Three Cheese and Spinach White Pizza

It’s been a crazy few weeks.  It’s not that I haven’t cooked at all, though it hasn’t been a lot, it’s that I haven’t made anything exciting enough to warrant taking the time to write about it.  You’ve really only missed Green Chicken Chili and Shrimp and Grits, both of which I’ve made before in some variety.  I don’t always post when I make pizza either, especially if I don’t make the dough, but I’m making an exception tonight.  This is one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten and certainly the best pizza I’ve ever made.  Sadly I managed to delete the photos after I’d already eaten the whole thing so you’ll just have to imagine it!

I haven’t done much meal planning lately so I have an odd, but wide, assortment of food stuffs in the kitchen.  I had a big clamshell of fresh spinach that really needed to find a use sooner rather than later.   I had some reduced-fat feta and a tub of mascarpone.  I had a package of naan.  Throw in some olive oil, garlic and mozzarella and you have yourself a pizza.  A really, really good pizza.  Mascarpone is essentially Italian cream cheese.  It’s softer and creamier than what we in the US call cream cheese.  It also has a much more neutral flavor.  That makes it a terrific base for a white pizza.  It doesn’t take much.  Just spread a thin layer on the naan and add some sliced garlic.  The feta adds a briny flavor that you really need.  Artichoke hearts or capers or hearts of palm would do the same.  The spinach adds a little bulk and a green flavor that’s great with the feta. Finally, the mozzarella makes in feel like pizza and it holds the spinach on.

A few tips.  It’s easiest to slice garlic cloves thinly if they’re slightly (or completely) frozen.  They’ll thaw and mellow in the baking process.  Julienne (cut into strips) the spinach leaves.  It doesn’t have to be super thin, but cutting the spinach allows you to really pile it on.  It also makes the pizza easier to eat.  If you use whole spinach leaves you’re apt to drag them off, along with all the cheese, as you take a bite. Cube the mozzarella.  It will melt more quickly and spread more evenly than slices and it will melt down into the spinach better than the shredded kind.  Besides, fresh mozzarella just tastes better.  Lastly, drizzle just a little olive oil over the top when your pizza is all assembled.  It will help wilt the spinach that’s not covered by cheese.

What you end up with is an airy dough with crispy edges thanks to the naan.  The mascarpone melts and mixes with the olive oil to make a creamy sauce.  The feta, spinach and mozzarella make a perfectly balanced pizza topping.  The only thing I might add is a few turns from the pepper grinder for a little sharpness.  My only other advice is to make plenty and don’t count on leftovers!

Good? So, so amazingly good.
Easy? Fantastically easy.
Good for company? Absolutely.
Special shopping? Nope. I bought everything at a regular grocery.

Three Cheese and Spinach White Pizza

Ingredients

1 round of plain naan
2 T good olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 T mascarpone cheese
2-3 T feta crumbles
1 C fresh julienned spinach leaves
1-2 oz fresh mozzarella, diced

Directions

Drizzle 1 T olive oil and spread mascarpone over naan. Distribute garlic slices evenly. SPrinkle feta around the pizza. Pile spinach in the middle leaving about 1 inch around the edges. Place mozzarella on top of the spinach, distributed evenly.
Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until the mozzarella is melted and beginning to brown.

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