Recipe by JasperJ
My family loved this and "suggested" that I make it again. Originally I planned on making the Spinach Artichoke Calzone recipe (171204) which seemed really nice, but then I discovered the pizza crusts we had lying around couldn't be used for making calzones and that the artichoke I thought we should still have had in fact been long gone, and at the end not much of the original recipe remained :) (In fact pretty much only the spinach and cheese.) I served it in combination with roasted bell peppers and zucchini fritters (will post those recipes on RecipeZaar as well). So the servings should not be compared with regular pizza servings, which are usually much larger. One serving is good for a lunch or a main course if you have some side dishes. Note that the measurements of the pesto, cheese and balsamic vinegar are not very exact, so be sure to use your own judgement (the rest is pretty much exactly what I used).
- 400 g frozen spinach (thawed obviously)
- 250 g bacon, sliced
- 150 g zucchini, thinly sliced
- 140 g concentrated tomato paste
- 100 g cheese, shredded (approximately, to taste)
- 4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto (dried tomatoes, olive oil, pecorino, pine nuts, garlic, basil and some dried peppers)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- salt, to taste
- cumin, to taste
- mixed Italian herbs, to taste (oregano and thyme are good choices)
- 2 prepared pizza crust (approximately 24cm in diameter)
Directions See How It's Made
- Fry the bacon with the balsamic vinegar (don't add it immediately at the beginning) until browned and crisp (but not burned). Use a relatively small pan so the bacon only just fits on the bottom of the pan and will "cook" a little in its own juices (keeps it from burning too quickly).
- Preheat the oven to about 200C and divide the tomato pesto and tomato paste over the pizza crusts, spreading it out as evenly as possible (keeping clear of the edge).
- Make sure the zucchini is thinly sliced (about 1mm thick) and the spinach drained/squeezed (it may feel slightly moist, but definitely not dripping). If you use fresh spinach you may want to cut or tear the spinach in slightly smaller pieces, but it's not absolutely necessary (the spinach will shrink anyway). Also slice the garlic. (This step can be performed while the bacon is cooking, as it can take quite a bit of time and can be finished before the rest without problems.).
- Put a relatively large (heavy) pan over high heat, with some oil (NO olive oil!) and a generous amount of salt. Put in the zucchini slices (you should hear a hiss immediately, otherwise the pan wasn't hot enough) and stir them regularly (turning them over) until they start to brown. If you don't have a large enough pan to have most of the slices on the bottom all the time, cook the vegetables in batches.
- Once the zucchini starts to brown, add the garlic and fry it for a few seconds (it should only just start to brown) and add the ,thawed and thoroughly drained/squeezed, spinach. Add the cumin and other spices/herbs (I added about a teaspoon of cumin, but you can add more or less depending on taste, try it). Also add the bacon and stir regularly until well mixed.
- Divide the vegetables over the pizza's and spread them out evenly (should form a layer slightly less than 1cm thick). Now sprinkle them with the shredded cheese until you're satisfied with the amount of cheese and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- I had them in the oven for about 30 minutes, but I had them on a lower setting for a while and they came out slightly more browned than ideal, though not burned (so don't worry too much about putting them in the oven too long). Note: While in the oven it can be hard to see how well done the pizza's are, the spinach just gets a little darker, so you have to rely on the cheese and the pizza crust.