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Pizza Night! Spring Beet, Sweet Onion, Goat Cheese & Sausage with steamed spinach

Active Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 50 minutes / Total Time: 1 hr 30 minutes

Makes 4 servings pizza and 2 servings salad

Nutrition Corner: Bitter Greens
Beets contain unique phytonutrients called betalains, which are responsible for their deep purple or golden color. If you can buy your beets with their green leaves still attached, go for it! Our ancestors actually ate only beet greens, before discovering and utilizing the root that is common today. Beet greens can be prepared like spinach. I love to lightly steam or sauté them with garlic and ghee.

arugula pesto.jpg

Ingredients:

Pesto:

  • 4 heaping cups arugula
  • ½ cup dry roasted unsalted walnuts
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme, oregano, and garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Toppings:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil, melted, divided
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped into half moons
  • 2 medium beets, scrubbed
  • 16 ounces sausage (if links, remove from casings)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese

Steamed Spinach:

  • 3 cups spinach (3 large handfuls)
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Directions:

  1. To make the pesto, add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor. Begin to process and add oil slowly until smooth. You may need to scrape the sides of your food processor.
  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until bubbling. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover, and let onions cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. I usually check on the onions every 15 minutes or so, and quickly mix them each time. The onions are caramelized when they are sweet and browned, but not burnt.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 F. While the onions are caramelizing, cut each beet in half and slice into half-moons. Toss with 1 tablespoon melted ghee or coconut oil and arrange on a single layer on a baking tray. Roast until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. While beets are roasting, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage crumbles and sauté until no pink remains, 5-8 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat the broiler and place a rack as close to the flame as possible.
  6. Line a 10 X 12-inch square baking tray with all natural parchment paper. Use your hands to mold the parchment around corners, and cut to fit the baking dish as best you can.
  7. Whisk together all crust ingredients and let sit for 5 minutes. Don't worry that this mixture does not look like dough! It will be more liquid than dough. Pour liquid into your prepared baking tray.
  8. Place in the oven for about 8 minutes. Be careful here, and watch the entire time. Each oven is different, and times may vary. The crust is done when it starts to look crispy around the edges and lightly browned throughout. If your broiler does not have a flame, your crust will not get as browned.
  9. Once cool enough to handle, flip the parchment paper over so that the crust is now crispy side down on the baking tray. Carefully peel off the parchment paper.
  10. Using an oven mitt, place the top rack down one position. Return the crust to the oven to crisp, about 5 minutes. Again, watch closely so it does not burn.
  11. Once browned, remove crust and lower the oven to 350 F.
  12. Spoon on enough pesto to lightly cover the crust. Top with onions, beets, sausage and crumbled goat cheese.
  13. Bake until cheese is melted, about 8 minutes. While the pizza is baking, prepare a steamer by bringing 2 inches of water to a boil. Add spinach to a steaming compartment or basket and cover. Steam for about 30 seconds, or until just wilted. Top with a dash of sea salt and fresh black pepper.
  14. Remove pizza from oven and let cool just slightly. Cut into 9 large pieces.
  15. Enjoy pizza with steamed spinach.
  16. Store 2 servings of pizza in an airtight container in the fridge, for lunch tomorrow.