Friday, March 27, 2009

Roasted Garlic-and-Spinach White Pizza

It's time for another Friday Night Pizza! I hope we've inspired others to start their own pizza night. Plus, there are some great things about pizza - they are completely customizable, if you have little ones around they can help shape (or well, play with!) the dough and they don't take too much effort to make! Especially if you whip up a batch of our favorite snazzy whole-wheat pizza dough that comes together in no time using a food processor.

While the dough was hanging out in the warmth of the cabinet above the refrigerator, I kept myself busy preparing the other ingredients needed for this Roasted Garlic-and-Spinach White Pizza.

I pulled apart a head of garlic so each clove was separated, but still left in its papery peel - while we would normally just slice off the top and roast the garlic whole, doing it this way shaved about 15 to 30 minutes off the baking time! Drizzled with oil and a bit of water, we wrapped the cloves up in a tidy ball of foil and slid them into the oven.

Cooking the bacon was on tap next - we cut a couple slices into pieces and tossed them into a skillet to crisp, which means I had to deal with two pups sitting at my feet the entire time waiting for any little bits to fall to the floor! The smell of bacon sure seems to slow everyone in the house down, leaving the house nice and quiet for a few minutes. Once golden, I scooped the pieces out - in its place I added in thawed frozen spinach that I squished dry. You can use a kitchen towel to remove the excess liquid, but I like using our potato ricer... no towel to then clean and it makes use of a utensil that doesn't get much love! You are not really trying to cook the spinach, just warming it through and getting some seasonings on it. Don't forget about that garlic in the oven! When it was done roasting and had cooled down slightly, we squeezed the cloves out from their protective wrappers and mashed them into a paste with a touch more olive oil.

By now the dough had risen and I started pressing and pulling it to make a fairly large circle - I used the twelve-ounce version for a thinner, crisp crust, but if you would like a bit more heft, try using the pound version. We smeared the top with the thick garlic paste, scattered the warm spinach on top and followed that up with dollops of ricotta cheese that we seasoned with salt, fresh ground black pepper and crushed red pepper. The crisped bacon and shreds of mozzarella were scattered on next before we slid the pizza onto the stone to bake.

That garlic paste slathered on the crust underneath the toppings was a slick way to impart its sweet and mellow flavor without it becoming obtrusive. If you wanted a sharper flavor to perk up those cheese dollops, I think mixing in fresh grated Parmesan cheese into the ricotta would be the way to go. I also mentioned to Jeff that this would be one of those pizzas that could be a fantastic base to top with a few fried eggs to add a fancy element and dress it up.


  1. Now THAT'S what I call a pizza! yum.


  2. Funniegrrl - Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, we demolished this - it was tasty!

  3. Oh man, this pizza looks totally divine. I just had pizza yesterday, but I'm craving it again. I could eat waaaay too much pizza. What a fabulous flavor combination you've got going on!

  4. wow...that pizza sounds delicious...what a healthy option.

  5. I was searching for a recipe for white pizza, which I absolutely adore, and I stumbled across your blog and this recipe. I moved to Argentina from Philadelphia, and oftentimes I crave recipes from home. Your recipe looks extremely delicious, and I can't wait to make it! It's definitely on the menu for the coming week. Greetings from Argentina!

  6. Katie - Glad to hear! Thanks for checkin' out the site!

  7. nice tip on the garlic, saving time by pulling the cloves apart slightly.