You don't have to be a whiz with pizza dough to make this fast cast-iron skillet version--just pat it out to size, and the pan shapes it into a perfect circle. And because you don't have to stretch the dough very thin, it doesn't have to rest as long as with traditional recipes.
10 ounce refrigerated fresh whole-wheat or whole-grain pizza dough
3 ounces pork Italian sausage, casings removed
3 ounces prechopped curly kale (about 3 tightly packed cups)
Place dough on counter at room temperature; cover to prevent drying.
Preheat broiler to high.
Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan. Add kale, 2 tablespoons water, and sugar to pan; cover and cook 2 minutes or until kale wilts. Place kale on 2 layers of paper towels; squeeze out excess moisture. Wipe pan clean with paper towels.
Place nuts and 1 garlic clove in a mini food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add kale; pulse until finely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons oil; process until almost pastelike (add 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons water, if necessary). Add Parmigiano-Reggiano; pulse mixture just until combined.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Roll dough into a 10 1/2-inch circle. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Fit dough in pan, pressing slightly up sides of pan. Top evenly with pesto; sprinkle with sausage and mozzarella. Cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat or until browned on bottom. Place pan in oven; broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into 8 wedges.
Combine tomatoes, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and remaining garlic clove on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan; toss to coat. Broil 5 minutes or until tomatoes burst and are charred in spots, stirring occasionally. Place arugula in a large bowl. Top with tomato mixture (and juices), salt, and pepper; toss to combine.
I rarely give 5 star reviews. I went into this with trepidation. We don't have a cast iron skillet. But I have good quality nonstick cookware, so I thought I'd give it a go. So glad I did. Total cook time once assembled, 5-7 minutes on medium heat then 3 minutes under the broiler. I used pine nuts in the pesto. The only other minor changes - I added some basil to the pesto because I had some on hand that needed to be used up and I added some diced tomatoes to the top of the pizza. A high quality parm/reggiano I think is important here. I did sprinkle a bit on the top before broiling for the added flavor. Definitely adding this to our regular rotation. Super easy even though there are a few steps involved.
My husband and I both loved this recipe - it's definitely a keeper! I did cook it longer in the oven than it called for because the crust wasn't done so the topping was well done but we liked it like that. If you like your toppings less than well done, I would recommend cooking at about 400-450 for 5-8 mins (I'm guessing on that but basically less heat and more time than the boiler). I could't get whole wheat crust so I just used the fresh pizza dough from the bakery at Whole Foods. My one clove of garlic in the pesto was huge so I definitely didn't need more as one reviewer mentioned. The only thing I added was a dash of cayenne to the pesto and parmesan and fresh black pepper to the salad. The salad was a little boring but it was fine and easy for a healthy side.
I used two links of hot turkey sausage. This was REALLY very good. However, I couldn't find whole wheat pasta dough & used my local grocer's store brand of roll-out dough. I couldn't get the dough to roll-out in a neat circle and ended up not having enough even though there were more oz. of dough than called for. Nonetheless, this was really yummy & I would definitley make it again. The cast iron skillet worked well.
We really enjoyed this. I used a homemade gluten free crust and added the roasted tomatoes to the pizza instead of the salad. I think the kale pesto could have used more garlic. I also added mushrooms as a topping.
Medium high a little too much. Left under broiler 10 minutes looking for cheese to brown a bit. Used two sausage links instead of one and added grape tomato. Next time will use hot sausage. When looking for brown crust on stovetop don't be fooled by peeking at edge, need to look further.
"Guaranteed dough success for even the most timid pie maker?" Really??? This technique had awful results for me. Two minutes in a cast iron skillet at medium high heat charred the crust on the bottom, and two minutes under the broiler left the dough raw on top. Perhaps using a lower heat on the stovetop would work, but I'm not sure I want to risk wasting the ingredients again.
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