Green Pizza

26 03 2009

This is one of those posts written in desperation – the kind of desperation that comes when something is on its way out of season.  In this case, broccoli.  And while sage is pretty good year-round, its flavor is indelibly tied to the colder months.

The dish was invented in a different kind of desperation – the kind when you’re wandering around the grocery store looking for something to cook for dinner.  Preferably something easy, quick and healthy.  It was St. Patrick’s Day, but the sky was too blue and the air too almost-warm to consider cooking one of the more traditional celebratory dishes.  I still wanted to make something to commemorate the day.  I caught a glimpse of some deep green broccoli and thought that it was both nutritious and dressed for the occasion.  Into my basket it went, next to the Guinness, and I wondered how to make a meal out of a head of broccoli.  Well, I had pizza dough in the freezer, and some goat cheese and sage in the fridge… sweet!  Done shopping!

Pizza dough spread with sage pesto

Somewhere along the way I realized that I had all the necessary ingredients (pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano) for pesto just sitting there in the kitchen.  And the pizza came together.  Pesto and broccoli first, then a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, a drizzle of olive oil, and a handful of crumbled goat cheese. 

St Paddy's Day Pizza

Luck must have been with me, because this pizza was everything I wanted: fast, healthy, and holiday-appropriate.  Because I know that some of you out there like recipes, here’s how I made the sage pesto.  You should be able to figure out the rest of the pizza yourself.  (Those of you who don’t like recipes, well, I’m sure you’ll wing it anyway.)

Sage Pesto


In retrospect, just the pesto spread on the pizza dough and baked would make some fantastic breadsticks.  The recipe makes just the right amount for a two-person pizza, but it would also be great on pasta or spread on a turkey sandwich.


1 bunch sage, leaves picked, washed, and chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. pine nuts, chopped

2 Tbsp. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated

Squeeze of lemon juice

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  The texture will be chunky and “rustic,” but you could easily put the mixture into a food processor or blender if you want a smoother end result.


Makes about 1/3 cup (85 ml).

Originally published on Croque-Camille.




4 responses

27 03 2009

I had no idea you could freeze pizza dough, is yeast still active when its defrosted?

The pizza looks vey healthy but delicious too! I love the sage pesto idea.

27 03 2009

Nice–Improvisational cooking at its finest. Looks really good!

Never tried pesto w/sage before–I think of basil pesto as very spring-like; I bet the sage was a more fall-like take.

Shouldn’t you have said “the luck of the Irish” was with you? 😀

29 03 2009

Sam – You can freeze yeast doughs, though not more than a month or so. After that, the yeast start to die off pretty rapidly. Actually, it depends a bit on how yeasty the dough is. Something with a relatively high yeast content, such as croissant or brioche, can only be frozen a week or so. My pizza dough has a pretty small amount of yeast, so I usually make three pizzas worth at a time and then eat one pizza a week until it’s gone.

pastrychef – Thanks, the pesto definitely had a more robust flavor than basil pesto, but it paired really well with the roasted broccoli.

And I felt that the Irish part was implied, but I feel like a poseur saying it, since I have no Irish heritage that I know of, though I guess it doesn’t stop me from celebrating St. Paddy’s day! 🙂

8 04 2009

LOVE this. Love love love. I prefer pizzas with no red sauce so this sounds absolutely delicious. Way to improvise!

%d bloggers like this: