That said, I'm obsessed with Whole Foods pizza dough right now. I was making the New York Times dough recipe (I used it for my Spinach, White Bean, and Taleggio Pizza—another green one!), but I picked up a bag of fresh dough at the store a couple of months ago, and I'm not sure I'm ever going back.This dough is the tiniest bit sweet, which I like, and you can really feel how alive it is when you stretch it. There are big, plopping air bubbles everywhere. It practically burps while you work it.
So, the pizza. I love something green on my pizza, but I'm not a big fan of broccoli, and I also don't like weighty toppings. The idea of a big mound of kale chips on top of the pizza—salty, crispy, virtuous—sounded perfect. And the Italian tomatoes are key; they add a lot of flavor, which is especially important because you're not adding a ton of them. This isn't a super saucy pizza.I tried this pizza twice with the uncooked kale piled on with the other toppings. The kale got crispy, but it also released a lot of moisture that pooled in the middle of the pizza. It's better to make the kale chips first, then scatter them onto the pizza once it's cooked.
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning
5 large curly kale leaves (or a small bunch of lacinato kale)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Pour the Italian tomatoes into a mesh strainer and let them sit, squishing and stirring with a spoon a few times, until they are quite dry.
Strip the kale leaves from their stems, rip into 1-inch pieces. Wash and spin dry in a salad spinner or pat very thoroughly with a kitchen towel. In a large bowl, toss them with enough olive oil to lightly coat the leaves (you don't want them to be dripping, just slick). Spread onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until crispy.
Raise the oven temperature to 500 degrees.
While the oven is preheating, cook and crumble the sausage in a pan until no longer pink. Set aside. Take the dough out of its packaging (you'll need a dash of flour to keep it from sticking to your hands) and slowly stretch it. I like to drape the dough over the backs of my hands and stretch it from the middle out. You can also pat it out on a cutting board or baking sheet. Either way, you'll need to stop every once in a while and let the dough sit for a second, so it gets used to its new shape.
Place the dough on a baking sheet and scatter the tomatoes, then sausage, then mozzarella slices over it. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven, pile on the crispy kale, then slice.
*A note on technique: If you have a pizza stone and want to slide your topped pizza onto the stone in the oven, go for it. I'm terrible at this, and I find that I get a decently crispy crust with a baking sheet.
Related: How to Grill Pizza
(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)