No food related blog post (refer to post below) should be without a recipe of sorts (refer to post below). And as you know, with me it's all about experimentation. Sometimes we leave earth and do something we've never imagined and don't know if any one else has imagined. I like to think of myself as the 'Nelix' of the Starship Agüin. But this was something I had once and thought it deserved a permanent place in my kitchen. Not without a story.
Last December, for the Holidays, we traveled to Argentina so our kids could meet their family and I could experience what Christmas and New Years is for Ariel. It was an exhausting trip. Every day was filled with visiting one family or another and we still didn't get to see a lot of important people or do half of what we had planned. One particular day, we came back to our simple rented apartment above the cobblestone streets of La Plata. We were all beat. It was all I could do to put the kids in their pajamas and put them in front of a movie to fall asleep in this strange new place. We were starving. So I sent Ariel out in search of something edible. I didn't care what he came back with, but I would prefer something green, my only specification. I expected him to bring back one of the savory tarts I had come to enjoy. But when he reappeared over an hour later, there was a pizza box in his hands. At first I was dismayed because I didn't really want pizza. Then he opened the box and I saw a beautiful mass of vegetables. I have no idea what it was called. But it was cooked over a wood burning flame and the crust was perfectly browned, little specks of cheese singed around the edges. This is the first time I've tried to replicate it. If was wasn't worth it, I wouldn't be blogging about it, or at least I wouldn't publish my post.
- Open Face Calzone of Artichoke and Chard
- Pizza crust, enough for two 14 inch pizzas
- Olive Oil
- 1 Hand full of Vine Ripened Tomatoes (5 or 6 medium size Roma or equivalent)
- A pinch of Salt
- Two cloves of Garlic
- Two hands full chopped, fresh Swiss Chard or Spinach, or half and half.
- 1 cup Marinated Artichoke Hearts
- Enough Mozzarella (or your pizza cheese of choice) to top off the veggies
Split your dough in half and roll out to form
two ovals. Oil your pan, throw your dough on it, oil it too and set it aside. I liked this particular crust to be thick and bready, not thin and crispy. This is not a pizza and you'll probably be disappointing if you go into it thinking of it as pizza. If you don't already have a dough you normally use, the version here is pretty close to what I use, though I don't think it needs the sugar. Next prepare your sauce. This is the simplest and best thing ever. When there are good tomatoes in season it's the ONLY thing. Simply use some sort of food processor or even a mortar and pestle to puree your tomatoes along with the garlic and a pinch of salt. Chop the artechokes into fine slivers. This helps my kids. They enjoy things more when they aren't in big chunks. Steam your greens until just wilted. The best way to eat your greens is young and tender. If you've never experienced baby chard, you've never experienced chard. I used half chard and half spinach mostly because I had a LOT of Spinich that was in danger of not being appreciated.You could probably saute them too. But either way don't scimp, they'll shrink a LOT and you'll end up with not enough greens to balance out the artichokes. Now take your dough that has been sitting out and stick it in the oven on 400 F for about 5 minutes. When your crust no longer doughy but not browned, take it out and smother it in tomato-y goodness. Now this is where you have to leave the pizza out of your brain. This is not meant to be a pizza. Separate your greens in half and spread them out in a thick layer over the tomato sauce, then do the same with the artichokes. Sprinkle your cheese over the top evenly. you don't need a lot of cheese. The photo below is deceiving because there are light colored artichokes underneath. (The power of Illusion is one of the only powers a mother of a three year old has with her child's food!)
Everyone has their way of cooking pizzas and such. I would say use a preheated pizza stone, but obviously any old cookie sheet will do. Bake until cheese is browned on top and edges and crust is crispy. For me it was about 30 minutes on 400 F.
Did I forget to mention that my three year old daughter LOVED this. Even the second time around! She would have eaten half of it on her own. To be served, as in any Argentine meal, with a salad of greens.