Heavenly Green Pizza
Pizza dough (For thin crust, use 1 pound of dough; for thick crust, use 2 pounds)
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil and more for coating the bottom and sides of the pan and sprinkling on the top of the pizza
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/2 to 3/4 cup of Romano or Parmesan cheese or a mixture of both
Assorted cheeses, like cheddar or gouda to make one to two cups of small pieces
1 or 2 pound bag of grated mozzarella
Four bunches of assorted greens, swiss chard, beet greens, escarole, spinach. One bunch of each or a mixture you prefer. I always use swiss chard.
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste(optional)
Use fresh pizza dough you have purchased in your super market,a frozen pizza dough that has been defrosted, or make your own dough in the food processor using your favorite recipe. Set aside the dough for 30 minutes, covered with a clean dish towel, to rest.
Cut up into 1/2 to 3/4 inch chunks, assorted cheeses you may have in your refrigerator. I use cheddar and gouda. Place about one cup of chunks at a time in the bowl of a food processor with a metal blade and pulse 8 to 10 times to reduce cheese to small (pea-size) pieces. Process enough cheese to make 1 to 2 cups of small pieces, depending on how much you love cheese. This can be done ahead and cheese can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days or put into a plastic freezer bag and frozen for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator before using.
Wash and dry the greens. Use leaves and tender stems. Place a few leaves at a time in the food processor and pulse three or four times to chop greens.Put chopped greens in a bowl.
Chop 4-5 cloves of garlic in the same food processor bowl. Set garlic aside.
Put 3-4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a large frying pan; add garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Saute on low heat for 1 minute. Add the greens and any water that has clung to the leaves. On low to medium heat, saute the greens,uncovered, until they are wilted and the juices given off by the greens have cooked away, about 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally. You may have to saute the greens in batches, depending on the size of your pan and the size of the bunches of greens. For each new panfull, start with the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Salt to taste.
When the greens have been sauteed, place them in a strainer or collander and put the strainer/collander over a large bowl so the juices can drain off.
Set the cooked greens aside. This step can be done ahead; cooked and cooled greens can be refrigerated for 1-2 days or placed in a plastic freezer bag and frozen until needed. If frozen, let the greens defrost and drain in a strainer/collander again before putting them on the pizza dough.
Put 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on a pizza pan. I use an 11 X 15 inch cookie sheet with 1 inch sides. Spread the oil all over the bottom and sides of the pan.
Roll out the pizza dough to fit your pan. If you are using two pounds of dough, overlap the dough and adhere one piece to the other by brushing the bottom piece with a little water before attaching the top piece. Spread dough to fill your pan. Don't worry if you get a hole in the dough. Just squeeze the hole together or use a little water like glue to make the pieces stick together or sprinkle a little water on a piece of dough and patch the hole.
Spread the cheeses* on the dough in any order. Reserve half of the Romano/Parmesan cheese for the top. Then spread the cooled and drained greens on top of the cheeses. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of olive oil over the top of the greens and top with the remaining Romano/Parmesan cheese.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Check to see that the crust is golden brown on the bottom before taking the pizza out of the oven.
Cut into pieces and enjoy.
*NOTE: I have done this as described above and I have reversed the process and spread the greens on the dough first, and then topped the greens with the cheeses. If the cheese is on top, you have to be careful the pizza doesn't get too brown.
I have also alternated the cheeses and greens, starting with the greens on the bottom, then some of the cheese mixture, then more greens, and ending with a thinner layer of the cheeses on the top with the Romano/Parmesan mixture always sprinkled on top. Different people like different layering! Experiment to find your favorite.