Spinach and Purple Kale Pizza

Mix these great greens for a real slice of heaven.
Bloomsdale spinach and kale pizza from Stella Barra in Los Angeles

Bloomsdale spinach and kale pizza from Stella Barra in Los Angeles

Forget sautés and salads: Bloomsdale spinach and purple kale make a beautiful pizza topping.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Anjali Pinto

Image courtesy of Anjali Pinto

Forget sautés and salads: Bloomsdale spinach and purple kale make a beautiful pizza topping.

When seed company owner David Landreth introduced Bloomsdale spinach to the world in 1826—named in honor of his Bristol, Pennsylvania farm—he could have never imagined the ways it would play out on the plate. The heirloom variety is great for sautéing and salads, but its heartiness also makes it a perfect pizza topping. 

"Regular spinach tends to get so wet so fast," says Jeff Mahin, chef/partner of Stella Barra Pizzeria in Hollywood, California. "The Bloomsdale variety holds its own integrity and has a better flavor than regular spinach." 

Mahin gets his greens from local farms and mixes them with purple kale, which is "more delicate and gets a nice crisp when cooked in the oven," he says. "It's a little softer and not as abrasive in the mouth as other kales, and it has more alkaline, which makes it a bit healthier." 

When cooked, both the Bloomsdale spinach and purple kale have a sweet flavor, so Mahin balances it out with roasted garlic and Parmesan cream sauce. "I started making this pizza as a salad, so I thought about what goes into a hearty spinach salad," says Mahin, who gives us his signature dough recipe below. "Roasted garlic gives it a savory note and the Parmesan cream is more of a coating or dressing, which adds a nice creaminess to the pizza." 

Bloomsdale Spinach and Purple Kale Pizza with Garlic Confit and Parmesan Cream

  • Signature pizza dough*
  • 1 cup Bloomsdale spinach
  • 1 head of purple kale
  • 1 ounce grated pecorino Romano
  • 1 bunch purple kale
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion, cut into small rings
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 2 cups non-fat milk
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 ounce flour
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 2 ounces Parmesan
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

For the purple kale: 

Fill a sink with cold water. Using a knife remove leaves from the stems; cutting into two-inch strips. 

Wash kale leaves in a sink filled with cold water. 

Using a salad spinner, dry the kale; set aside for pizza.

For the garlic confit: 

In a medium saucepan add one cup of garlic cloves and two cups of olive oil. 

Place the pan on low heat. Do not boil the garlic. 

Cook the garlic until soft, about 30 minutes.

Strain the garlic through a fine strainer and save the garlic oil. 

Place the garlic in a food processor with the blade attachment; puree until smooth.

Spread the garlic puree on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and cool. 

For the Parmesan cream:

Place a medium sauce pot onto the stove over medium heat.

Add butter and flour into the pan.

Using a rubber spatula, stir. Cook for three minutes on medium heat.

Slowly add non-fat milk; whisk while adding milk.

Continue to whisk and turn up heat to medium-high; the mixture should begin to thicken. Add whole milk and continue to whisk and bring to a boil.

Once brought to a boil; turn off the heat.

Add mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and whisk. Strain and cool. 

For the dough: 

  • 8 cups bread flour 
  • 3 cups water, at 58 degrees F 
  • 1.5 tablespoons salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast 

Using a digital scale, precisely measure out each ingredient and set up your mixer with a dough hook.  

Place the water into the mixer then the remaining ingredients and slowly start to mix together.

Mix the dough on a low speed until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the mixer off and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, turn the mixer to medium high for 3 minutes, or until the dough is shiny and elastic.

Lightly coat a bowl with olive oil.

Remove the dough from the mixer and place in oiled bowl. 

Allow to sit out for 1 hour at room temperature.

Flour the surface of a counter and place the dough onto the floured surface.

Cut the dough into large softball-size portions and lightly oil the inside of 6 plastic quart containers. 

Place one dough portion into one container and seal lid tight around the top. 

Place the dough into the cooler overnight.

The next day, pre-heat the oven to 550 F with a pizza stone inside for at least 1 hour. 

Remove the containers of dough from the refrigerator.

Allow the dough to rise to the top of the container (takes about one hour after removed from refrigerator).

Carefully remove the dough and shape the pizza.

Top the pizza with desired toppings and bake until golden brown.

Procedure for one pie: 

One hour prior to baking, put a pizza stone in a 500-degree oven.

Stretch pizza out to 13 inches. 

Mix 2 ounces of Parmesan cream sauce, with 1 tablespoon of confit garlic. 

Layer 1 ounce of grated pecorino Romano cheese over the bottom of the pizza. 

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley and 2 tablespoons of finely sliced green onions over the bottom. 

Place 1 cup Bloomsdale spinach on the bottom and 2 cups purple kale on top. 

Drizzle the pizza with 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. 

Put in the oven at 500 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cut immediately and finish with grated Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, ground black pepper and sea salt. 

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