Growing Greens For Pizza
Growing Greens (and other veg) for Pizza
Restaurant food is great but they usually can’t grow the special additives a really great pizza needs. Only a gardener can grow those fresh little greens that make pizza so yummy.
Since I bought my Vitamix I have started making pizza again because it is just so easy. And then I found out from a Chef at Riso restaurant in Lanceville that you can make your dough ahead of time and use it up over a 2 week period. Simply leave the extra dough in a container in the fridge until you need that second pizza and then allow it to come to room temperature on the counter for a few hours before rolling out the dough.
I grow greens like fresh arugula, mustard greens, spinach and basil indoors under grow lights for my pizza. Growing under lights is a perfect activity for winter gardeners. P.S. Like a Christmas cake you have to start growing lettuce and greens early under lights if you want a fresh salad or fresh basil for a winter pizza. I found Basil takes about 20-25 days under lights in cool winter weather but arugula spinach and lettuce are ready to snip and eat in 8-15 days.
To grow greens – also called microgreens – under lights, simply fill a tray or flat with moist purchased potting mix. There is no need for compost or fertilizer because the nutrients are in the seed for the first week or so of growing. Sprinkle the seeds on the soil and cover with a small dusting of extra soil. Water sparingly and then place another flat filled with moist soil but no seeds on top of the seeded tray for three to four days to add weight to the seeded tray. Once seeds start to sprout lift off the cover tray and mist or water the seeds in the growing tray until you get a crop of seedlings in a week or so. Snip micro-greens with scissors once they have a full second or even third set of leaves.
I have made pizzas with only Truffle oil, bacon and arugula (see feature photo.) I have also used the whole batch of dough for one pizza but HH (Helpful Husband) didn’t like it as much as the thin crust pizzas I make when I split the same recipe into two crusts. So puffy pizza is the rarity in our house. Leftover dough is left in the fridge because I try to make pizza once a week and extra dough is the perfect quick meal for the two of us on the second week.
An excellent side dish for pizza is micro-green salad served in the winter. Micro-green salads are simply dressed with Basil flavoured Olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and they are ready to serve. One of my favourite greens for winter salads is pea shoots. They are ready in a week from seeding but can be cut back once or twice before being added to the compost and starting again. Seeds for growing micro-greens come directly from Saskatchewan where Mumms seeds is based.
Donna Balzer is the Brand Ambassador for BCGreenhouse Builders and she has two greenhouses in her big backyard.
What Would Donna Do?
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