After a lengthy winter (for usually balmy Durham), the recent arrival of warm weather has caused a SURGE of greens in my garden. I was a bit over-zealous in March when I planted spring crops (er twelve Romaine plants and six spinach), and now, I can frequently be seen toting bags of freshly-picked lettuce to work and bequeathing it to friends willing to eat a lot of salad. Combined with the arrival of everything fresh at the farmers market, I have to exercise a lot of control to make sure I’m using up these greens before they go to waste. I tire of salads quickly, so I thought I’d try a different take.
In a move that surprised me, the staunch supporter of cheese pizza with as few toppings as possible, this flatbread pizza has almost nothing on it except vegetables. I coupled a large wad of my most recent harvest of spinach leaves with some young onions and green garlic, two ingredients I rarely work with but was curious to explore.
And because I couldn’t quite bring myself to omit cheese entirely, just a bit of asiago, which is ever the friend of garlic-y, onion-y things.
Though the toppings were mostly unfamiliar to me, the process for transforming them into a meal is much the same as most pizzas and flatbreads I make. Rolled out dough, something saucy (olive oil in this case), and some really satisfying sprinkling of ingredients to form a mosaic of color and texture. Truly, I love the look of a raw pizza.
While I was a bit nervous to try it at first, I was pleasantly surprised. The onion and garlic give this pizza a wonderful bite, and it’s a great way to use up bounties of spring spinach. And though it’s really more like a flatbread than a pizza in my mind (the internet seems very confused on the definition) due to the small amount of cheese, I wouldn’t even increase it.
Which may be the first time I’ve ever said this pizza has just enough cheese.
First time for everything, right?
Spring Greens Flatbread Pizza
makes one 12-14″ flatbread
one batch pizza dough
1 T + 2 T olive oil
2 c fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped and lightly packed
2 spring onions, whites and greens
2 stalks green garlic
2/3 c grated asiago cheese
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare pizza dough as instructed. While dough raises after mixing, trim the stems off of the spinach leaves and chop roughly. Thinly chop the whites of the onions. Chop the onion greens until you have about 1/2 cup. Thinly chop the whites of the green garlic and chop a bit more to form small pieces.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the spinach and whites of the onions to the pan and toss for about three minutes until spinach is lightly wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Roll out dough on a floured surface and transfer to a cutting board sprinkled with corn meal. Spread remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the surface of the dough. Top with spinach & onion mixture, green garlic, grated asiago, and onion greens. Sprinkle black pepper over the entire flatbread.
Bake flatbread on a pizza stone (or fake it!) for 10-12 minutes until edges have browned. Slice and serve immediately.