Celebrating Spring with Beet Green Pizza! (Recipe)

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Is there a better way to christen a new apartment than with pizza?

beet green white bean pizza

(If there is, I haven’t a clue what it might be.)

Before I wax poetic about spring greens all over again, let me tell you a little secret. I’ve never moved before! That’s right, I lived in one place for my entire life until just a couple of weeks ago when I moved into a lovely little apartment. Or really, not so little, at least not for me! I have more kitchen space than when I lived at home, and I was able to set up a room just for lifting weights, which is pretty exciting.

I’m still in the same general area, but the apartment is much closer to things like the co-op and the farmers market. Speaking of, I was kind of desperate to squeeze in a farmers market visit on moving day despite the insanity of hauling furniture back and forth and trying to unpack boxes. I managed to get there about half an hour before it closed, marking another first for me–I’ve never hit this particular market in the afternoon!

There were greens to be gotten, so I popped over to one of my favorite vendors where I promptly faced a dilemma. Should I buy the last bunch of dino kale or some of the beautiful beet greens with tiny little beets sprouting off the ends?

“It’s buy one kale, get one beet green free day,” declared the girl manning the table. She wasn’t kidding. Apparently being a good customer and arriving when most people are getting ready to leave has its perks.

So what do you do when it’s made-up discount day and you get free beet greens? Praise the Lord for His provision and make White Bean & Beet Green Pizza, of course!

That’s what I did, anyway.

beet green white bean pizza cooked
This pizza taught me that living in an apartment means making substitutions until you can get all your grocery shopping done. I wanted to make a wheat/oat crust, but lacking yeast, I had to fall back on an old standby that my mom used to call “quick dough.” Instead of yeast and a bunch of rising time, it calls for baking powder. I adapted it a bit further by using some nondairy milk instead of water and heating it up before adding it to the flour–a trick I picked up from making oil-free tortillas that seems to help make the dough more elastic.

Mixing wheat flour and oat flour makes for a stiffer dough, though, so be prepared to do a little work to get it to spread out.

beet green white bean pizza crust with sauce
For the sauce, I used Quick Italian Tomato Sauce from Heart Healthy Pizza. I like to pre-bake my pizza crusts to ensure crispiness before adding sauce and toppings, so that’s what I did here. Then it was time to cook up the greens!

beet green and white bean pizza toppingThese got a hearty kick with six sliced garlic cloves and some sliced onions. I chopped up the beet green stems and threw those in to saute a bit as well before adding the leaves. I took another cue from a greens-filled pizza in Heart Healthy Pizza and added some balsamic vinegar to the mix. It only takes a few minutes for everything to cook down, and then when you toss in the beans, they get a lovely purple color from the beet greens.

beet green white bean pizza closeupA little sprinkle of nutritional yeast and back in the oven the whole thing went for the final round of baking. I didn’t bother with any cheese-like sauce–the greens and beans seemed like enough. The crust on this is very thin and crispy, too, and it might not support anything more than that bit of nootch on the top. I know I had a hard time picking up the slices without showering myself in greeny, beany goodness!

You get eight pretty good-sized slices out of this recipe, which means there’s some left over to enjoy again. And again. And perhaps again.

You could always share it, but where’s the fun in that?

White Bean & Beet Green Pizza
 
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It’s a beet green bonanza with this hearty pizza that requires no rising time and tastes just as good the next day!
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 8 slices

Ingredients
For the Crust:
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (or 1¼ cup rolled oats, ground in a blender)
  • 2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • ½ cup nondairy milk, heated until just boiling
For the Pizza:
  • 1 cup pizza sauce, tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced white onions
  • 8 ounces beet greens, leaves chopped, stems sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups cooked navy beans or 1 15.5oz. can, drained and rinsed
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • nutritional yeast or garlic powder (optional)

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
To make the crust:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, oat flour and baking powder. Add the hot nondairy milk and stir until a dough forms. Test to make sure that it’s cool enough to handle, then knead for a few minutes until the texture becomes smooth and elastic.
  2. Lightly grease a pizza pan or large cookie sheet. Spread the dough out until it reaches the edges. (It will be a thin crust.) Once the oven is hot, pop the crust in and cook for 10 minutes while you prep the toppings.
To make the beans and greens:
  1. Place the garlic and onions in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes, adding splashes of water to the pan if things start to stick. Toss in the beet green stems and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until they start to soften.
  2. Add the beet green leaves and balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until the greens begin to wilt. Add the beans and black pepper and cook until just heated through.
To finish the pizza:
  1. Remove the crust from the oven and pour your chosen tomato sauce on top. Spread it to within ¼” of the edge of the dough. Add the bean and green mixture and spread it evenly over the top. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast or garlic powder, if desired. Return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes more, until the crust is crispy and the toppings are hot.
  2. Let the pizza rest for a few minutes before cutting into 8 pieces.

Do you remember your first apartment? How about the first few meals you cooked there? Tell me about it in the comments!

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About the Author:

Sam has been a vegan since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of vegan food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She is a member of Toastmasters International and currently serves as part of the Capital View Toastmasters club. When she's not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, play silly card games and knit socks.
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