Pizza often gets a bad rap. It’s easily dismissed as junk food for teenagers and is certainly not considered part of a healthy diet.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
When you make pizza at home you can choose healthy nutrient-dense ingredients and avoid frying it in cheap and unhealthy oils like many of the chain pizza stores use.
Today, I am sharing my favorite healthy pizza recipe which uses wild greens you can harvest straight from your backyard.
There are many different spring greens that can be used in this recipe. Here’s a quick look at a few suggestions.
Dandelion leaves (Taraxacum officinale)
Young tender dandelion leaves are a nutritional powerhouse. They are high in vitamin A, potassium, calcium and many more. When the leaves are older they have a strong bitter taste but when harvested young they have a milder taste that most people can enjoy. If you don’t have access to dandelion leaves near you check to see if your local grocery store can order them in.
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Chickweed is a delicious spring green with a bright flavor that most people enjoy. It’s also high in vitamins and minerals. This may be my favorite-tasting spring green.
Lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album)
Young lamb’s quarter leaves remind me of spinach. They have a mild taste and are some of our most nutritious greens. It always makes me shake my head to see gardeners pulling this valuable vegetable out of the garden to make way for less nutritious veggies.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
Purslane is another plant that is often hated by gardeners. If they only knew how valuable this weed is! Like the other highlighted greens, purslane is high in vitamins and minerals as well as important antioxidants. It’s big nutritional claim to fame is that it is one of the richest plant sources of EPA an Omega 3 fatty acid.
Photo by Frank Vincentz
Are you new to foraging?
Whenever you harvest plants in the wild be 100% certain you know what you are harvesting. You also want to make sure you are harvesting in an area that has not been sprayed with chemicals or by animals. Local herbalists, botanists and a field guide are important resources when learning to forage. We also have a botany course for herbalists, Learning Your Plants, on HerbMentor.com.
If you don’t have access to wild greens then you can use spinach, chard and/or kale for this recipe. These cultivated greens are also super nutritious.
Get the family involved
Most kids love pizza but generally aren’t as enthusiastic about trying strange greens. Getting them involved in the harvesting of the greens and the preparation of the pizza can be a fun way to introduce them to wild greens and make it more likely they’ll want to feast on this wild greens pizza.
Rosalee’s Wild Greens Pizza
This healthy pizza recipe combines all of my favorite pizza toppings. You could follow it exactly or use it as an inspiration for you to make your own version of a wild greens pizza.
Since there are many ways to prepare pizza crust this recipe simply calls for a “prepared crust”. If you are new to making homemade pizza you can find many simple recipes online or you can find pizza crust mixes at the store. We use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free pizza crust mix.
What you’ll need…
- one prepared pizza crust
- 1 cup of tomato pizza sauce (we use Muir Glen)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/4 pound ground sausage
- 4 ounces of sliced mushrooms
- one cup of chopped wild greens
- 2 tablespoons of minced fresh basil
- 5-8 green olives, sliced
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- red pepper flakes (optional)
Sauté the onion until it is translucent. Add the sausage and mushrooms and cook thoroughly.
Spread the pizza sauce on a prepared pizza crust. I use a cast iron for this. You can also simply spread the dough onto a cookie sheet.
Add the cooked onions, meat and mushrooms.
Spread the chopped wild greens, basil and olives over the pizza.
Sprinkle the cheese over everything. Sprinkle on red pepper flakes if desired.
Bake in the oven at 350 for 18 minutes or until the pizza is heated through and the cheese is golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and then serve.