Spinach, Beet, and Goat Cheese Pizza & Work Place Drama

I had every intention of writing a very focused recipe post today…  But I have to admit I’m a little distracted.  You see, our company’s server has been a little wonky today…  But that’s not what is causing my silent repetition of inappropriate explicatives.  It would be the constant vocalization of frustration brought on by said server.  Namely by one person.  And that’s why I want to shoot myself in the face.

Disclosure: I do try very hard to maintain a positive attitude and not be a perpetual complainer (unless it’s for the sake of humor), but there are just some days that put even the most devout optimist to the test.  I’ll have to write a separate post on my attempt to take the “No Complaint Challenge.”  Operative word being “attempt.”

But the great thing about being surrounded by spastic people? It calms me. It’s a skill that the hubs and I have perfected since the arrival of our willful darling child. So, when one parent is at their wit’s end after a long day of dealing with a whining, tantrum-throwing, and explosively pooping child, the other steps up and can take over to reinstate peace in the house.  And I had no idea that it would be applicable in the workplace.

But, I digress…

There’s this thing called a roasted beet salad that you may have seen a few times on restaurant menus.  (Apparently, it’s become a little cliche according to the foodie world.)  It’s generally a spinach salad, topped with roasted beets, goat cheese, and walnuts.  And it’s delicious.  I mean, is there anything with goat cheese that isn’t delicious?  So, after slaving away for hours making pizza crust only to discover that i was a little short on toppings, I decided to try something a little different.  Salad on top of a pizza.  (Pilad?  Sazza?  I’m trying to be an innovator here…)  

The concept is simple.  Take your pre-baked pizza crust, add a generous amount of spinach (because it will cook down substantially), top with diced roasted beets and goat cheese, then finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Then bake.  Sounds weird, I know.  But I was surprised at how darn tasty it was.  Ok, that’s really not a recipe.  So, to not be a liar, here is one.

Honey Wheat Pizza Crust
1 1/2 c warm water
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
3 1/2 c flour (I used 1 1/2 cups of AP and 2 cups of whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
1 (scant) Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp white pepper (I used black pepper which doesn’t look as pretty, but who cares?  It’s covered in sauce anyways…)
Olive oil

I use my super fast Kitchenaid mixer, but if you don’t have one of those fancy contraptions, you can certainly do it by hand.  Just be prepared to get messy.

COMBINE warm water and yeast in your mixing bowl.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Sift in the AP flour and mix to combine.  Add salt, pepper, and honey and mix some more.  Then the whole wheat flour gets added to the party.  Now the fun part…  Lock the mixer, turn up the speed to med-low, and watch it dance!  Let it go for about 3-5 minutes or until your dough looks smooth and elastic.

ADD a little olive oil to your bowl and roll the dough around to get it lightly coated.  Then cover with plastic or a towel and let it rest for about 1 1/2 hours.  Or until doubled in volume.

TAKE your completed dough and divide it up into individual pizza crust portions.  (I like to get about 6-8 crusts out of a batch, but I make them small and thin.)  Roll into balls then flatten out…  So they look like, you know, pizzas?

HEAT up a cast iron pan of sorts to screaming hot.  Now I’ve tried a lot of pizza baking methods, and found this by far this works the best to avoid that soggy crust…  Now put your dough in the dry pan.  I like mine all crispy and bubbled…  Like real Italian pizza…  But this last time I went for a thicker, chewier crust. 

When you’re ready to make your pizzas, just brush on a little olive oil to prevent the crust from getting soggy during baking and add your favorite toppings.  Bake at 350° until hot and cheese is melted.  And you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t want to try my Pizalad…

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