Good to be Healthy Pizza

This recipe uses Swiss chard. Like all dark leafy greens, they grow in cooler weather. So you will find fresh local Swiss chard at farmers markets right now. It should be brightly colored, crisp and free of tiny holes that may be a sign of insect damage. Wash it just before using. Otherwise, it stores well in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. This recipe also calls for red miso, Japanese fermented soy paste. It lends a dairy like flavor to the pesto sauce. Find it in the dairy case at your local health food store. This pizza is tasty and satisfying without the cheese.

Too Good to be Healthy Pizza

1 Kabuli Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (available at Wild Oats)

1/3 cup non-dairy pesto (recipe below)

½ bunch Swiss chard

10 sun dried tomatoes

12 Kalamata olives

3 water packed artichoke hearts

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash the chard and trim any rough ends. Chop the leaves into bite size pieces and the stems into ¼ inch pieces. Place the stems into a steamer basket first, and then add the leaves. Steam for 10 minutes. Hydrate the sun-dried tomatoes by simmering them in water for 5 minutes or as directed on the package. Allow them to drain and cool in a strainer.

Meanwhile, smash the olives with the flat side of a chef’s knife. This loosens the seed. Slice the olives in half lengthwise and discard the seeds. Slice each artichoke heart lengthwise into 3 or 4 slices. Grate the cheese if you are using it. Slice the sun-dried tomatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices.

Place the pizza crust on a pizza pan. Spread 1/3 cup of non-dairy pesto on the pizza. Using a fork or tongs, spread the Swiss chard evenly over the pesto. Arrange the olives, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes over the Swiss chard.

Bake for 9 – 10 minutes or until crust reaches desired crispness. Serves 3 – 4 people.

Non-Dairy Pesto

3 – 4 cups loosely packed fresh basil

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 or 2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons red miso

½ cup raw walnuts

Combine the ingredients and ¼ cup raw walnuts in a blender at low speed for 2 minutes. Add the remaining raw walnuts and blend for 1 minute more.