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Pesto & Spinach Pizza

The Simple Art of EatingWell

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This green pizza is an exercise in simplicity—just a bit of full-flavored pesto and plenty of spinach yield a satisfying and healthy pie. No time to make homemade dough? Look for whole-wheat pizza-dough balls at your supermarket. Check the ingredient list to make sure the dough doesn’t contain any hydrogenated oils. Serve it with a tomato-and-onion salad dressed with olive oil and red-wine vinegar.


Pesto & Spinach Pizza Recipe

Makes: 5 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

Thin-Crust Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water (105-115°F)
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tips)
  • 1 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fine cornmeal
  • All-purpose flour for dusting

Toppings

  • 1/3 cup prepared pesto
  • 10-ounce bag spinach, tough stems removed
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella or fontina cheese

Preparation

  1. To prepare dough: Stir water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl; let stand until the yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in whole-wheat flour, bread flour (or all-purpose flour) and salt until the dough begins to come together.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, mix the dough in a food processor or in a stand mixer with a dough hook. Process or mix until it forms a ball. Continue to process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 1 minute more in a food processor or 4 to 5 minutes more on low speed in a stand mixer.) Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat.
  3. Cover with a clean kitchen towel; set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Brush oil over a large baking sheet. Sprinkle the baking sheet with cornmeal to coat evenly.
  5. Rinse spinach thoroughly with cool water. Transfer to a large microwaveable bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and poke several holes in it. Microwave on high until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool, squeeze out excess moisture and chop.
  6. Sprinkle flour over work surface. Roll out the dough to the size of the baking sheet (see Tips) and transfer to the baking sheet. Cover the dough with pesto. Scatter with spinach and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Or tightly wrap the unrisen dough in oiled plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost the dough in the refrigerator overnight. Let refrigerated (or previously frozen) dough stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.
  • Tips: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Find it at large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
  • No time to make your own dough? Look for balls of prepared whole-wheat pizza dough at your supermarket, fresh or frozen and without any hydrogenated oils.
  • To Roll Out Pizza Dough: Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust with flour; dimple with your fingertips to shape into a thick, flattened circle. Then use a rolling pin to roll into the desired shape. If your dough “resists” being rolled out, let it rest for about 15 minutes, then try rolling it out again.

Nutrition

Per serving: 400 calories; 17 g fat (5 g sat, 8 g mono); 23 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 16 g protein; 6 g fiber; 547 mg sodium; 437 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (113% daily value), Folate (60% dv), Calcium (30% dv), Vitamin C (28% dv), Iron (20% dv), Magnesium (18% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat, 2 fat


More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

Preparation/ Technique
Bake
Meal/Course
Dinner

Type of Dish
Pizza
Ethnic/Regional
Italian
Health & Diet Considerations
Low cholesterol
High calcium
High fiber
Ease of Preparation
Easy
Total Time
More than 1 hour
Main Ingredient
Vegetarian, other

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