Pizza in the summer may sound like a not-so-great idea, but, if you have a gas grill, this Swiss chard and ricotta pizza can be whipped together, no problem.
I say this every time I post a pizza recipe, but there are two tools, I believe, to be essential to good pizza making:
- A pizza stone – we have, save for one tragic cracking incident, had the same pizza stone through multiple apartments and states, and it lives, full time, at the bottom of our oven. For good pizza, the stone should be allowed to heat before using so that it can come to a consistent temperature. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees. Once it has reached temperature, wait about another 20 minutes to cook your pizza.
- A pizza peel – there seem to be two kinds of pizza peels out there, one where the wood is a little rough and unfinished and the other that is very smooth, more like a composite pressed wood. Turns out, I much prefer the unfinished type because it keeps the dough from sticking to the peel before the pizza goes in the oven. This avoids a lot of pizza transfer frustration.
The Swiss chard comes from my Stillman’s Farm summer CSA.
- 2 balls pizza dough
- 1 bunch Swiss chard
- 10 ounces ricotta
- 1 large onion
- 1.5 teaspoons butter
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
Prepare the dough. If using store bought, try to buy the day before so it can be split into two balls (put in individual oiled bowls and covered tightly) and refrigerated overnight. I like to let the dough sit at room temperature for about an hour before stretching.
Preheat oven to 550 degrees.
Melt butter with 1.5 teaspoons olive oil in a cast iron pan.
Add onions, toss to coat along with a few cranks of salt.
On low, allow to caramelize (about 30 minutes). When done, spread in a single layer on a plate and put in the refrigerator.
Prepare your Swiss chard topping by first stripping the leaves from the stems. Stack leaves and roll the leaves together, forming a tube of leaves. Slice along the roll in 1/2 inch strips.
Toss Swiss Chard in a large bowl with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
To stretch the dough, spread flour in a very thin layer (I use the side of my hand like I'm spreading butter to keep the layer very thin) and then sprinkle with cornmeal.
Stretch dough using your knuckles or your fingers and the heel of your hand. When you start to get nervous that it might rip, toss it on the pizza peel, oily side up, and continue stretching from the center out.
Shake the pizza peel to see if the dough sticks. If it does, lift up the edges and sprinkle a little more flour. Repeat this until the dough slides easily back and forth.
As this recipe makes two pizzas, dollop half of the ricotta around the pizza. Spread half of the Swiss chard and top with caramelized onions.
Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake for 5 or 6 minutes until topping some Swiss Chard pieces have started to crisp and crust has browned to your liking.
Remove from stone either with another peel or, as we did before we got a second pizza peel, with a fork to a large plate.
- If cooking on the grill, follow the same instructions, putting your pizza stone on the grill first.
- Onions can be caramelized ahead of time, either while cooking the previous night or done in large batch and frozen. If the onions are done, pulling this pizza together becomes a lot faster.
- While this recipe calls for Swiss chard, other tender leafy greens could be used instead, like beet greens.