This pizza is tasty any time of the year, but its green color makes it a fun treat for St. Patrick’s Day. Especially if your family turns up their noses at corned beef and cabbage!
Step 1: Blend garlic Begin the pesto by putting a clove of garlic in the food processor and blend it until fine.
Step 2: Add pine nuts Add pine nuts, basil, salt, and parmesan, and blend them until fine.
Step 3: Add oil While the machine is still running, slowly add the oil, mixing until it’s emulsified. Put the mixture into a small bowl and set it aside.
TIP: Pesto can be kept for up to a week if covered and refrigerated, but it’s better to use it soon after preparing it.
Step 4: Whisk yeast In a small bowl, whisk the yeast, a tablespoon of flour, and a quarter cup of warm water (roughly between 105° and 115° F). Let it sit until foam develops, which shouldn’t take more then 10 minutes. If it does, the yeast is dead--start again with a fresh package.
TIP: Some grocery stores and pizza parlors sell ready-made dough.
Step 5: Make the dough Mix salt, 1½ cups of flour, the foamy mix, about 6 drops of food coloring (depending on how green you want it), and the rest of the water until incorporated.
Step 6: Add flour Add half a cup of flour. The dough should not stick to you; if it does, add more flour a little at a time, up to another three-quarters of a cup.
Step 7: Knead dough Spread flour on your work surface and begin to knead the dough, making sure to add more flour when dough begins to stick to you. Continue this process until dough has an elastic quality and feels smooth throughout. This should take about 10 minutes.
Step 8: Divide dough Cut the dough into two equal pieces, and mold each half into a circle. Heavily sprinkle the dough and two medium bowls with flour.
Step 9: Let dough rise Put the dough into the bowls, and cover them with damp dish towels. Let the dough rise to twice its size; this will not happen if dough is too cold, so put it in a warm area. This should take about an hour.
TIP: Dough can be put into the refrigerator, covered in plastic, and saved for 24 hours.
Step 10: Grate cheese Grate the cheese and set it aside.
Step 11: Wilt spinach Put two tablespoons of olive oil into a sauté pan over medium heat. Heat the sliced garlic until just slightly golden, then add washed spinach to the pan and sauté it until it’s just wilted. Turn off the heat and set it aside.
Step 12: Roll dough Sprinkle a layer of corn meal on a cookie sheet. Roll out the dough to the desired thickness--ideally 9 inches around--adding additional flour if the dough gets sticky. Press down with your fingers, handling the dough as little as possible.
TIP: If you like your pizza dough thick, roll out the dough less and cook it longer at a slightly lower temperature.
Step 13: Add pesto Put the dough onto your corn meal dusted cookie sheet. Place a thick layer of pesto in the center of the dough, leaving an inch around the parameter. Sprinkle on a quarter cup of mozzarella cheese, half of the spinach, and then a quarter cup of mozzarella cheese.
Step 14: Pinch dough Pinch the outside inch of the dough, pulling it slightly back into the pie.
Step 15: Bake Put the dough into a 375° oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Repeat with the second pie, and serve!
FACT: The traditional Irish meal bacon and cabbage became corned beef and cabbage in America because beef was more plentiful.