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Perfect Pizza

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GGD came over last night for an overdue dinner and wine date. After much deliberation (which is usually the case when the two of us try to think of something to cook together), I suggested we make a pizza with some veggies and the frozen whole wheat dough that had been sitting in my freezer for a few months. GGD was won over! However, when I pulled out the dough to defrost and roll out, it was pretty gross and I realized it was going to take a long time to thaw and roll to perfection.

Cue Giorgio’s Pizza. In a panic, I called my favorite local pizzeria (just a block from my house) and asked if they sold pizza dough. Not only did they sell it, but they had whole wheat dough AND offered to roll it out for me at no extra charge. Five minutes and $4.50 later, I walked out with a box of beautifully rolled whole wheat pizza dough. This was so much better than making/rolling out my own dough (I’m not much of a baker, anyhow) and saved about an hour of prep.

Thank you, Giorgio's Pizza!

Thank you, Giorgio’s Pizza!

Whole Wheat Pizza with Mushrooms and Swiss Chard (makes 8 slices)

  • Medium size of rolled out whole wheat dough, from your local pizzeria (call first to make sure they do this)
  • 3 TB olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard, chopped with stems removed
  • 1/4 yellow onion, sliced
  • 8 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce (NOT pizza sauce)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 12 oz goats milk gouda (such as TJ’s brand or Midnight Moon)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and place a large baking sheet into the oven to heat up. Transfer the pizza dough to a large sheet of parchment paper and set aside.


In a large skillet, heat 1 TB olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add chard in batches and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until wilted. Sprinkle with salt then transfer to a bowl. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add to the bowl with the chard. Add a third tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then add mushrooms and sauté until softened – about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a separate bowl.

Top the pizza dough with tomato sauce and spread evenly, leaving about an inch of crust. Sprinkle Italian season and a pinch of salt over the tomato sauce. Add 6 slices of goat gouda, evenly spread across the pizza. Top with Swiss chard and onions, then add mushrooms and 6 more slices of goat gouda.

pizza pre-cooked

Using oven mitts, remove the HOT baking sheet from the oven and set on top of your stove. Carefully transfer the pizza and parchment paper to the baking sheet, then place in middle rack of oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is bubbling. Remove and let cool for a minute before slicing. Top with red pepper flakes and enjoy!



photo 5

This pizza was spectacular. GGD and I both loved the combination of swiss chard and mushrooms, and the goat’s milk gouda from Trader Joe’s melted perfectly. I was very happy to use simple tomato sauce instead of pizza sauce (which GGD pointed out has way too much additional sugar). But what really made this pizza perfect was the dough – which I obviously can’t take credit for. I am certainly going to be buying all my pizza dough from Giorgio’s in the future.

PalomitaEven though I was feeling slightly under the weather, I was so excited to pair this dish with one of my favorite bottles of Syrah: 2009 Palomita Syrah from the Hamilton Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. I purchased this wine on a trip to Paloma last year with my family, and I recently re-tasted it at the estate this past weekend. If you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur, I highly recommend making a trip to see Barbara at her Paloma estate. Not only are the views of her vineyard and the valley below stunning, but she is a very sweet and interesting person to talk to. It’s also one of the only places you can find the Syrah, which she is no longer making. Unfortunately, the process of transporting the grapes can sometimes be risky because a certain type of disease-carrying fly follows the truck of grapes to her estate, and Barbara would prefer to keep them as far as possible from her precious Merlot.

The hummingbirds at Paloma also enjoy the view.

The hummingbirds at Paloma also enjoy the view.

The Syrah went surprisingly well with the pizza; the smokey and savory flavors in the wine paired well with the earthy mushrooms and chard, as well as the creamy cheese. The wine lasted long after we finished the pizza, and opened into a well-balanced, smooth wine with a supple finish. I’m sorry I don’t have any bottles left, but I guess I’ll just have to make another visit to the winery soon!

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