Oh, hello again. Wow, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Please forgive me for staying away so long. Last time we met it was still freezing-assed cold and I made you some soup. I guess it just took me a while to thaw out. In all honesty, I think I made this pizza in March. It’s just taken this long for my fingers to warm up enough to be able to type up the recipe. Yes, we did go to Mexico in there somewhere but it was still so cold when we got back, it almost didn’t count.
Thankfully, the climate seems to have finally gotten on board with my expectations for springtime. You might think that would mean a light menu of green veg, and it should, but remember, I actually made this recipe when it was still cold. And who doesn’t like pizza all year round? Especially with bacon on it. So here we go.
I could never cook in a pizza joint, (but I used to wait tables in one) because I am such a Virgo perfectionist with the ingredients. I have to have every ingredient in every bite. I am so meticulous, it would just take me too long to crank out the orders. But in the comfort of my own kitchen, I am an artist and the crust is the canvas. Please join me in this slightly irrational but highly rewarding quest.
This pizza is magically gooey from the fontina, sweet from the onions, salty and crunchy from the bacon and crispy from the kale. What more could you want?
Kale Pizza with Bacon and Caramelized Onions
3-4 slices bacon
6 cloves garlic
Pinch crushed red pepper
8 oz kale, chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced into rings
dash balsamic vinegar
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
Pecorino-romano cheese for finishing
1 pizza crust – recipe or pre-made
Dice bacon, fry it, and drain on a paper towel.
Drain off grease, and in the same pan add the sliced onions and saute until they get soft and just start to brown around the edges. At the last minute, add a couple of dashes of balsamic vinegar. This will sweeten and caramelize them to a divine level.
I learned how to cook kale this way from Bobby Flay (not in person, on the Food Network website). Here is what he taught me: In a deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Once garlic has softened and become aromatic, add kale and a pinch of salt. (do not over salt at this point. The bacon is going to be the main source of saltiness for this recipe.) Stir the mixture, then pour about 1/4 cup of water into the pan and cover. Allow kale to steam and soften and the water to cook away – about 5 minutes.
Remove kale from pan and drain on paper towels. Pat with additional towels to absorb excess moisture.
Prepare dough as instructed by packaging or recipe.
Add caramelized onions as your “sauce”, then top with mozzarella, fontina, bacon, and finally the kale mixture. Cook on center rack in oven as directed by your crust recipe.
I find that the TJ’s crust takes longer than what it says on the packaging. I just wait until the edges get a light golden brown, and the cheese starts to bubble. You know what a pizza is supposed to look like when it’s done.
Remove pizza from oven and top with shaved pecorino-romano cheese.
And for the leftovers the next day…