Well this has been a weird few weeks! It’s the middle of October and I am sitting at my kitchen table, eating a Chrismukkah cookie, looking outside at a blanket of snow, and the sun is out and Eggboy is putzing around inside the house. The middle of October typically means sweaters not parkas, tiptoeing around the mud in socks with sandals, and only ever having Eggboy sightings at random times in the middle of the night since during the days he’s harvesting sugar beets. I guess the Chrismukkah cookie things remains the same though because Emily’s cookie swap is just two months away and I’ve got a title to defend.
Beet harvest, which is supposed to start every year on October 1st, has yet to start, due to the weather, and as of yet, the fate of the beets is totally unknown. They’re in the ground still and we don’t even know if they’ll ever make it out of the ground. Each day brings so many questions. What do the fields look like after yesterday’s weather event? What will they look like after tomorrow’s weather event? When did I start referring to storms as “weather events”? What will the beet processing plant do? Should I continue stocking our freezer with baked goods for the drivers?? This whole situation is totally unprecedented and confusing.
And another thing that this weather has screwed up?? My trip to New York this past weekend :(!! I’d been looking forward to it for FOREVER and had been building my dumpling tolerance, rehearsing my hotdish demo, and also had all of these plans in place for Bernie’s first nights away from both me and Eggboy (assuming he’d be harvesting). But then on Friday there was a perfect storm of getting sick and the blizzard. And then I was glued to my couch (cuddling with Bernie, at least!!) watching the Mighty Ducks. It was a major bummer but then seeing Bernie’s face on her first sled ride cheered me way way up.
The weather, the snow, the harvest, the flights!
Anytime life is weird like this, I try to maintain some sense of sanity by working extra hard to eat greens. My green smoothie in the morning, spinach salads at lunch, a few extra piles of kale in my quesadillas, all feel even more important because if life is gonna be weird, I at least want to try and feel not as weird physically. Yes I still stress eat the extra Chrismukkah cookie, but I strive to balance it with an extra pile of kale so that I have the energy to deal with all of the unknowns.
And pizza night is no exception! Sure, there is the salad pizza route. But now that’s snowy, Eggboy and I have been craving more of a hot situation. Enter: green shakshuka pizza. A gigantic pile of greens on a bed of chewy pizza dough and melty mozzarella with runny eggs, all brightened up by a sprinkle of salty feta and drizzley drizz of tangy yogurt. And obviously za’atar. (If you’re the kind of person who likes ranch on their pizza, try yogurt + za’atar!!!) There are so many delicious flavors and textures up in here that strike the perfect balance of healthy-ish and doughy cheesy comfort. It’s also pretty because look @ that oozy egg!!!!!
I am using Our Family yogurt and mozzarella here, two reliable staples in my fridge that I turn to regularly on pizza night. And if you’re coming to my Our Family event in Fargo on Saturday, give me a shout!!! Can’t wait to see you :)
Green Shakshuka Pizza
Makes one 12” pizza
2 tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp sweet paprika
6 oz kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
4 oz spinach
2 tb veggie, chicken stock, or water
Crushed red pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lb pizza dough (storebought or homemade, I love Jim Lahey’s dough)
All-purpose flour, for dusting
6 oz Our Family mozzarella, shredded
4 large eggs
4 oz crumbled feta
Our Family plain Greek yogurt, za’atar, and chopped flat-leaf parsley, for topping
Preheat the oven to 425ºf with a pizza stone if you have one. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, jalapeño, and paprika and cook, stirring, for a minute, and then add the kale and spinach in a couple of batches, allowing it to wilt slightly in between so it doesn’t overflow the pot. Add a good pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, for 7 minutes. Stir in the stock or water and cook for 5 more minutes. Add a few turns of black pepper, a pinch of crushed red pepper (or more to taste), and the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly while you roll out the pizza dough.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment into a 12” round. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and then use tongs to transfer the kale mixture to the pizza (discarding any excess moisture that’s in the skillet). Create 4 wells in the kale mixture and crack in the eggs, taking care not to break the yolks. To ensure that the yolks don’t break, I like to crack the eggs into a separate little bowl first and then pour them on the pizza. That way if I break I yolk while cracking the egg, I can use that egg for something else. Sprinkle on the feta. Carefully slide onto the pizza stone (if you don’t have one, slide it on a baking sheet) and bake until the egg whites are firm but the yolks are still runny; begin checking for doneness at 10 minutes.
Top with dollops of yogurt and sprinkles of za’atar, parsley, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper and enjoy!