Without question, pizza is a thoroughly-loved American food, though it has those gorgeous Italian roots, and it’s fun to try different pizza recipes, customized to your likes and your region’s abundance.
I made two such pizzas over the past few days. The first was simple and fast, and used plenteous ingredients in my area right now: fresh peaches from the farmers market, fresh basil from my herb garden, and a store-bought fresh mozzarella. I love the way bright basil plays along with the flavors of many cool fruits, and the way the salty mozzarella contrasts with the sweetness of the fruit is lovely, as well. Salty and sweet leaves a tongue wholly satisfied!
The second pizza was my favorite, so I want to share the complete recipe with you. It features the turnip greens that are so beloved in the South, as well as fig preserves, which are available everywhere. I made my own, using my grandmother’s recipe, but your grocer probably has it in stock.
My hope is that you’ll try it with an open mind (and mouth) and allow the ingredients to co-mingle perfectly on your palate. You’ll be happily surprised, I can almost guarantee it!
Be brave, food lover. Be brave.
Mama Steph’s Greens and bacon pizza with fig preserves drizzle
One premade pizza crust (like a Boboli or whatever brand is found in your area)
6 strips thickly cut bacon
2/3 cup tomato sauce
1 TBS olive oil
2 cups julienned strips of turnip greens (if you must try a different green, substitute collard greens, kale or spinach)
1 heaping TBS fig preserves (another option I considered is muscadine jelly; orange marmalade might be good, too!)
5 ounces (approximately) fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped into cubes
1. Place crust on pizza pan or stone. Drizzle with the olive oil, and spread across the whole crust.
2. In a large, cold skillet, lay the bacon strips side by side, and turn heat to medium. Allow to brown on both sides. When done, drain on paper towel and then crumble. Set aside. Pour off all but about 1 TBS bacon fat, and lower heat to low-medium.
3. Wash turnip greens while bacon cooks, then pull the leafy part off the thick center vein. Stack the greens atop each other, then chop into strips. Cut strips in half again, so that the greens will be dainty bites, not large leaves.
4. Place the strips of greens into the hot skillet, which is set over low-medium heat. Saute the strips for about five minutes, stirring frequently. If they begin to look dry, add 1/4 cup water to the skillet, and let it cook off as you continue to stir. The greens will be tender fairly quickly, since they’re small pieces. When tender, set aside, off of heat.
5. Spread the tomato sauce over the crust, spreading to within 1 inch of edge of crust.
6. Drop the cubes of mozzarella across the pizza in a single layer.
7. Sprinkle the bacon over the pizza, distributing evenly.
8. Using a fork, sprinkle the greens evenly over the pizza. (Surprising how the bulky greens cook down to so little isn’t it?)
9. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 5 minutes.
10. While it’s baking, put the preserves in a small ramekin or other bowl, and microwave for a few seconds at a time until thinned. Pull pizza out after 5 minutes, and drizzle this evenly over the pizza.
11. Bake for 5 more minutes.
Remove from oven, then set aside for 7-10 minutes before cutting.
How to prepare the greens, in case you’re unsure (these are also great as a side dish, just using a whole bunch of greens, and not just 2 cups):
I hope you’ll try either of these fun combinations, as they’re delicious and fun to make; they were taste-tested for you by two of my boys, who are 18 and 20 years old, and they loved them. (and they’re not the type to eat anything in front of them and be ok with it; they appreciate good food!) 🙂
Let me know if you try these, how you like them, and what your own favorite pizza combinations are in your own kitchen!
Copyright 2015 Stephanie Hill Frazier. All rights reserved.