Garlic-Nettle-Bacon Pizza

For the pizza:
  • 6 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 pound stinging nettles
  • 1/4 c. snipped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 lb. pizza dough (use homemade or store-bought)
  • Garlic White Sauce (see below)
  • 1/4 thinly sliced white onion wedges
  • 8 oz. grated cheese (choose your favorite variety/combination)
For the garlic white sauce:
  • 2 T. butter
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 3 T. water

Fry the bacon until very crisp. Remove it to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside. Reserve the bacon fat in the skillet you use to cook the bacon.

Wearing thick rubber gloves, clean the nettles by soaking them several times under cold running water, then drain. (Do not touch raw nettles with your bare hands. If you do not have rubber gloves, use tongs to handle the nettles.) Separate the tender leaves from the tough stems, discarding the stems. (Use scissors for this process if you don’t have protective rubber gloves.)

Using tongs, add half of the nettles to the skillet with the reserved bacon fat in it. Cook, stirring often, until the nettles have begun to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining nettles, along with the chives, salt, and granulated garlic, and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes more. Remove the now-cooked nettles (they will no longer irritate skin) from the pan and set aside.

To make the garlic white sauce, add the butter, cream cheese, and milk to the skillet used to fry the bacon and sauté the nettles. Turn the stove to medium low and, using a wire whisk, slowly mix the ingredients together to form a homogenous thin sauce.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the other ingredients -- salt through cornstarch and water (mixed together to form a slurry) -- and stir until blended. The sauce will thicken as the skillet begins to bubble. Remove it from the heat when the desired thickness has been attained.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and press the pizza dough evenly into the bottom of a large pizza pan or cookie sheet. Spread a thin layer of the garlic white sauce evenly over the crust. Arrange the reserved bacon, nettles, and sliced onion wedges evenly over the crust and sauce. Sprinkle the top of the pizza evenly with grated cheese. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Cut into slices and serve immediately.

  • Yields:
  • 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time:
  • 30 minutes
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