August 05, 2011

Four Cheese Spinach and Pesto Pizza with Bacon

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So apparently Fridays have become pizza night at our house. Something about ending the week with already made dinner thats cheesy, filling and satisfying that's also delivered. Well tonight I wanted to be a little more creative and 'homemade' so I picked up all the ingredients I wanted to started to throw together a pie.

So my pie was actually insipred by a quick stop I made to my local farmers market. On my way home from work every day I pass two farmers markets that are open close to all year round, both set on their own farm properties.
I know, I live in Connecticut in a very rural area so why so many close farmers markets, right??? Well I can only think one one reason... it's because they caught wind of my new cooking journey and set up shop just for me to swing in and pick all my favorite vegetables, eggs and local honey to cook with.

haha, Ok I am sure that is not the asnwer but I'd still like to think so.

Anyways, so back to pizza fridays. I stop into the farmers market to peruse and I normally strike up a conversation with the woman who runs the farm but who turns around to greet me but an other co-worker that I used to bartend with back when I was in college. We went on to talking about how the resteraunt went under and him and his wife decided to put their farm to use and open a market.
I couldn't be happier. After catching up on old times, he headed out back to freshly pick my spinach right from the ground, bagged it up and I headed home.

The spinach looked so amazing that I really wanted to put it to good use where the spinach would not only add crispy flavor but show off it's beautiful bright green coloring. 


...and the rest just fell into place.
Four Cheese Spinach and Pesto Pizza with Bacon

1 pizza dough, sprinkled with cornmeal
basil pesto sauce
1 pkg. bacon, cooked and crumbled
goat cheese crumbles
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced
4 oz. Ricotta cheese
parmesan cheese, shaved and shredded
half small red onion, sliced
fresh spinach leaves, lightly chopped

Take your pizza dough at room tempurature and put it into a large greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and let it rest and rise in a warm place until it doubles (about an hour).
fresh spinach picked from my local farmers market
Line your pizza stone with parchment paper to make sure the pizza slides off the stone nice and easy after it's been cooked.

Punch down the dough with your fist after it has risen. Roll out the dough into a pizza shape and place it on a pizza stone with cornmeal sprinkled on top.

*Cornmeal helps keep the dough from sticking and absorbes some of the grease that comes off the pie.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Evenly spread the pesto sauce on top of the dough making sure to go all the way out to the ends. then start to add  your fresh spinach.

Cook up your bacon to your desired crispiness.
Once you have all your base ingredients on your dough, you can start to layer and sprinkle your cheeses, mozzarella first then dollop the riccotta and sprinkle the goat and parmesean cheese. Then you can add the bacon and red onion toppings. 
How delicious does that spinach look????
Brish the crust of your pie with a little olive oil to create a nice crispy crust.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is lightly browned or a little longer if you like a crispy pie.

Add the remaining spinach on top after it comes out of the oven. This makes sure that your spinach doesn't wilt from all the oils.
Slice and EAT.

Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeño


Marguerite said...

This pizza looks amazing and totally delicious! Love your blog and am now following!

Dee at Deelicious Sweets said...

Wow! Yummy pizza and how lucky are you to have so many markets open up around you!

Elizabeth Treusdell Brunetti said...

Hi! I wanted to let you know that I have awarded you the "Cute Little Chef" blog award! Go by my blog to pick it up!