Winter Pizza with White Beans, Chard, and Caramelized Onions

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I recently had a massive craving for pizza. Couldn’t figure out why until I remembered I hadn’t eaten pizza since I was last in New York at Christmas. That’s a long time to go without eating pizza, I agree. (My usual intake is about every 4-6 weeks, in case you were wondering.) I just don’t make pizza as frequently in the winter compared to the summer, when sweet tomatoes and sprightly herbs inspire.

Even so, pizza is obviously delicious any time of the year and I finally gave in to my hankering. Enter today’s recipe, a version I’m calling “winter” since it is tomato-less and utilizes local chard, onions, and white beans (also known as cannellini) from my neighborhood winter farmers’ market. This dish also includes one of my favorite things ever, caramelized onions.

Now, if you’re new to my pizza posts and love pizza—as if there’s anyone who doesn’t—you’ll want to consult my other three pies for more cooking details and other delightful variants, which are:

Onward to today’s version, another marvelous combination that makes one of America’s favorite foods better for you and for local businesses, too.

White Bean, Onion, and Chard Pizza

Cooking Steps and Instructions

1. Caramelize onions, described here. Note: they take some time, so you’ll want to get them started first assuming you’re not making your own dough; likely the other steps will be completed before they’re done.

2. Prepare crust per your own recipe or use a good-quality store-bought brand. Whole grain, of course.

3. Cut chard into thin pieces and add to a pan including a bit of olive or other vegetable oil. Note: Use the whole bunch. It shrinks down. A lot.

4. Sauté chard until wilted and set aside. (See?) Add crushed garlic and mix in for 45 seconds.

5. Toss white beans (here’s how to prepare from dried) with a bit of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

6. Mix herbed ricotta, described here. Prepare other cheeses, if desired; Parmigiana Reggiano and fresh mozzarella add complexity and flavor.

7. Assemble pizza and cook 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees. Garnish with additional fresh parsley, parm, and crushed red pepper flakes (optional). Note: Beans can be added before or after cooking, whichever you prefer.

This pizza is absolutely delicious and packs a much healthier punch than most with its nutrient-rich chard, onions, beans, and whole grain crust. While not an everyday food, it’s certainly something to be savored once in a while.

Craving fulfilled.

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Dr. P.K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Healthy Hedonism (TM) is her philosophy: Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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