Italian Sausage, Crispy Greens, and Fontina Pizza

We keep trying different ways to prepare one of our favorite family dishes – pizza. One of my fondest memories is of my 3 little boys, stairstep ages,  all standing on a bench in our kitchen in Dallas making pizza. We have made little snack pizzas with English muffins, big pan pizzas, flatbread pizzas,  pizza on the grill with figs and prosciutto.  Lately I have been trying different cheeses, as well as Joe’s favorite white pizza, not a tomato in sight.  Sometimes there is homemade dough, but often I use a ball of frozen dough I get at HEB because I can keep several in the freezer for setting out to thaw – a nice shortcut.

This pizza does not have the traditional spicy tomato sauce for a base.  It is a variation of a recipe found in Bon Appetit.


3/4 lb ground Italian sausage, hot

1 cup rough chopped Kale or Swiss chard which is stripped from stems

1/2 cup Ricotta cheese

1 cup grated Fontina cheese

1/3 cup shaved Parmesan

1 lb Pizza dough
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
Fresh rosemary, 1 Tablespoon finely chopped, 1 sprig for garnish
Maldon Sea salt
  Preheat oven to 400°. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add crumbled sausage and brown. Add rough chopped greens,  tossing until beginning to crisp. Transfer sausage and greens to drain on paper towel  with a slotted spoon.

Coat dough with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and stretch into an oval on a large rimmed baking sheet. Top with half of Parmesan and rosemary, followed by sausage mixture, Fontina, ricotta, then remaining Parmesan and rosemary. Sprinkle with flaked Maldon Sea salt. 

Bake pizza, rotating sheet halfway through, until crust is golden brown and crisp,  15 to 18 minutes. Cut with kitchen shears and serve with a garden salad.


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.

Grilled Pizza with Figs, Prosciutto, and Gorgonzola

I have loved to make homemade pizzas for a long time.  One of my favorite pictures is one taken in our kitchen on McCree Road in Dallas back in the mid seventies when our boys were little – all under 7 years old.  The photo is of the 3 of them standing on a bench to the picnic table at the kitchen counter, making pizza.  So we have made lots of pizzas with so many different ingredients.  But we now have a new favorite, and a new way of baking.  I discovered how delicious and fast it is to grill the pizza!  Our fig tree’s bountiful harvest has had me looking for different ways to use them, so it was only natural some of the figs would wind up on pizza. Since I made pesto to use as a base spread, fresh basil from our garden starred in this dish as well.

Grilled Pizza with Figs, Prosciutto, and gorgonzola

1 ball of whole wheat pizza dough – I use Il Fornaio dough.

Pesto – make your own, or use a purchased product.

12 fresh figs, washed, stemmed, and halved

3 ounces chopped prosciutto

4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

2 Tablespoons olive oil for brushing on crust

The pizza dough should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator, then set out at room temperature for about 45 minutes while you assemble the ingredients.  Heat the grill, and place containers of figs, cheese, prosciutto, and olive oil on a tray along with tongs,spatula, and a brush for the olive oil.

I like to spread a cloth on the counter and sprinkle with flour before placing the ball of dough on it to roll or press out into an oval .  Lightly flour a baking sheet to transport the pizza crust out to the grill, but you do not cook on the sheet.  Brush the top lightly with olive oil, then pick it up carefull by one long edge and drape it right onto the grill. Don’t worry about making a perfect circle – the rustic shape is part of its charm!  Close the grill, and check frequently, it will cook fast – about a minute and  a half on that side. It will dry out and bubble a bit on top, but you can lift it slightly to check the bottom. Before you turn it, brush the top side lightly with olive oil. Then, using tongs and a spatula, quickly flip it over.  Quickly spread a very thin layer of pesto over the top, adding Gorgonzola, and sprnikling figs and prosciutto.  Again close the grill and cook until the cheese is bubbly.  Remove to the baking sheet and cut into desired number of pieces.

Using this technique, you can make flatbreads with herbs and olives  with the same pizza dough.