Spicy Kale and Ricotta Pizza

Is there anything more satisfying that digging into a really good slice of pizza?  I can think of few things better.  Pizza is one of my favorite vehicles to use up leftover vegetables or cheese, so when I spied some remaining ricotta from last week’s garlic scape crostini, I knew I had some pizza baking to do.

A few weeks ago we had date night at a new restaurant, Folk, here in Nashville, and we were blown away by their kale pizza that everyone’s been raving about.  Luckily, I have some beautiful russian red kale growing in the garden right now so a kale pizza of our own was in easy reach.

Spicy Kale and Ricotta Pizza - Russian Red Kale

For weekday pizzas, I almost never mess with homemade pizza dough.  Instead, I really like making pizza with naan from the grocery store.  I usually buy several two packs when they’re on sale and freeze them until I’m ready to get baking.  I find the thickness of the crust to be just right with naan, and it crisps up really nicely in the oven.  Just add toppings, and you have pizza on your table in under 20 minutes.

Spicy Kale and Ricotta Pizza

The thing that made the kale pizza at Folk really stand out that I knew I had to incorporate into this inspired version is a healthy drizzle of calabrian chili oil.  It takes the pizza from good to give-me-another-slice-of-that-asap.  I found jarred calabrian chilis in the Italian section of my regular grocery store and used that oil to drizzle on the pizzas.  Bonus is that I now have calabrian chilis to incorporate into some other recipes!  This calabrian chili butter from Bon Appetit is first on my list.

Ready to make this spicy kale and ricotta pizza yourself?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6-8 cups loosely packed torn kale
    • I used a mix of russian red kale from the garden and traditional curly kale, but you could use whatever kale you have on hand
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped oregano
  • 4-6 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup asiago cheese
  • 2 10 inch slices naan
    • I use Stonefire brand but have tried other brands and have had similar success
  • 2 tsp calabrian chili oil

Spicy Kale and Ricotta Pizza

Start by prepping all of the pizza toppings so your assembly goes more smoothly.  Preheat the oven to 375.

Remove the tough stems from the kale and tear the leaves into bite size pieces.  Kale doesn’t cook down as much as some other greens, so you want to make sure to tear thoroughly.  Mince garlic and set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.  Add torn kale and saute until kale has started to wilt but is still bright green, about 1-2 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 30 seconds more.  Add white wine to pan and cook and additional minute to cook off the alcohol.

Spicy Kale and Ricotta Pizza - sauteed kale

Next, chop the fresh herbs and grate the asiago cheese.  All the toppings should now be prepped and ready to go.

On a large cutting board or clean work surface, lay down each piece of naan.  If using Stonefire, you’ll find that one side is smooth and the other is bumpier with more protruding air bubbles.  I put the smooth side down for maximum crispiness and put the toppings on the bumpier side.

Spicy Kale and Ricotta Pizza

Drizzle each piece of naan generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Sprinkle chopped herbs equally over each slice of naan and top with the sauteed garlic and kale.

Spicy Kale and Ricotta Pizza

Add dollops of ricotta across the top of the kale.  Ricotta doesn’t melt and spread out nearly as much as something like mozzarella would, so you can be fairly liberal with the ricotta.  Finally, top with the grated asiago cheese.

Bake on a pizza stone or baking sheet at 375 for 10 minutes.  Broil an additional 2 minutes to brown the cheese.

Spicy Kale and Ricotta Pizza

Remove pizza from oven and drizzle with calabrian chili oil.  This stuff packs a punch so go easy at first, and you can always add more later.  Slice and serve hot.

Spicy Kale and Ricotta Pizza

Bon appétit!

Spicy Kale and Ricotta Pizza

This kale pizza is given an extra kick with spicy calabrian chili oil and creamy ricotta cheese. Ideal for a quick weeknight meal!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6-8 cups loosely packed torn kale
  • 3 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 tsp salt divided
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped oregano
  • 4-6 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup asiago cheese shredded
  • 2 slices naan
  • 2 tsp calabrian chili oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.  Remove tough stems from kale and tear leaves into bite size pieces.  Mince garlic.  

  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add kale, season with 1/2 tsp salt and saute 1-2 minutes.  Add garlic cloves and saute 30 seconds longer.

  3. Add white wine to pan and saute 1-2 minutes until alcohol cooks off.  Remove from heat and set aside. 

  4. Lay out naan on a clean work surface and drizzle liberally with remaining olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt to season.  

  5. Add chopped herbs to each slice of naan.  Top with sauteed kale.  

  6. Dollop ricotta cheese generously over the top.  Finish with grated asiago cheese. 

  7. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  Broil 2 minutes longer. 

  8. Remove from oven, and drizzle with calabrian chili oil.  Slice and serve hot.  

 



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