotel tomatoes and chiles

3 cups chicken broth

1 bunch kale, or about 6 cups

Heat olive oil, remove sausage from casing and crumble into oil to brown.  Add chopped onions and saute until they begin to brown.  Add cumin and thyme, then add potatoes.  Add tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, and chicken broth.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  While this is cooking, wash kale and strip out the tough stems, then chop into large pieces.  Add to the soup mixture and cook 5-10 minutes, until kale is wilted.

Serves 8

Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Soup

016Roasting is now my favorite method for preparing almost all vegetables and we love roasted cauliflower.  I love the super food kale, and use it in a variety of dishes. This recipe combines the two in a nutritious, creamy soup.  Add some kale chips and toasted pine nuts for texture and extra flavor. Yum!

I adapted this recipe from one found in a Williams-Sonoma catalog.

Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Soup 

  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil  (If you have it in your pantry, garlic infused olive oil works great here)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1  bunch Tuscan kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite size
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks,chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 cups  chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 450°F  Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with 2 Tablespoons. of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking shee and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and the edges are browned and crisp, about 20 – 25 minutes. Lower oven setting to 300°F

In a bowl, toss half of the kale with a drizzle. (about 1 Tablespoon) of  olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally until the kale is crispy, 25 to 30 minutes.

Heat remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil in large soup pan. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6- 8 minutes. Add  garlic and saute for another minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add cauliflower and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the  kale and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender,blend soup until smooth.  Ladle into bowls.and top with the crispy kale and pine nuts.  Serve hot. Leftovers can be refrigerated and can be reheated or cold, in mugs.

Leek, Kale, and Red Pepper Quiche


I have always like to plan meals by using ingredients I already have in the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry.  I dislike wasting food, and try to be creative in using up our perishables.  So last Saturday when I was putting together a late breakfast, I made this quiche because we had leeks, kale and red pepper.  I have used leeks in quiche and tarts before, and certainly red pepper is a common enough addition, but I wasn’t sure how well we would like kale for breakfast.  Turns out we liked it very much.  This would also be a wonderful light lunch or supper with the addition of a salad.  The fresh vegetables were beautiful as I chopped and wilted them.

007I used a prepared pie crust since I had one in the refrigerator, but you could certainly make your own.  The finished product smelled so good our mouths were watering as we sliced it.  I garnished with a nasturtium leaf and flower.


Leek, Kale, and Red Pepper Quiche

              4 fresh eggs
              1 cup milk
              2 tablespoons flour
              1 teaspoon dried French thyme
              1 teaspoon dried mustard
              1 cup shredded cheddar
              2 tablespoons olive oil
              1 large leek or 3 small leeks,  sliced very thin
              3 cups kale, sliced very thin
              1 sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
              Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the leeks in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add kale and red pepper and saute another 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk eggs, add to milk, flour and seasonings in a bowl, stir in cheese. Spread vegetable mixture in crust. Pour egg/milk/cheese mixture over. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Kale and White Bean Soup with Sausage

Although you will often find red and green kale in supermarkets, this variety of kale is not so common.  It is called by a variety of names including Dinosaur Kale and Tuscan Kale, but I love its Italian name, Cavalo Nero (black kale) .  I received this lovely bouquet of the nutritious greens in my CSA share from All We Need Farms in Needville, TX.  I am enjoying getting acquainted with Stacy Roussel, who owns the farm with her husband Jay.  Her smile when she hands me our weekly vegetables makes the good stuff I can make from them even more delicious!

My version of soup made with this kind of kale comes from one by Chef Mario Batali. It is hearty and nutritious, bursting with flavor from the kale and herbs. The addition of a small piece of rind from a wedge of Parmegiano – Reggiano lends a true taste of Italy.

  • 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot,sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 links Italian sausage, crumbled and browned, or smoked sauge sliced into small pieces
  • 1 bunch Cavolo Nero, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
  • 2  tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmegiano – Reggiano, plus 2 inches of rind if you have it

Heat the oil with sausage,  onion, leek, carrot, celery, garlic, and herbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add small piece of parmegiano –  reggiano rind and  cannellini beans Add cabbage and cook until  softened , about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer for another 10 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf.   Ladle into bowls and serve with grated Parmegiano-Reggiano on top.  Slices of crusty toasted Ciabbata bread make a nice addition.  Some like to put the bread into the bowls and serve the soup on top.