We have pizza night once a week. At least. And then there was that time (last week) when some magical switch flipped and my husband became completely obsessed with making pizza himself. HIMSELF.
A glorious week, it was!
Jason brings dependability and stability to the relationship – and pizza nights – with sausage and pepperoni. A wild night calls for fresh jalapeños but it’s always sausage and pepperoni. And me?
Trying to narrow down my favorite pizza toppings is like… trying to narrow down my favorite pizza toppings. Fancy cheeses, roasted veggies, and lots of goat cheese abound. I’m always in the mood for something a little different. And this pizza fits that bill perfectly.
The Spinoccoli is a white pizza topped with baby spinach, broccoli, mozzarella, and cheddar. We swap out the spinach with Central Market’s herbed baby spinach-arugula mix (because I love that stuff) and substitute goat cheese for the cheddar (because I love that stuff, too). And because there’s no such thing as too much goat cheese.
It’s one of the very, very few preparations of broccoli and spinach that my husband will eat. When dealing with the crankiest of carnivores, calling it “Spinoccoli” (Spinoccula?) gets a much better reaction than “veggie pizza.”
Top your favorite pizza crust with fresh spinach, arugula, broccoli, and goat cheese.
- For the sauce:
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Dash of nutmeg
- 6 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan
- 3/4 cup milk (I've used whole milk and skim with equally good results)
- For assembly:
- Your favorite pizza dough (or mine), ready to stretch and bake
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 1/2 cup packed spinach-arugula mix, rough-chopped
- 1 cup small broccoli florets
- 2 oz crumbled goat cheese
- 2 oz shredded mozzarella
- Handful of grated Parmesan
- Flour, for dusting surface
- Coarse cornmeal, for dusting surface
- Place a pizza stone in the top 1/3 of your oven and preheat your oven to 550 (500 if your oven doesn't go that high), letting it hold at temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you're not using a pizza stone, just have your baking sheet ready.)
- Heat butter and garlic in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
- Whisk in flour, fresh black pepper, and a dash of nutmeg and let cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly stream in the milk while whisking, until smooth. Cook until bubbly and thickened, 3-4 minutes more, whisking frequently.
- Whisk in the Parmesan until melted and salt to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Dust a pizza peel or your baking sheet with generous pinches of flour and cornmeal.
- Gently stretch the pizza dough in to a 12-14 inch round or divide into 3 portions and stretch, for individual sized pizzas.
- Brush a ~1-inch border of olive oil around the edge of the pizza dough.
- Spoon white sauce onto the pizza, spreading with a spoon almost to the edge of the dough (you'll probably have a little sauce leftover).
- Sprinkle the spinach leaves evenly over the white sauce, followed by the broccoli, mozzarella, goat cheese, and Parmesan.
- Transfer your pizza from the pizza peel to baking stone (or place your baking sheet in the oven).
- Bake for 7-9 minutes for a single large pizza (5-7 for individual pizzas), until the dough is blistered, the edges are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese starts to brown.
- Remove from oven, slice, and serve.
Yields: 1 large pizza or 3 individual pizzas
Estimated time: 1 hour