Kale, meet bacon. Bacon, meet kale.
Now that everyone has been introduced, I can let you in on a little secret. Those crispy kale chips piled on the pizza dough up above are tossed in bacon fat. I repeat: bacon fat.
It all happened so quickly. There was kale. And there was leftover bacon grease. And there was no question in my mind what was happening next. I straight up Les Miserables’d this pizza. I dreamed a dream and that dream was bacon fat kale chips and that dream just came true.
This pizza is many things, but saucy it is not. This is a sauce-free zone. No one misses marinara when you’re feasting on the trifecta of bacon, mozzarella and garlic. And bonus points to anyone who can guess what the crust is brushed with…
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Garlicky Kale and Bacon Pizza
Yield: 1 (12-inch) pizza
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 15 min
1 pound store-bought or homemade pizza dough
Cornmeal, for dusting baking sheet
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups curly kale leaves, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onions
Shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 12 inches wide and 1/4-inch thick. (See Kelly's Notes.)
Invert a baking sheet and sprinkle it liberally with cornmeal. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
Cook the diced bacon in a medium sauté pan set over medium-low heat until a majority of the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon to a large bowl, along with 2 teaspoons of the bacon drippings. Add the kale, olive oil and garlic to the bowl, tossing to combine.
Arrange the mozzarella slices in a single layer on the pizza dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Evenly scatter the kale-bacon mixture on top of the cheese then top the kale with the sliced red onions. Brush the border of the pizza dough with the reserved bacon drippings.
Bake the pizza for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating it half-way through, until the crust is fully baked and golden brown. Remove the pizza from the oven to a cutting board, sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese, and slice and serve.
The pizza dough can be rolled into any desired shape, including round, rectangular or free-form, for a more rustic look.
You can use a pizza stone in place of the inverted baking sheet.
Oven temperatures and positions may vary, so make sure you are baking your pizza on the middle rack and check it frequently.
The kale leaves must be well coated in the bacon drippings and olive oil or they will burn before the dough is fully baked. And it may seem like a large amount of kale, but pile it high atop the dough, as it'll cook down significantly once baked.
Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.