Pizza Rustica with Wild Nettles
Wild nettles may be regarded as a garden nuisance by some, but they are highly nutritious and a Mediterranean delicacy. While Melissa used nettles (they must be cooked first), we substituted baby spinach.
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups wild nettle leaves or baby spinach
- Semolina flour
- Pizza Dough
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Peel outer skins from garlic bulb, leaving cloves attached. Cut off top quarter of bulb. Place bulb, cut-side up, on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and seal foil tightly over garlic.
- Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven; cool. Scoop out garlic pulp, mash, and stir until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 450° with a pizza stone on the bottom rack.
- Blanch nettle leaves in salted boiling water 1 minute, drain, and plunge into ice water. Remove nettle leaves from water, wringing out excess, and set aside. (If using spinach, place in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat at high 3 minutes. Set aside.)
- Sprinkle surface with semolina flour, and roll Pizza Dough into a 12-inch circle.
- Spread dough with mashed garlic (garlic won't cover entire surface); sprinkle with crushed red pepper and black pepper. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano and thyme.
- Roughly chop nettles, and spread over thyme. Sprinkle mozzarella, provolone, and fontina evenly on pizza. Carefully slide pizza onto the preheated stone; bake 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and crispy. Slice, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil to taste.
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